Lately I’ve been feeling ambivalent about social media. I like how I can connect with people and organizations to see what they’re doing, but I don’t like how much I rely on the sites and am starting to view my accounts as a waste of time. I’ve even considered deleting my accounts and only using email/telephone calls/text messages to communicate. I have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Of these, I only check the last three maybe once a week, if that. Come to think of it, I actually don’t remember the last time I went on Pinterest. I am, however, a dedicated user of Facebook and Twitter and find myself checking these sites multiple times throughout the day. I manage these accounts at work so in addition to using them personally, I’m on them for a chunk of time each workday.
As a society, I don't think we will ever rid ourselves of social media. Yes, the platforms in which we use it may (and probably will) change--Facebook may go the way of Myspace and new sites will emerge as the most popular means of virtual communication; however, I think our culture's reliance on technology is here to stay. We're so engrossed with updating our accounts and documenting our lives via status updates and photographs that we've lost that personal touch. You've got to stay virtually connected to, well, be connected in the world.
Social media fluctuates between good and bad. It has its merits, but it also has its faults. In wake of recent tragedies such as Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Oklahoma tornado, social media allowed people to connect with loved ones and even strangers, come together, and donate money to the relief efforts. It also exploited victims. I remember seeing photographs of Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung surfacing on Facebook shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings. The photographs stated that Hochsprung was one of the three victims killed in the bombings. In what has become an annoying trend lately, people were "liking" the photos to spread the word and "ignoring" the photos if they didn't care. Imagine being Hochsprung's family or friends and logging on to your Facebook account, only to see her picture making its rounds and claiming she had been killed in Boston. How terrible.
I do realize the irony in complaining about social media when I am a devotee to a couple of social media sites. I do write a blog, which is definitely a form of social media and puts aspects of my life out there in cyberspace. This is just a jumbled, rambling mess of my latest thoughts.