I love social media. I am somewhat of a late comer to the game in the fact that I was old enough to have a Myspace page back in the early part of the century and didn’t because I was raising two small children and didn’t have time to waste on the internet. One of them was probably trying to stab my couch with a samurai sword while the other was teaching the dog to search and rescue all her favorite toys. I had a Myspace page for about a minute and a half before I was over that. I hopped back on board the social media trend about year two of Facebook leaving the college campus and stayed happily there for most of my children’s lives. I have been on twitter since you could star bang an account (that’s similar to like stalking a FB or IG account) and the majority of users were snarky mid to late 20s who wanted a place to vent. This was well before the president ruined it. Finally I joined Instagram in 2014 and Snapchat in 2015…maybe. The last three years of college have sort of run together. Since I adopted Instagram I have become more involved in different types of social media. This might have something to do with the fact that I have a hyper social preteen girl with friends all over the country with a strong desire to use time shifted communication. She uses it, I use it. I want to make sure she is safe.
I love the creativity and dichotomy of social media. I use it all the time, except Facebook. I hate Facebook. The election ruined it for me. It has become this unsafe angry place that I am not interested in vesting my time on. I barely use Facebook. The app is on my phone but i mostly only use it to visit the marketplace to shop for second hand items and see what crazy news the people I follow are pitching now. I have not always been the kindest on Facebook and realized that it brought out the worse in me, so I stepped away from it. I don’t need to go on it much to keep my family in the loop about what is going on with us. I can post pictures on Insta and they post on FB, and I can use Twitter for status updates in a similar way. It allows my family to participate in our lives without me having to read their latest post about how Obama isn’t an American citizen and Trump is going to save us all. Its a little too painful to read.
Social media has a variety of effects on my relationships. I use Twitter and LinkedIn as networking tools that are always at my fingertips. I utilize the story feature of Instagram to take notes in my classes. This has made my relationships with the people I want to work with much better. It has also made my ‘relationship’ with my TBI better because I have found a way to visually take notes that is quick. Other than that it has mostly distanced me from my family. Facebook is a time suck. You go on to get the notifications to clear on your phone and 45 mins later you hate most of the people you have to have Christmas dinner with and want to take over the world to force people to see the world logically…logically being my way. This is a horrible way to live. I could spend 20 minutes posting filtered selfies on Snapchat with my daughter and walk away laughing smiling and thinking how lucky I am to be her mom. I would rather do that.
Social Media can be a great tool for bringing folks together but it can also be divisive. We saw that in the last election. I think in order to keep social media from being a divide in our relationships we must hold each other accountable.