What do you think?

Is social media a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose the answer depends on how you perceive it and how you use it. When Facebook and Twitter were still in their infancy, I didn’t see what the attraction was.  In fact, I still saw them as pointless until probably last year. And while I wouldn’t say I love them, I do enjoy peeping in most days to see what is happening beyond my own little world. However, as with anything, social media comes with its ups and downs and based on my usage I have compiled a list. (Ask any member of my family they will tell you I am a great list maker!!)

The Positives

Friends and Relations: – From what I can gather, social networks originally started as a place to connect with your friends and relations especially if they live far away. Some of us have found old friends from many years ago, as with my American friend Kat, and it is good to see what is happening in their lives even when we can´t meet personally. But you can also make new friends by connecting with friends of friends.

Kindred Spirits: – It is surprising that some of your ‘friends’ –  you know those you accepted or accepted you because you know them by sight, or are friends of friends, suddenly turn into people who are just like you. You realise you have the same likes and dislikes in fact so many things in common. These are the acquaintances that you suddenly realise are ‘actual friends’.

Of course the reverse is also true, someone you thought you knew, over time show they are only a user and once they have drained you dry you are of no further use. Only then do you see how shallow they really are as they try to scale the local social ladder.
There is though a simple solution – unfriend, life is too short to waste on these people.

Business Opportunities or Marketing: – To many this has become crucial as it is a cost-effective way to raise awareness of their business or promote their products to a potentially huge audience. Businesses both large and small have noticed the value of social networks and are shifting towards this type of marketing and best of all – It’s free – Always a good thing….

However for me the most important thing is that the time I spend on these sites is fun!

The Negatives

All Talk, No Action: – It’s a trend to get likes and shares and to spread the word about all sorts of things.  Some are fun, like music, images or quizzes. (I look forward to my daily dose of quiz questions).  Others make me cross, these are usually the charities and fundraising challenges. While it is fine in concept to highlight the subject, if an issue is important enough to talk about taking action – get off your butt and take real action.

Rants and Tirades: – When it comes to politics, religion or anything personal, discussion can quickly get contentious. I am all for free speech but these are delicate topics and it is easy for conversations to turn personal or offensive. Similarly, there are people who judge too quickly, too harshly or unfairly based on “superficial” information.  I often find myself laughing because often the most vitriolic comments are misplaced as the person has not read the thread correctly or does not understand or missed the point!

Of course in this section you cannot ignore the jumped-up person who thinks they are more important than they really are the only one with a valid opinion.  This type of person often makes the cryptic comments that the rest of us mere mortals think What the Heck? I think they are desperate for ‘friends’ to query and be interested in hearing the response. 

Everything’s a drama: – OMG must be the most over-used acronym on the planet.  Without it, 75% of posts would not exist. There just doesn’t seem any other way of expressing feelings.

I can happily ignore all the above, in fact, I had to think hard to find these negatives even though I am guilty on most counts, but this one really grates.

I find the atrocious grammar, punctuation and spelling appalling. The excuse is usually predictive text, but do people never read what they are saying before pressing the send button?  For me this image sums it up nicely

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Perhaps there could be a business opportunity for someone  offering a course on how to construct a post that others can read and understand, but then again, does anyone care?

Did I miss anything?  If I did and you would like to add your opinions, then put them in the comments below or drop me an email.  

 

Image courtesy of IDA
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One Response to What do you think?

  1. ceejayblue says:

    Agree with you Meryl! Social media is wonderful when its used properly, after all we’d never have met without it LOL! But… I am very careful what I share, I always check suspicious links people send me on Hoaxslayer.com, snopes.com and thatsnonsense.com before I share it. I’ve even threatened to defriend people who continue to be taken in by threads saying if you click like Facebook will give $1 to the cause! They won’t, there is no cause, most of the photos of sick children have been stolen from their websites and nasty people keep sharing it to make mischief.

    I’m admin on several groups a couple are related to holiday places, others are for diabetes groups and you’d be surprised how many other admins on the groups don’t check the profiles of people they add! So much so that 3 other friends on one diabetic group and I set up our own group and now vet everyone and fools and drama queens are outed very quickly.

    I’ve met people (not just you lol!) from facebook who live in Spain and got some good friendships from it and there are a few people who although I’ve never met seem to have the same outlook on things as I do and we just clicked.

    Totally agree about the grammar! Even my daughter is at fault here sometimes! I know predictive text is difficult but I re-read my posts several times before I click send and even then go back and have another look and edit if necessary. Its not difficult is it? LOL!

    Overall, I love social media, I’m on twitter too although not a big user of it, and I’m on Trip Advisor, various other forums to do with crafting, weightloss or health etc and have found it a good way to share information and learn more about things. I just hate all the nastiness that sometimes erupts but its not surprising when you think that you can read things into the written word which you might not do so if the person was saying it to you because you can see their face and the way they are phrasing the words not just flat on a page.

    Social media is here to stay and is a great thing as long as people abide by the rules and proper etiquette, but we know that people find that very difficult.

    xx

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