You can choose to see anything in life in black or white, in all the shades of grey or in the full scope of colors, and the same applies to social media.
We all have probably read by now about studies concluding that social media is distracting us from reality and it’s bad for us. At the same time the people who are actively involved with social media testify it has changed their lives for the better. Social media has saved lives, brought lives together, but at the same time – there is a lot of negativity and even bullying and depression among the social media users.
How social media reflects in your life depends on you.
I’ve had great discussions about social media with a few friends this week, and one of my friends asked me what I thought was the best and the worst part of social media for me personally, and if I could help her to figure it out. I don’t think anyone can figure social media out for someone else. I think everyone has to decide themselves what they want to share, and what not. And what they want to receive, and what not.
I tend not to share many negative things about my life. Some people misunderstand it that I am trying to be fake, build an image of myself of as someone than I’m not. While in very very small way it is true – I also often speak about building your personal brand online and my “brand” and “imago” is about being positive and living life to the fullest – it still doesn’t mean that I am a fake person.
One of the reasons that I might not tell everything about my life online is that my life involves other people that I care about, and I will not share information that involves them. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to share some of those things with you, but it’s that the other people in my life wouldn’t want me to share them. It doesn’t make me fake, it just makes me a person who cares about other people’s feelings.
I have shared several bad things about my life, and will, but I don’t think you need to know every time I have a bad experience – like last week when I got horribly rude customer service in a coffee shop. I don’t need your sympathy for dealing with a rude barista, and I in fact think that many of you might think that I am very shallow for sharing my coffee shop encounter. However – when I got sick a few years ago I needed your support, and you were there for me. You knew that if I say life sucks, it really sucks, and you gave me strength to move on.
Every word counts. To someone.
Social media is a two way road, and I really believe that the more negativity you put out there, the more negativity you will also receive. I want to share positive things, and I also want positive things find me. That’s one of the best parts of social media for me – celebrating life with someone, every day. We need each others, and especially when we are down we need to know that someone else has gone through the same thing and survived, and the beauty of social media is that it brings us a lot of hope for those moments that we might be down. If we choose it to. I think some people feel that if they have a bad day, so should everyone else.
On the other hand I think the worst part of social media is the bad things it brings you. And I am not even talking about bullying or anyone being mean to you. I mean that social media amplifies life and it makes your network large, and life happens. In somebody’s family someone dies, someone’s kid gets sick, or house flooded. As a person who cares so much about other people it is sometimes very hard to see so many people in my social media community to get hurt. Sometimes I feel helpless because I feel that I can’t help enough when someone in my community is in need. But the best thing about social media – often only one tweet, one “like” button, or one blog post or comment can truly make someone’s day.
Make social media count, and use it to change someone’s day for the better. Start today.