Social Media

Social media is an interesting thing. I am old enough that I remember when computers were simply a typewriter with a screen attached. I remember my brother hooking up a computer to the internet for the first time, and the sound that the router or modem would make as he started to connect. I remember when cell phones came out, and then when they started to be more readily available to the public. I remember one day, as my husband and I were talking to a friend, he pulled out his company cell phone and started to show us how you could type a message on the phone and send it rather than having to call. I thought to myself, that seems ridiculous, why not just call (I love texting now).

I remember when Social Media apps started to come out and the polarizing effect it had on society then. I was a young adult. Visiting with friends, they talked about the newest “page” you could create about yourself and how so many bad things were happening with the people who were connecting that way. I cannot even remember what that first social media app was. But I stayed away from it.

We now live in a world where it’s hard to live without social media of some sort. So many companies and organizations use social media apps as a way to disseminate information about upcoming events and activities. Businesses use it to connect with potential customers, and everyday people use it to try and stay connected with family and friends. On my Facebook page, I have memories going back 13 years now. It’s fun to see all the things I posted through the years. It is amazing how much of my life I have shared there, and how nice it was for my parents to see all the things we were doing as a family since we are so far apart.

I’m not sure how much I like social media apps though. Recently I have been trying to disconnect from social media, not permanently, but spend less time on there than I have been. However, I have learned that it’s the easiest way to get business information out there, so I cannot totally disconnect. I believe there is a balance that keeps us all connected, yet gets us out connecting in person more often as well. I think that 2020 had a huge impact on how we use computers and social media. I think we all learned how to connect through video, whether through Zoom or Messenger or another app, and I love being able to see my daughter when she calls. It’s also a lot easier to show people what you’re talking about sometimes than to try to explain it over the phone. But I think we really need the in person contact as well. I don’t think social media or zoom or video chats of any kind can replace real, in person contact. We need to be near others.

I also think it’s a lot easier on social media to spread things that aren’t true as well as to bully people. People feel freer to share person information on social media, as well as say things that they wouldn’t normally say in person. It’s hard to stop that, and I don’t think that censoring is necessarily the answer. I think we need to be smarter about what we say, and we need to do the homework on what we read so we can find truth rather than believe it just because Susie said so and she’s always right.

I guess to sum it up, I don’t think social media is going anywhere, but I do think there are smart ways to use it rather than it using us. I am trying to find that balance in my own life, and I think most of the time I have balance recently, it just takes a lot of discipline to get on, do what I need to do, and get off! How do you balance social media in your life?

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