By Carol Rood
I am blessed with a few very good friends. I also have lots of friends I interact with every day thanks to Social Media. Of course, just like everyone else, I interact with some more than others.
I think Facebook is interesting. Everyone always wants to brag about their kids’ accomplishments, and how talented they are, or how athletic, or how smart. etc. People don’t usually talk about the fight they had with their spouse or that their kid is a horror, or that life just isn’t really as rosy as their FB wall would have it seem. I just can’t believe that their lives are always rays of sunshine and unicorns, but that is the way it seems. Maybe they only want to share the good stuff, and never let us see the not so good stuff, but life is not all god stuff, at least in my experience. Life is about good, and bad, and shitty, and pain, and mess.
However, in the opposite spectrum are the people who only post the bad stuff that happens to them. I haven’t figured them out yet. Are they just sympathy seekers, or do they really NEVER have anything positive to say? Ever. I tend to unfriend them after some time, because although I don’t believe the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” thought is a reality, I also believe that you can be proactive when faced with a difficult situation and at least try to do something to turn things around. Or ask for help. That is one amazing aspect of social media. I have 321 Facebook friends, who have at least 100 of their own friends, who have their friends, etc etc. So I have literally thousands of people available (many whom I don’t even know ) that may have a resource for me.
Recently one of my FB friends put out there that he was looking for a second job. I and a few others gave him ideas of places we knew in the area that were hiring. To my knowledge, he did not look into any of these jobs and is still complaining about needing a job and being broke. I don’t know him that well, but I wonder why you put things out there like that, and then just sit and wallow in your misery.
Then there are the political people. Oh, I love the political people!! They are so passionate about their cause or party or stance. Many of them never see any other side besides theirs, and are so convinced their version is the only possible version of the truth, that they cant even hear anything anyone else has to say. Now I will be completely honest here. I am a person who has convictions, but I am also a person who can be convinced my version may not be completely accurate if I am given factual information that cannot be refuted. I am a scientist at heart and tend to be skeptical about anything that cannot be proven. So when people say things that they “believe” to be true, and I can find a Snopes review that shows it is a hoax, with these types of people what I get back is “well, you know Snopes is run by a liberal group of people, so even Snopes isn’t accurate.” Come on people, do you have your heads so far in the sand that you cannot even fathom another point of view as plausible if it doesn’t match yours???
Interestingly, I think people are more honest and forthright on Twitter. I have often wondered if this is because you cannot write as much simply because of the way it is designed. I think maybe the inability to post over 140 characters requires people to be concise and say what they want to say in fewer words. This can go either way. People can be quite nice, or really nasty. It never ceases to amaze me what people think is okay to say to others. The anonymity of the keyboard makes it that way. People will say things on social media that they would probably not say to someone’s face. We get behind a keyboard, or a smartphone and think because they cannot see us, or maybe don’t know us personally that we then can say whatever we want. Jimmy Kimmel does a bit where he has celebrities read some of the mean tweets from people.
I wonder how social media will evolve, and if people will ever start being more real? It will be interesting to see if that ever happens. I will do my part to try to be honest n my social media. I try to be the same person in real life, and on my blog and on my FB page and on my Twitter, Pinterest etc. To be honest, to try and maintain a different identity for social media is just too complicated for me.
So my challenge to you is to be the same person on social media that you are in real life. Can you do it?