I’ve written before about the love/hate relationship I have with social media. I have no time for Twitter . Never understood its purpose, never will! My feelings about Facebook — well they change on an hourly basis!
Facebook definitely has it’s benefits. I enjoy getting updates from family and friends and it helps keep me connected to my long distance people. I can follow the pages of interests or organizations that I “like”, and also use the site to share information about organizations or groups that I am involved in. I can get information,both local and global, in more detail and faster than I ever thought possible. And I am introduced to people, cultures and beliefs that I would never have an opportunity to learn about about in just the goings on of my everyday life.
Yet there is a downside…
I’ve learned to lean heavily on the adage “don’t believe everything you read”. I’ve also mastered the fine art of scrolling past posts that I don’t find helpful or interesting, hiding those pages I don’t care to view, and am learning to embrace source-checking when it comes to passing some information on to others. My least favorite aspect of social media is the ability to say anything we want, to anyone we want, simply because we don’t have to face them!
Politics, religion, social issues and anything else that someone has an opinion on are fair game. I find as a society we have become more intolerant than we have ever been. I have witnessed unspeakable writings from people that, if done by me in my youth, would have resulted in a nice bar of Irish Spring solidly shoved in my pie hole! And yet I see these writings daily— to people we know, to people we don’t know and with no regard for compassion of others!
Now I’m no angel! I’ve been in situations where I’ve posted things that I’ve winced at later. Typing away, in the heat of the moment, because I read something that rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve also hidden, and unfortunately unfriended people, who just got too far under my skin or who were so nasty in their writing.
Over the past year I’ve learned to take a few deep breaths before I type, while I determine if what I have to say is helpful to someone or not. I’ve been tending toward more passive reading and less offensive posting lately. Some may say it is time we spoke up and make our voices heard. I get that, and from time to time you will see me post or comment on something I feel very passionate about. Yet until both the sender and receiver of that message are willing to listen with compassion for each other — then I’ll be sticking with what my friends call FB Stalking. It’s just safer that way!