30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 1:
Five Problems with Social Media
Yeesh… only five?
Seriously: social media is the way of the world. We have a responsibility to ourselves and the world around us to use social media properly, lest we get caught up in the cliche of the disconnected immoral society.
(See? Don’t be that guy.)
So. When I think of problems with social media, I will hopefully balance it out with the ways in which I try to keep those problems from doing real damage.
- “I’m one mental breakdown from thinking we’re actually friends.”
I actually said these words to Alexi Lalas one day during one of his Periscope broadcasts. For anyone who doesn’t know, Periscope is an offshoot of Twitter that allows your camera to broadcast around the world in real time. I believe it was helpful during the Arab Spring protests, but a lot of people use it for fun now (I also follow Adam Richman and John Barrowman). I’ve been following Alexi since the Women’s World Cup this past summer, and he likes to broadcast himself answering questions about soccer and other important things, often from his hotel bed. I realize that I’m quite fortunate in that very often he will answer questions that I post (I’ve also learned to ask the right question at the right time, which helps). I will even, on occasion, make him laugh with my comments. Which led me to start getting the feeling like I had really gotten to know him. Like we are friends. BUT WE’RE NOT. He’s a guy on TV who makes a point to be nice to fans and followers. I’m a relatively knowledgeable fan who prefers to be nice to other people as well. So how do I remain friendly without getting all… stalker-y? I take breaks. Sometimes I’ll go days without posting to anyone, other days I skip certain people. I check my own Twitter feed to make sure no one person is mentioned more than anyone else.
- “[I] get into arguments with strangers.”
Well, I don’t. Not anymore. I removed all the news outlets from my Facebook feed. A lot of social, religious, and political groups were removed, too. I didn’t stop believing in them (Boy, will Journey be proud of me!), but I just kept feeling myself getting pulled into huge conversations and discussion threads where I had to defend my position, and there really was no point to it. It was just a huge waste of time. I have much more important things to do. So does everyone else.
That’s short for “Fear of Missing Out,” and it’s a real thing. I never thought I’d be upset with a realization that I was out of the loop (especially considering that, for many years, I wasn’t even aware of a loop…), but this smartphone has me checking stuff constantly! I don’t like seeing or hearing notifications from my phone and not being able to check them, so I’m always checking them. I even get mad at myself. It’s awful. I never have my phone by my bed as a preventive measure.
(SEE?!?!?! This JUST popped up on my Facebook feed– which is open on my computer!)
- Also, #TalkingInHashtags
Don’t be these guys, either.
- My house looks like… “there seems to have been a struggle…”
For reals, players. I have my back to the living room, but I know what it looks like. It’s not pretty. I like to blame soccer, PTA, driving, soccer, tutoring, kids, and soccer. But it’s mostly time I spend online. I know. Mea culpa. So when this entry is done, the computer is off limits.
Here’s to navigating the Information Super-goat-path as best you can!