In the age-old debate of whether social media is good or bad, I have decided to share my thoughts on the matter. *List out pros and cons that we have read/heard about multiple times* In my opinion, social media can be either good or bad, both, or neither. I think it boils down to how and for what reason(s) people are using social media. Knowing what you want to get out of your social media use is crucial. The reason(s) doesn’t have to be something overly deep, it could simply be to have fun and talk with people. As long as you are aware of why you are using it. People’s intentions can make social media a safe and fun space to be in or the exact opposite. The quote “the energy you put out is the energy you receive,” speaks to what I am trying to say. If you go on social media for drama well that is what you are going to get. If you go on for more positive reasons chances are that is what you will attract, unless you have a large following of a bunch of trolls who do nothing but post negative comments all day. Sidenote: I have heard that said a hundred times by different people, so I do not know who originally came up with quote. If anyone knows, people tell me, thanks.
Managing your time on social media and the content you are exposing yourself to is important too. Spending a lot of time on social media is not necessarily bad for some people, it depends on what exactly are they tuning into and what they are doing on it. Wasting hours on social media instead being productive could be an issue but it is possible to be on social media and be productive. Being productive does not only need to look like prompting your business, it could be sharing funny videos and memes to brighten your day and other people’s days. It could also be interacting with friends and family. My definition of being productive is doing something that will bring a positive and/or necessary result, so it does not have to be only work related. The time you spend on social media doesn’t have to impact your social skills or your intellect. There plenty of people who spend a bunch of time on social media and still have great social skills in person. They found a balance between social media and engaging in the real world that works for them. Some people believe the less time you spend on social media, the smarter you are. That’s not true because you could all of your time in the real world with a rotting brain. Social media can be used as a vessel to expand your intellect, just keep in mind that some things that you see on social media is not completely accurate. Do your own background research.
It is also vital to pay attention to the way that you are feeling while on social media. For example, constantly seeing people “live a better life than yours” can leave you feeling ashamed and unfulfilled in life. Or seeing a bunch of post around the holidays can be rough if you have family issues and/or a trauma related to any of those holidays. Even though it wasn’t people’s intention to make you upset, it still made you upset. These feelings can lead to you making comparisons between yourself and others that are not fully accurate. To a certain extent you have some control over what you see on social media such as who you are following, the content you are exposing yourself to, etc. but you can’t control what everyone post all of the time. So being mindful of the course of your feelings while on social media can be a helpful signal to get off and do something else for a while. It can also help you figure out the type of content you want to see more or less of and who you may need to unfollow or follow. I used to watch a lot of vlogs on YouTube because I liked seeing what other people were doing with their lives. Since these were well established full time youtubers they had the time and money to go on trips, do a bunch of shopping, and buy/rent nice places to live. At first, I was amazed and excited to watch their videos but over time I found myself feeling worse about my life and jealous about their lives after watching a vlog. I started comparing my life to their vlogs and felt like my life was horrible while they were living it up. Even though I kept reminding myself that these vlogs are only show a portion of their lives I still felt like my life was inadequate. After a while I stopped watching those vlogs as a part of a break and started watching vlogs where people are just living regular lives while doing everyday things. Now I feel a whole lot better about my life. Once in a while I will watch vlogs similar to the ones I watched before to get a glimpse of other people’s experiences but I’m careful not to overly indulge in them.
Social media can be a wild jungle sometimes and other times it can a fun place. Figuring out your intention(s) and what works for you, can help to make it more manageable and enjoyable. Even though you can’t control every aspect of social media, you could create some boundaries for how you use social media and the reasons behind your use. Granted all of this could take some time to figure out and navigate, so take your time. In my next blog post, I will discuss some of my intentions for being on social media.
Time to Focus on You:
How do you feel while on social media? Have your views on social media changed throughout the years, like when you first starting use it and now?
Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash