Straight up, I believe that most people have not used social media for the best possible outcomes. Almost from the beginning, I’ve seen social media as a variety of platforms with unlimited potential for generating good in the world. Most often though, I see it used for everything from displaying sophomoric hijinks, to the spewing of negative vitriol without any thought of who it might land on.
Social media has become a playground for the thoughtless, and a breeding ground for the continuation of bad ideas. It’s like we’re using the door handle of Maserati to pry the cap off a bottle of beer, just before we spill half of it down our chin as we guzzle it in an attempt to impress the girl across the room.
And for all of those who use social media to throw feces against the wall, day in and day out, I wonder how many realize that the walls they’ve been throwing it against are mostly their own…
I’ve thrown my share of feces too, and I admit that, especially early on. For for the last couple of years though, I’ve worked hard to let my social media experience be a positive one more often than not, and one that lends itself toward good will among my friends, if not my species.
One year ago tomorrow, I made the decision to post some form of original thought, usually a positive one, accompanied by an original photograph on Facebook every day for one year. In the year since I made that commitment, I have fallen short just 11 times.
When I say ‘original thought’, I don’t necessarily mean that I’m the first person to conceive the idea. I’ve just taken whatever’s been on my mind at a given moment, and applied my own twist to it each time I sat down to write. And honestly, I wish more people did that – – I wish more people would work harder to make social media more original, if not more positive.
Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the idea of sharing music, comedy, in-depth articles that provoke thought, and most forms of art, and intelligent discussions that I would not otherwise come across or participate in. On occasion, I even appreciate some sophomoric hijinks, though I try to keep that minimal. However, posting the same regurgitated thoughts, the same tired news stories from the same worn out and unreliable sources, and the same moronic vitriol day after day after day has grown tiresome.
BREAKING: If it’s breaking news, I’m going to find it on my own. I don’t need to read it on Facebook, accompanied by photoshopped picture of Hitler molesting the Statue of Liberty…!
Now that I have completed my year of original thought, I’m going to (attempt to) change the way that I use social media, at least to some degree. I won’t be deleting my Facebook account, or taking a social media break like so many of my friends seem to be doing these days.
The reality for me is that social media, in one form or another, is here to stay. I accept that. Facebook and other platforms may go away, but something will evolve to take their place, and the path of increasingly complex inter-communication between Homo sapiens will continue. It’s an upward and ongoing path.
I still see value, and a tremendous upside to social media if we all use it intelligently, and I guess that’s my point. I’m going to refine how I use it even more, and strive to further improve my use of it, as I have improved other interests in my life. I may use it less, and will likely be more selective with my interactions.
I will also take this opportunity to suggest to anyone reading this, to take a good look at your social media habits and behaviors, and consider what it is you wish to get out of them. Ask yourself, what am I really trying to accomplish, and what good is it going to generate in the world beyond my own head…? And be honest with yourself…
I really think that should be our goal — to use all social media platforms as small ways each of us can improve our communities and our species, one connection at a time. I just think that’s a good way to be… Jhciacb
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