Social Media – Love it! Hate it!

I am of mixed minds about social media. I love it – I depend on it – I communicate through it. I hate it when it takes people away from me but love it when it brings people closer. I hate it when someone is more engrossed in their phone than the people in the room.  I got hooked on the power of online information before there was an Internet and the Worldwide Web opened hundreds of doors for me.  As a child, the library was my refuge.  Today, the Internet brings a world of information to us with the touch of a few keys.  But how does it affect our lives and our relationships?  Different people have different views. I fully understand those that love social media networks like Facebook, I must admit, I love Facebook.  Yes, there are those that “post to impress” and dominate the feeds with countless selfies – and there are those that do not share my views.  I actually like them all.  I scan through each day in the morning and evening, I learn new things, I hear about life events that are important to people that are important to me.  I am often appalled by how boring my life is in comparison to the lives of my Facebook friends. Facebook started as a social network for students, now it is a way for friends and  family members to communicate, old friends to reconnect, new friends to meet, and so very much more.  I admit, I like it.  I don’t live for it, though.  I don’t live for any of the social networks.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube; they are all additional means of communication.  They are not the be-all and end-all.  They are not my life.  They are part of my life, like reading the newspaper or opening the mail, or yes, sometimes like having a chat with a friend.  It’s easy to obsess, easy to get caught up in dramas in personal life and in the world of the Internet.

Just as we all decide on our levels of commitment and engagement in our business and personal lives, we can decide on where we want to be in the digital world.  Balance is key.  It is one of the keys to success and happiness in life.  I don’t Facebook about everything I do or feel, but if someone else wants to do that and it fulfills a need for them, the more power to them. Privacy is an issue – with so much available on the web,  data privacy has become one of the hottest issues today.  There are days I hate Facebook and smartphones,  days when I long for a simpler time, not bound by digital chains.  But overall, the good outweighs the bad, particularly when you remember that we all make our own choices.

The beauty of social media is that you can choose to write what you want to write, read what you want to read and accept or deny feelings that you have. I was conflicted when I watched the videos I have included here – I agreed with Look Up! – He was right on spot.  Then I watched Look Down! – I agreed with him – he was also right on spot. Occasionally, a viral video appears that gives us food for thought.  If I had time or talent, I would create another video entitled Look All Around , which is what we should all be doing anyhow.

Look Up!

The other is called Look Down