I have a love hate relationship with social media. Coming from a blogger this sentence is pretty puzzling but in all honesty, sometimes I do wonder what life would be like without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even Pinterest. It seems like everyday a new application is coming out for my iPhone, and since I am not technologically savvy I don’t feel that I can keep up! I find it hard enough to use my cellphone let alone Vine. I definitely know that I haven’t figured out proper privacy settings on Facebook which is just a little bit concerning.
What I love about technology is that it allows for easy communication. I am able to chat in real time with friends who are cities or countries away. I can feel apart of a friend’s life by watching the videos they have recorded or pictures they have uploaded. Pinterest is virtually a free cookbook. By reading other blogs, ideas about nutrition, crafts, fitness, travel and photography are sparked. Typing an e-mail saves ink, stamps and time compared to writing a letter out by hand and sending it through a post office. There’s no denying that social media is convenient and can be more affordable.
The downside of technology is that I miss out on in person, face to face conversations. Even I fall culprit to hitting “Like” or “Retweet” without stopping to articulate why a photo or quote makes me happy and is worth sharing. While I don’t believe I ignore nearby friends for technology, I’ve witnessed (too often) groups of individuals sitting together in silence because they are all glued to the screens of their cell phones. Sure Candy Crush is entertaining but reading a book would be more educational, wouldn’t you agree? There is no doubt that social media is a distraction from school work, house work and even driving. There is a time and place for everything and when you are walking across a street it probably isn’t necessary to be texting your friend!
I recently read that 82% of Pinterest’s traffic comes from women. This doesn’t surprise me as these females curate unrealistic fantasies. Don’t get me wrong, I have been on Pinterest a lot these past few weeks. For me it would be basically impossible to purchase everything that I want or to create every recipe that I have pinned. It is without a doubt that social media can turn into social comparison. Many professionals believe obsessive tendencies are triggered from social media. Caitlin wrote a great post about “Insta-Media Literacy“. In summary she noted that you have to take Instagram pictures as grains of salt because you have very little information as to what happened before, after or even as the photo was being captured. It’s inaccurate to judge someone’s lifestyle on one photograph especially since they are often staged. Does anyone else find that photographs are being taken and tagged in such a way that could be viewed as a subtle way to ask for validation or compliments?
In all, there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Life moves at a faster pace and can be more organized with social media however our ancestors managed to live fulfilling lives as well without technology. If you can achieve a balance so that your self-worth isn’t being determined by how many followers or likes you you’ve received, then there is no reason to avoid all technology. Social-media is extremely useful and I don’t plan on giving it up anytime soon. I enjoy being able to communicate with other bloggers and I use Facebook as a means to reconnect with childhood friends. There is no doubt that Pinterest is perfect for finding creative projects and Twitter can be a fun way to see what individuals are up to. I try not to be dependent on text messaging as I know abbreviations are not great for my vocabulary or grammar, but I am not perfect by any means. Thankfully I believe I have the social skills to carry out a five minute phone conversation with the receiptionist but I am surprised that Doctor’s offices don’t accept text messages for appointment cancellations since I know a lot of people fear making phone calls. I do strive to create a balance and am not addicted to my smart phone like some.
So where is this all coming from? I guess it’s a combination of the fact that social media is starting to dominate my life and that I too am falling into the traps of not feeling good enough. It’s easy to interpret a text message the wrong way but in a face to face conversation you are aware of the true meaning behind words.
There is a quote by Albert Einstein that goes: “I fear the day when technology overlaps with our humanity” to which many added in “The world will be full of idiots”. While today’s society is still developing interpersonal and social skills, I hate to wonder why lies in the future of younger generations. I’m only touching the surface of the issues behind technology, but what is your opinion on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest? Do you find that the benefits overpower the negative side effects of social media? Will self-confidence be further reduced or will cyber-bullying become a larger issue? How many new blogs will continue to be founded? ♥ Molly
“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Philip K. Dick