Saturday, 31 May 2014

Social Media

I’ve written about both the positive and negative sides of social media before, here and here. Just like everything, there are good and bad sides to it. For me, overall, my experiences on various Social Media networks have been positive. I’ve met so many great people who I otherwise wouldn’t have met, plus have managed to keep in touch with people from my past and regain contact with others which may otherwise never have happened. There have been days when I haven’t been able to go out, so that little bit of contact can be all that’s needed to keep me going. A little smile, a little hello. Both new friends and old, whether I’ve ever known them in person or not, are just one click away.

Of course, the other thing about Social Media is that, without it, I wouldn’t be able to share this wonderful blog here! :) Now what would you all do without it?!

Yet recently I’ve learnt about its dark side. Now we’ve all heard about bullies that use Social Media to be able to plague their victims from a distance, yet to see evidence of such actions for yourself is something else. Luckily I have personally only ever had minor niggles show up, the odd person who’s decided to take advantage of my Facebook inbox in order to be shouty where they wouldn’t be brave enough to do so in person. On Facebook you’re mostly protected (despite how much I don’t trust them!), as long as you have your security settings programmed in correctly. Twitter, on the other hand, is an open field where mud can be flung and spread at an alarming rate. The rate at which the dung and filth spreads is quicker and more efficient than any farmer’s muck spreader, but without the positives of goodly nutrients going into the earth. People have filth and poison pushed into their open, hungry mouths just so they can go and spout it out somewhere else, or even back at the victim themselves.

Having been a victim of bullying in the past, in person, naturally it’s one of the things I can’t abide. Any decent, self-respecting person would find it abhorrent. Yet, there it is, just a click away, another wannabe thug digging into someone they wouldn’t have the guts to confront in person.

So there, unfortunately, lies the biggest downside of Social Media. The one thing that can be good for us, being able to speak to people at a distance when we are otherwise unable to go out into the world, is the exact same thing that bullies use to spread their filth. I have no time for those sorts of people.

Yet, as I have said, luckily I have mostly only had positive experiences, met some great people who have literally changed my life. So, despite all its negative sides, I am still a big advocate of the use of Social Media sites. Yet, at the same time, we all need to be vigilant and careful. If someone has nasty things to say about someone, make sure you know the full story before jumping on the bandwagon. Better still, stay away.

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