It’s been some years since I entered the land of social media. It is its own entity. It should have its own zip code. Maybe even its own country code. I initially (and hesitantly) entered this new place, just to monitor my kids … and to see what all of the hype was about. I gradually got sucked into the vortex of “likes”, “shares”, “RT’s”, “thumbs up”, “<hearts>”, etc. I also realized it was a place where I could network with others; where I could keep in touch with the goings on friends and family who live far away; where I could grow my business; where I could have an outlet to express myself artistically; and where I could share from my heart things that are important to me… as well as share posts just for entertainment value.
There are times when I honestly have loved and hated social media. Sometimes my newsfeed looks more like a bad infomercial, or the latest edition of the National Enquirer, than a “news” feed. On the personal side, I’m embarrassed that I have, from time to time, gotten sucked into liking the “likes” (or equivalent) and have become very discouraged at times when I did not receive many. I began to equate these “likes” with some sort of approval, or self-worth. Foolishness, I know. To re-center myself I have found that talking to my REAL friends has been of immeasurable value.
What do I mean by REAL friends? We all know that if you’re on social media for any length of time, you have what I’ll call “social media friends”. These are people with whom you don’t really have a real-life relationship. They are merely online contacts. I’m talking about friends I interact with on a regular basis, and even more so, friends who are in my close-knit circle with whom I’ve built and established trusted relationships.
By concentrating more on my real life relationships, I am able to put social media life into its proper perspective. None of it really so very important. Understandably if you’re an entertainer or promoter and rely heavily on social media metrics for your livelihood and future opportunities, then, yes, I can see it holding more importance. But, if you’re the ‘average Joe’ and social media is just one of your hobbies or something you engage in for fun, then it shouldn’t hold such a high place in your life (in my opinion).
Like anything else, it has its good and bad points. For kids/teens/young adults it’s a primary form of communication and of relating to the world. But, we’ve also seen its destructive side, and we need to keep it in balance.
©2017 Kay Dee Speaks, “”Likes” Aren’t Real Life”