Social media. It’s everywhere in this day & age. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest it’s pretty common that we belong to one or more social media platforms. Back when I was in high school there was hardly any social media available. The first one that I ever joined was a site called Tagged (which is still around) & then Myspace launched & took over the stratosphere. And with Myspace came Facebook & the domino effect of social media was created. Now it’s everywhere. I have a 9 year old sister & a 12 year old brother & they’re already more tech savvy than I was at that age. My brother is at that age when he’s getting his first cell phone & the first thing he did was make an Instagram account. Well, after being talked to about the internet by his older siblings first. 😉 I was just happy that I could send text messages albeit the pesky texting limit that my mom put on me. In the video Digital Nation, “Young people are spending more than 50 hours a week on digital media, more than a full workweek.” That is staggering to me but not surprising. Next time you’re out in a public setting count how many people are on their phones. You’ll be surprised at how many there are versus the one or two who aren’t. People are lacking the social connectivity in favor of online connectivity.
If I was asked to describe my social media use I would say I’m a moderate user. There was a time when I was a pretty heavy user & posting everything online but after awhile it really does have an effect on your mental health. Now I post sporadically & will deactivate accounts when I feel the need too. Social media doesn’t bring anything of value to our lives. It’s just another tool to make friends globally or to keep in touch with ones that have moved away. On Facebook, I’m friends with people that I actually know in person. I have friends living all over so I utilize it for that. When it comes to the ones that live their life on social media, the unfollow button comes in handy in where you remain friends but no longer see their posts on your news feed. I wholeheartedly agree with Doug McAdams theory in what should matter most is “the degree of personal connection.”
In the “Small Change” article by Gladwell he discusses how a protest happened in the 1960s in a North Carolina college town & how it spread through word of mouth & how people from all over to protest the racist diner refusing to serve black college students. “These events in the early 60’s became a civil rights war that engulfed the South for the rest of the decade & it happened without email, texting, Facebook, or Twitter.” That quote in itself is very telling. It reminds me of when certain things go viral on social media such as Kony 2012 or Bring Our Girls Home in where you post about it to bring awareness but after it dies down on social media people tend to forget about it & don’t actually do anything else. It’s all for show & seeing how many likes you can get. Social media sure has come a long way & at times I think it’s not for the better. But with every negative there’s a positive & we just need to take social media with a grain of salt.