There’s always a pro and con to everything, especially if we don’t remember to do things in moderation. As we all know, I don’t have any problems with doing things in moderation. (Yes, that’s sarcasm folks 🙂 )
So let’s pretend we all know some of the pros of Social Media – we are all on this platform for some reason or another, so we must find some value in the experience. Here are some of my thoughts on problems (sometimes AKA pet peeves) on Social Media.
1. You don’t know who you are really seeing online. The fun thing about this medium is we can post items of interest, pictures of fun things, and all kinds of super-spastically positive mantras. We think we have a sense of a person and we feel a familiarity with who we perceive them to be. HOWEVER you DON’T know them. You only see a carefully cultivated and curated image of what they want you to see.
You don’t see the bad days, you don’t see the ups and downs, you don’t see the neurotic insecurities; you don’t see how a person may advertise they are a go-getter but in reality all they do is go to work and come home and veg out and accomplish nothing. Or you may see all of the accomplishments, but none of the work, blood, sweat and tears that went into that one single moment. You might see an “empowered” woman who claims to be independent but really has someone behind the scenes completely monetarily providing for her existence. You might see a “gentleman” who professes he is looking for love, but then has no interest in maintaining any kind of healthy relationship.
Now none of these things are inherently bad – if you’re honest about it. It’s the lack of authenticity that bothers me. The images we cultivate based on some kind cultural popularity contest. It’s an empty and vapid existence. I love actually interaction – person to person. I don’t know who a person is online. I don’t know who they really are until I meet them, look them in the eyeball, and get a sense of their energy and have a valid in-depth conversation to see their facial tics, their gestures, and their emotional reaction to stimulus around them.
2. Trolling and Bullying. I think that speaks enough for itself. It’s disgusting and ridiculous that we still live a world where people are mean and violent. It’s gross.
3. Spastic Marketing Burst strategies and MLM marketing. They are shaming and dehumanizing and predatory. I don’t like how they are phrased. I don’t like the claim of “Work for yourself!” but yet there is one guy in charge of the whole pyramid who’s buying a yacht and sailing to the Bahamas, while you are spending $$$$$ on starter kits and giving even more money to this guy while you have a hard time moving the product. Newsflash: That’s not your own business. You are working for somebody else. And I don’t like the ads that are posted by individuals 5 or 6 times a day, proclaiming not to understand why I wouldn’t want to do better for my life by buying and/or selling a particular product. Then on top of that, we are going to “Like” our own status, “Share” it, “Comment” on it tagging 50 people, “Tag” more people in the update, and “Re-Tweet” it at all kinds of random people.
Yes, the internet is a great platform for businesses to advertise. But it’s a machine that has become a monster when unchecked. I have to go through constantly to untag myself and even block some people when it’s an egregious amount.
4. “Selfies”, or as I call them, “Narcisselfies”. I try to hold back on this because I can be pretty opinionated on it. And let’s face it, we all do it. I do it too once in a blue moon. You’re feeling good on a random day so you post a pic of yourself. Epic Cosplay costume? Awesome! You’re in front a place that you finally get to visit for the first time, and you snap a pic. You’re with a good friend you haven’t seen in ages, and you snap that memory (I call those, “Ussies”) Those newborn baby shots with Mama and Papa. I find those moments to be quite touching, because it’s a legitimate moment in a very profound relationship. Nothing wrong with that. Artistic moment? Snap away.
What I find narcissistic and entitled, is when you go through a person’s photo album and it’s ALL selfies.Your feed is flooded with them. AND THEY TAKE PRIDE THAT THEY TAKE SO MANY! What the…..? They post 5-10 selfies a day. The girl with the duck lips and the drink her hand, striking a pose. The mirror shots. Selfies of “What should I wear” whilst giving the most provocative choices. Ugh. Really? You know you aren’t looking for advice on what to wear. Selfies in bed. SERIOUSLY! SELFIES IN BED? Especially those with your significant other. Don’t need to see that. Selfies in the BATHROOM??!! I meeeaaannnnn………
Then you scroll forward and find there are VERY few pictures with friends or family or in any kind of cool environment. When there are “Ussies” of them with friends, do me a favour – take a look at the focus of where the lens draws the viewer in – 90% of the time it focuses on the person in the foreground and the friends look like semi-random people in that joined them in the background.
It’s a good sign of the amount of narcissism that is present in your relationships with them. You’re not gonna get a whole lot of enlightened ways of being there. Just sayin’.
5) The lack of energy to energy human interaction. Yes, we interact online in many ways. But it’s caused us to care more about Friend and Follower counts, rather than quality of relationships. It causes a disconnect and we say things that can be construed in many different ways, oftentimes, never in the way we intended. Sometimes we are braver online than in real life. We say things we would NEVER say to someone’s face. We are often surrounded by more “casual” relationships (if you get my meaning) because there is more of an opportunity to just move on to the next latest and greatest, without actually looking inward and doing some self-reflection about what we might be (or not be) contributing to certain patterns in our life.
Much like air travel and highway transit systems, it has opened us up globally, yet has managed to isolate us and disconnect us with our immediate communities.
I’ll wrap up this missive by saying, we all have to decide what we want to do with Social Media in our lives. Everyone is different and certainly entitled to their own way of doing things. But don’t be surprised when people receive you the way you’ve defined yourself. And if you don’t like how’ve defined yourself, change it.