I will go on the record in saying that I believe social media is useful, a way to connect with friends, family, businesses. I also believe social media is a crutch, a tool to hide behind, a way to complain, criticize and bully behind a digital wall.
I truly don’t believe that when the Mark Zuckerberg, Noah Glass, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s of the world launched Facebook, Twitter and Instagram they were creating platforms for whiners and bullies, much less all the other ways the social media sites have been used in recent years. But as technology becomes more powerful and addictive, those platforms and the others that seem to pop up almost daily, become weapons used by the unscrupulous to attack.
When was the last time you scrolled through Facebook and saw only posts that made you smile? Interspersed among the cute kids, the happy vacations and celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries and honors, are the political rant posts and the whiners and complainers posting about everything from the sky is blue to it’s raining.
That doesn’t include the negative comments about the positive things on social media. Those same whiners, complainers and conspiracy theorists can find something wrong with everything. I’m convinced they could find something negative in their own good fortune.
I know people who have blocked people, disabled their own social media accounts or taken a break from the digital world. Unfortunately, in today’s world we are all connected digitally. We pay our bills online, use our smartphones to order and track packages, and to send emails, text messages and photos. Did you know that even Costco is going all digital? You will no longer need your Costco card, just the app on your smartphone to enter the store and check out at the register.
So instead of disconnecting, how about learning to play nice. Turn your frown upside down, like your mama used to tell you. Think before you post, and remember if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
I’m not saying we should all agree with everything, nor should never voice an opposing viewpoint. Just use ethical judgement, and common sense when voicing your opinion. It could come back to bite you.