As part of the 30 Day Writing Challenge…
Social Media can be a great thing – you can keep in contact with friends from across the globe with merely a click or a scroll down your screen, you can stalk your favorite celebrities (or authors) without being all creepy-like. Well, hopefully anyway. And you can keep up on trends and news to a limited extent.
As with any great tool, it can also cause problems. So here are what I consider the top five problems with social media.
1. You can keep in contact with friends and family from across the globe.
Yes. I know I just mentioned that in the positives above, but there’s a flip side. Becoming Facebook friends or following your Aunt Mildred might seem like a fun way to chat with her about her knitting or recipes but you could learn a little too much. Did you really want to find out that Aunt Mildred reads erotica aloud to her fifteen cats and stalks some of the same romance authors that you do?
Sometimes you learn way more about people than you really want to. Trust me on this one.
2. You can talk to your favorite authors and celebrities.
This is probably one of my favorite things about social media, but it also has the potential to be a problem. Sure it’s great to read about their new releases and get access to teasers before the rest of the world. It’s exciting when they ‘like’ your comment or – even better – respond.
But authors and celebrities are people too. And people can be awesome…. but they can also suck and be jerks. Finding out your favorite author is a misogynistic asshat is not only disappointing but could tarnish them – and their work – in your eyes forever. Is it worth it?
3. Sometimes you spend so much time with people on social media, you forget that there are real people around you.
I’m sure you’ve been there. We all know that person, or maybe we’ve been them. You know, the one who’s always checking their constantly chiming phone or scrolling through Facebook while you are trying to engage them in conversation.
Sometimes we get so involved in what’s going on out there (How many videos of cats fitting into boxes can you watch? Seriously), that we forget that there’s a whole world worth interacting with all around us.
4. We get too used to instant gratification and our words have lost some of their value.
Do you remember when you actually had to wait hours, sometimes days for someone to return a message? You know, the dark ages back when each email was $0.25 and dial-up was king? No.
You had to wait. It was torture. You had to think about what you were going to say because words were a bit more valuable. Now we don’t think as much before we type. Words once spoken – or typed into the interwebs – cannot be taken back. They are forever. Even if you argued in a private message – it’s not private. One screenshot and your hastily scrawled bitchfest will be fodder for the masses.
5. You can let people into your life that shouldn’t be there.
Creepers. Penis pic droppers. I’m sure you’ve seen your share. I’m not that prolific a writer and although I’m active on social media, it’s to a limited degree. Even I get creepers. You know who they are. That random friend request with no mutual friends. The surprise penis picture in your messages.
Yuck! Who does that? Creepers. They’re out there. There everywhere. It’s a good time to follow your mama’s advice – don’t talk to strangers. And especially don’t open attachments. That penis pic could be packing more than just STIs.
There are good and bad things about social media, it’s all in how you use it. Would I give it up? No. As a writer, I get ideas from the very things that are problematic about it. Drama, too much information about Aunt Mildred, your latest rant, a celeb’s controversy, news stories… it’s all potential material to spark a story.
So, I’ve given you mine. What are some of your problems with social media?