Life's been good the past week, though I didn't manage to blog regularly. I promise I'm not going to leave you hanging again without advance notice - it's been so humbling to hear from those of you who have been following me for years and were sad when I stopped blogging for a really long time. :)
I found a little thing on Pinterest - a writing challenge with prompts for 30 days of topics. It looks interesting, so I think I'll give it a go along with my Singleness posts as they arise. :D
Day 1: Five Problems with Social Media.
*steps up on soapbox*
#1 - Artificial Relationships
Social media can become a replacement for real-life encounters and experiences. Sometimes the friendships you have online are false, built on vanity and not really made of stronger stuff. Flimsy, even.
(However, I don't feel that way about my blog followers or facebook friends! :) But I only have about 150 facebook friends, some people have thousands! Can you imagine trying to keep track of all of that?!)
#2 - TIME-SUCKERS
Scrolling through Pinterest feed. Need I say more? I could waste hours on there having so much fun... and I have. And Pinterest certainly has its purpose, but it and Facebook are huge black holes where my time disappears. I don't want that to happen anymore - I think I'm going to set a healthier goal of more like 15-20 minutes a day on those sites and see how much more I get accomplished in real life!
#3 - Competition Arises
My baby is cuter than yours! Here, see? These 1,000,000 pictures will convince you. My vacation was better than yours. I take the best selfies. I have better friends than you, look how awesome my life is!!!!!! - Not everyone on social media is like this, but the trap is there to fall into! We present the best side of ourselves, and sometimes feel pressured to compete with friends.
The solution? I dunno. Only post 1,000 baby pictures? Especially if the baby really IS cute. :D Maybe encourage more honesty and sharing? Reach out instead of put on a show like everything's perfect?
#4 - Breeding Grounds for Arguments
Something bad about social media is that people feel more free to argue and 'debate' and rant and criticize MUCH more boldly, rudely, and outspoken-ly than they would if there was a real person standing right in front of them. We have to remember that these are real people, not just names and duck faces. ;) I haven't noticed this among my friends, but out there in article-land people tend to get vicious and vile really fast.
#5 - Misunderstandings. "Say WHAT?"
Tone is so hard to convey with just black words on a white screen. It's far too easy for people to get mixed up or offended. Most of human communication (I think I read somewhere that it's about 90%!) is non-verbal. That means we're only talking with roughly 10% of our abilities on social media, and it's often things get taken the wrong way.
So there you have it! However, I am an optimist, and therefore I believe the benefits of social media outweigh the bad. How else could I keep in touch with friends in other states or countries? Where would I find all those amazing DIY projects, inspiring quotes, and wonderful info for my novels?
Speaking of novels, I have one coming out soon. And there's going to be a facebook party to celebrate! Stay tuned!