Love-Hate Social Media Relations

I have a love-hate relationship with the social media frenzy. The love comes from the instant connection I have with far-flung family members, long-lost friends, and new acquaintances — who would have remained strangers — from around the globe. As a writer, it is impossible to ignore the incredible access social media platforms give to such a broad scope of discussions, viewpoints, information, intelligence and creativity.

A couple decades ago, lengthy phone calls, trips to the library and limited online access were the protocol. Today, it’s easy to reference a range of professional news sources as well as people who are living the experiences we read about every day.

At times, it is surprising to continue reading the one-dimensional coverage obtained from mainstream media sources. It would be remarkable to see a move toward the inclusion of more perspective — from commentary readers contribute — on topical issues. Why not source more of these individuals in the articles they are discussing? The human element is what makes compelling stories and enables a greater understanding of our world.

As for the hate, I would point to the frustration I have with social media distraction. I am a social creature. Seeking out and building relations with other parents, fitness enthusiasts, writers, creative forces and style hunters is what makes my world go around. While I prefer personal social encounters, online forums give me the companionship I seek while writing or accomplishing other sedentary tasks.  Sometimes the distraction social media provides makes it challenging to stay on-task with must-do action items away from my desktop. Social media provide outlets for expression and accomplishment as well as for procrastination.

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4 thoughts on “Love-Hate Social Media Relations

  1. Social media is a total distraction! I would get so much done without it. On the contrary, I’d be pretty brain dead if I didn’t take advantage of it!

    • I love the access social media gives to such diverse groups of people I would never have the opportunity to know otherwise. It is more insightful for me to read commentary on articles circulating on line vs. reading the actual stories themselves.

  2. Michele says:

    I agree. I thoroughly enjoy the fact I can easily share photos with distant family members and the fact that I can connect to people I might otherwise never know. But the thing that scares me about all of the online technology is the personalization aspect–either by companies collecting data and so targeting their ads or literature to what they think you want–or by individuals “personalizing” their newsfeeds, etc. It struck me as terribly wrong-headed that you could personalize your Google news page to see only the stories you want to see. News is supposed to be facts, not editorial, so it shouldn’t be personalized, just presented. Or at least it seems that way. I think the technology could be used by some people in such a way that they never get exposed to anything that challenges a single thought or presents them with a new idea. That’s scary.

    • Michele – Thanks for reading. I enjoyed checking out your blog. It is wonderful to connect with parents who share similar joys, challenges and experiences. Your point about how social media takes away from objectivity in which news stories we select to read is not one I had considered previously and really has me thinking. I agree with you. News is support to be facts and should be presented that way. Objectivity is an element that has been missing from most major news sources for some time. People need to be encouraged to explore a range of viewpoints and ideas. Personalized news pages do have benefits. One is the ability to quickly access all news/information relevant to my professional, educational goals, writing, parenting challenges, health concerns, etc. If I want to read your parenting posts while ignoring the latest about Weinergate, I have the option to do so.

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