Social Media – Not Always Friendly


 

I used to love social media (not Facebook, which I came to  pretty late and was bored very quickly). I find WhatsApp immensely useful for talking to friends/ family, but I’ve fallen out of love with Twitter.

Initially I joined Twitter to promote my writing, but quite quickly got involved with many colourful and apparently friendly people with whom I could converse  – either on the open forum or more privately using direct message. It seemed a great way to befriend people.

Read someone’s ‘thumbnail’ sketch on their Twitter profile seemed like reading the blurb of a book before deciding to dive in. But … let’s slow down here.

Be aware people can write whatever they like on their profiles. They can make themselves younger/older, a different gender, basically they can curate themselves into whatever persona it suits them to appear to have. Tread with a little caution. 

I no longer assume that people will show, by their interactions with other Twitter folk, their true colours. Just as in real life, people can be two-faced or have an agenda. For some their agenda would be to raise their profile, promote their books, their blog, their podcast, increase their followers. Warning: social media also assists those wanting to tear others down to improve their successes.

We are advised not to take what we hear in the news or read in the papers at face value, so apply this to conversations on Twitter, maybe more so. Any message can spread very fast: good or bad, true or false. Without seeing the entire conversation, the context can be misconstrued (this is particularly true of sub-tweets). Please establish the facts for yourself before taking an opinion on board or passing it on to others.

Staying in the herd can seem a safe place, stepping away from people about whom you ‘hear’ rumours, but consider what it feels like in their shoes. Can you remember at school, not bullying someone, but standing back and doing nothing while someone’s the focus of unpleasant attention? Would such inaction make you feel hot with shame if you were there in person?

I’m not against people having their say, but I’ll quote Kilted Wookie whose blog I visit “users sometimes forget that when they embark on one of their keyboard crusades, they are actually dealing with real people with real emotions and real feelings, not just a faceless entity sat at another screen.” Go gently and with care and caution, even if with the full ‘social media’ picture we cannot know what is going on behind the scenes, in the real lives of the participants. We haven’t walked in their shoes, tolerance is always necessary.

 

We are human, we will make mistakes. from which we desire to move forward. I offer genuine apologies for any hurt caused, while endeavouring to adjust my attitudes, educating myself whenever a gap is identified.

 

Social Media – use with caution.

 

This post is linked up to #WickedWednesday for the prompt Social Media.

14 thoughts on “Social Media – Not Always Friendly”

  1. The rules in Social Media world are really the same as face to face world. If you want to be successful and find true friends you have to be kind, honest and have integrity.

  2. Yep – I am with the comments here – Respect and also to tread on freedom of speech, at what ever level or for whatever reason is intolerable. To make another group feel afraid to talk about what they choose to talk about is also intolerable.
    May x

  3. I agree with the others here. I’m not sure what happened, but in the short time I’ve known you, I’ve always found you to be an exceptional person. Someone who would help someone else, and for no other reason, than wanting them to succeed. Yours is a kind soul, and that says something. That says a lot. I don’t believe in tearing others down, at any cost. It’s childish and immature. Stay your wicked self Posy.

  4. Such good advice Posy and I am sorry that you were hurt yourself. It has all left a bitter taste for me and means that it is not a medium I really spend much time with now. 😊

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