First lets look at the negatives
We all hear the negatives of social media whether its potential hacking and scams or addiction and over use of screen time to possible health and insecurity issues.
We are constantly hearing about how bad social media is for us and how it is killing the art of communication.
However, what about the positive aspects of social media?
The sharing of information has to be a good thing as we are more connected with the outside world and plights of others than we ever were before and that information is instant the minute it happens as oppose to waiting days to hear about it. It also creates awareness of new technology and businesses as well as endless possibilities and opportunities.
Then we come to the art of communication and how its apparently killing how humans interact with each other. While I get this, I think it’s also important to point out just how it also helps to build communities with like minded people that have the same interests as yourself. It gives us the ability to discuss issues and beliefs with a wider audience, which surely has to be a good thing. We are also able to communicate with people sometimes quicker than we ever did before.
Social Media also keeps communication live with those that may be miles away and even overseas. The way in which we can all keep up to date with children, friends and grandchildren now is beyond anything that was around 15 years ago.
I experienced this myself recently late last year when I had to head back to the UK for my mother who was coming to the end of a 6-year battle with cancer. While I headed over the rest of the family stayed behind until they needed to come over. While I was there, I was able to keep in touch with everyone back here in NZ and keep up to date with everything that was going on, while also being able to keep up with work (despite the time difference).
When the inevitable happened and the funeral was organised back in my home town there was an obvious need to make people aware of the date and time as well as informing everyone of what had happened. The quickest and easiest way to do this was through social media. The ability to reach a large number of people in a short space of time was amazing as oppose to going through address books and scribbled down phone numbers. The posts were able to be shared as well giving people the opportunity to comment and come together and share their stories and condolences.
As I was heading to my home town for this and the wake was to be held in my old local pub it seemed only right to kill two birds with one stone and to get in touch with old friends and catch up while I was there. The best way to again get in touch with a large number of people in a short space of time and organise a get together had to be social media. The result was a great day of saying goodbye, stories, catch ups and obviously a few beers to top it off.
Lets keep it positive
So, in short, we hear the negatives, but do we look at and talk about the positives enough? Let’s be honest we all get an emotional kick out of the feel-good stories and videos that we see on a daily basis on our screens and we wouldn’t see them or know about a number of worldwide initiatives unless they were shown to us on our phones, tablets or desktop.
It’s not about the effect of social media, but about educating people and our children about how to use it, how to get a balance and how to use it responsibly. Social media is just another evolution in our technological journey the same as the TV and the Radio, so embrace it, use it, enjoy it and share and embrace the positives.
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