Everyone seems to be blogging nowadays. It is the thing to do if you have something to say or often, even when you have nothing to say but would prefer to say it in 500 words or more. I’m not sure where I would fit into this spectrum, but it is time for me to jump on this bandwagon. Thus, I welcome you to my very first blog on this site. I have dabbled a bit with blogging on the blockchain (more about that later) and have been a guest blogger here and there.
Blogging is a wordier version of social media than what most of us generally consume or practice. Yet social media it is and if you are reading this, you are at the very least a consumer of social media. I find it ironic how many people preach about the evils of social media on social media. And how many people claim that they avoid and distrust social media but barely miss a thing on Facebook or Twitter or whatever.
In my first blog, I want to argue against some of the reasons people avoid or fear social media. Here we go!
People say social media is no good because…
Everyone tends to create a false image of their lives as if everything was just perfect and wonderful.
According to the integrity police, this leads to other mere mortals comparing themselves to your perfect life and falling into severe depressions with which the pharmaceutical industry is unable to cope.
I am not a proponent of falseness or pretence, but I do want to know: where do you find people walking around telling everyone (friend, foe and stranger) of all their woes in an effort to create an accurate image of what their lives are like at the moment?
Or let me ask it this way.
Do you attend any social gathering with people you know and others you do not, wearing the shirt that emphasizes the weight you picked up? Or do you comb your hair and wear your most flattering shirt?
At this gathering of strangers, semi-strangers and friends, do you reach out to everyone to tell them of your latest mistake or that you did not get a raise this year because your boss thinks you are ‘not committed enough’?
We all put our best foot forward when in the company of new or unknown people. And we keep personal stuff or not-so-good stuff for when we are in the company of people we know well and with whom we are safe.
This is a healthy thing to do! And you should not do it any differently on social media!
Nothing is private on social media.
When you are on a stage you are conscious of all the people in the audience watching you and listening to every word you say. This can be nerve-wracking and as a result, people do some ‘abnormal’ things before going onto a stage.
They memorize what they are going to say. They practice in front of a mirror. They ask a trusted friend to listen to them and critique everything from the content to the delivery. And then they practice some more.
Social media is like a stage. In fact, it is the biggest stage that you or I will ever find ourselves on. Why on earth would we want to spew every thought that pops into our heads on this stage? Why do you want to post pictures of yourself that you would not want your children or your boss to see?
Think about what you want to say. Say only the things you can stand by no matter what. Tell the jokes to which everyone can listen. You are not Donald Trump and social media is not a locker room.
I’ll be spied on and people will find me.
I don’t know about you, but I’m just not interesting enough to be spied on. And why do you need to spy on me? If I post it, it is for everyone to see. When you read my thoughts or look at my pictures, I’m accomplishing my goal. When I do not want you to see it, I do not post it!
If there is someone from whom you are hiding, stay away from social media. It really is as simple as that. It may also be better to live your life in such a way that you do not need to hide from anyone…
You are fully in control of what you put out there. Don’t put anything out there that you may want back at some stage. Just don’t!
All our connections are becoming superficial and impersonal.
You are thinking of television. Television turned us away from one another towards people and connections that do not exist. Social media turns us back towards one another. Yes, you heard me. As a result of social media, I now have contact with a multitude of people with whom I had lost contact many years ago. I have made new friends all over the world that I would never have met otherwise. I have contact with you who are reading here, and you are the recipient of some of my thoughts. You can comment on this blog in response and we can have a conversation that can lead anywhere.
Sure, this may not be a deep, soul-searching conversation where we exchange confidences in trust. Does it have to be, to be real? How many such deep, meaningful conversations do you have in any given week? And with how many different people? I hope it is not too many, as that would not be healthy. Your intimate circle should be small, but it should not be your only circle. You do not have to be my one and only BFF to be significant in my life.
Is this conversation you and I are having any less real than the conversation you had last week at a social function with a colleague’s spouse about the weather? The one whose name you can’t remember…
I think it may be obvious to you by now, but I love social media. In my next blog, I want to tell you what I want to accomplish with this blog. And why you should join me!
I do hope you will!
(Your comments, even if you disagree, will be treasured.)