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30 Day Writing Challenge Day 1 8/1/19

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

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Day 1- 5 Problems with Social Media

I recently posted a 30 day writing challenge and decided to jump on board in hopes that some of you awesome people would jump on board with me. Of course, when I really looked at the 30 day topics, I began to think that I might just be crazy! Oh well! I'm here, at the keyboard and I've already committed so here goes nothing!

Day one's topic is five problems with social media. Now, I love social media. I work on it, meaning I spend most of my time on social media. I've even defended social media to family and friends who have never really tried it and only really listened to the horror stories surrounding it, so I was a little put off by this topic...and then I started to think about it. Of course social media isn't perfect! There are some issues that I,myself, complain about regularly! Once I accepted that, the list began to form and here it is, now, for all of you to explore as well.

1. Most of what we find on social media is written. That means that all of those captions, posts, tweets and comments are all up for interpretation. Because it's impossible to always relay tone in writing. Sure, we can use emojis, but still, those are just verbal manifestations of what we hope to portray, leaving the reader able to "hear" any bit of sarcasm, condescending tones or attitude even where it was never intended. Sure, we can do that when we're face to face listening to another talk, but it's far more easier without the tone of voice and body language to help guide us.

2. The content we find on social media is often experienced out of context to reality. This can be due to the poster purposefully manipulating followers to see it through a specific filter, it can be due to a lack of seeing everything that someone posts or even knowing them in real life. It can be due to so many reasons and no matter the reason, it also often leads to the viewer coming to their own conclusions, positive or negative, and even forming judgments that aren't accurate due to those images.

3. The world of social media has become a place for others to judge and, sometimes, even bully one another. As a society, we seem to have adopted this "safety in anonymous worlds" mindset. We hide behind screen names and profile pictures, speaking loudly about people, situations and places we may not even know while passing judgement and spewing poisonous and cruel words. We think that it doesn't matter, that it doesn't really effect anyone else, but in reality, it can do an unbelievable amount of damage. And then, as if this wasn't enough,many of us don't know how to fight back against it. We don't want the venom to be aimed our way and these aren't people we know in real life anyway, so what's the point? Or, we assume that those negative, hate spewing screen names are just trolls, purposefully trying to start fights and cause drama, in which case, why give them what they want, right?

4. Social media is a great way to connect with one another and become more knowledgeable and aware of the people and the world around us. While that's great, it also sets us up to be pulled into the world of misinformation. These pieces of misinformation are easy to stumble upon. They can be found on personal profiles, on websites (even Wiki has proved to be less reliable then desirable) and through people who think they found good information online and proceed to spread said information unaware that it's wrong, unsubstantiated or was started by those uneducated about the subject. This confusion can cause a lot of problems for all of us,both online and in the real world.

5. Because social media is always at our finger tips, it allows us act quickly, sometimes more quickly then before. There is nothing to stand in our way and remind us to think through our actions before we commit them. We can get mad at a friend, our children, family member or ex and within minutes, even before the situation is resolved, blast them all over social media. We can air our dirty laundry out for the world to see, we can hurt and bully others out of sheer anger and we can make matter worse by doing so. We forget that everyone and anyone with the right amount of skills and technology can see those posts, images or videos even after they are taken down. Future employers can find them and use them against both parties and others who have nothing to do with the situation can, and often will, judge all those involved...and no matter how hard you try to make yourself look good, it's entirely possible that you don't look as good as you think and, therefor, won't be judged as well as you thought, either.

Ok, so there are my 5 things wrong with social media. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? What do you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

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