Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day Fourteen: Thankful for Social Media....Sometimes


My goodness, I just can't believe we're already two weeks in to November.  It seems like time has been flying by so fast!  Another week closer to Thanksgiving, another week closer to Christmas.  

Today, I'm thankful for something that I kinda have a love/hate relationship with.  Thankful for something that can bring me a lot of happiness, while bringing me a lot of anger and pain.  Which is kinda weird.

But, today I'm thankful for social media.  

Mostly Facebook and Instagram, although I have dabbled around with Twitter that I use for my other blog...and have had some great moments thanks to having it.

I think it's kind of funny that had this been ten years ago, there wouldn't be an Instagram logo or Twitter logo up in that frame.  It would have Yahoo Messenger and MySpace logos instead.  Does anyone even use them anymore?  I know that MySpace is still around, but it's definitely NOT the same thing that I used a decade ago.

Yeah, I've had my shares of ups and downs when it comes to the likes of Facebook, but at the end of the day I can't help but be sucked in to the fact that I'm just a click away from catching up with old friends, seeing what family members are up to in England, and sharing my extremely exciting life with people I don't and haven't talked to since high school, family I haven't seen in years, and people I have made minor acquaintances with over the years.

The sad truth is, my social media outlets provide me a way of feeling sociable, without really being sociable.  I get to interact with people.  I get to laugh and cry with people.  I get to make my presence known with a simple "Like" without actually having to say anything.

And, who doesn't love getting the chance to feel like a stalker from the comfort of their own home?

I spend WAY too much time perusing the Facebook feed finding out what people have had for dinner, what they're watching on TV, reading the cute little memes that overload the stream, and wishing people Happy Birthday even though I would have had no idea it was their birthday if it wasn't for Facebook.

Yes...the positives are there for making my life a little bit happier.

Even though I have about 350 "friends" on Facebook, the majority of the people that appear on my feed are people I haven't spoken to in YEARS, haven't seen in YEARS, or have never met... but are somehow connected to me by family.  I find it kinda humorous the amount of people I get to keep up with like the Kardashians are the people I don't or haven't spoken to in so long....and probably wouldn't if it wasn't for Facebook.  It's entertaining, in a weird sort of way.  Like living in a weird high school or family reunion each and every day.

There are also some situations I could definitely do without when it comes to Facebook.  

I understand that Facebook is an outlet for sharing feelings and thoughts, yet there are some that I wish people would keep to themselves.  I just get so sad when I read slamming remarks and negative feelings about how another person feels....that bashes beliefs or political views or personal decisions.

I guess the most apparent situations that come to mind are stuff like the Presidential election, the whole Chick-Fil-A situation, and the slamming of an entire religious group or cultural family because of the actions of an individual or small group of individuals.  

I get that people have opinions, and Facebook is a great place to share opinions on current events.  I just don't like it when a person states an opinion that's not agreed with, and nasty, hateful slurs are thrown their way.  I've watched news companies post enticing questions that are designed to start quarrels and bickering for pure entertainment value, and that makes me sad and mad.

During those situations, I tend to shy away.  I won't get involved.  I just sit behind my computer, shaking my head, and wondering how so many people can jump on a bandwagon that supports belittling and degrading comments towards others.  

Don't support the President?  Fair enough... but why call those that do nasty names or blame them for problems with our country that they have absolutely NO control over.  Or, throw them in to a stereotype about their way of life without knowing who they are or what their life is about?  The absolute same can be said for those that don't support the President.

Do or don't support Gay marriage?  OK.  Either way works for me, as long as there's some justifiable reason for feeling that way.  Even if there's not, actually.  Everyone has a right to their own opinion.  Yet, there's no reason to attack religious beliefs, blame them for all the wrong in the world, or make personal attacks about their parenting skills or the way they were raised.

Think that there's major problems with our current welfare system?  There absolutely IS!  But, don't accuse or blame those that receive welfare as all being corrupt, drug using, money wasting leeches.  I absolutely believe that there are people out there that abuse the system, yet as a person that was once dependent on that "system", it broke my heart to hear people belittle and judge people that receive any form of assistance as being worthless or irresponsible or not worthy of having children if they didn't have the money to support them.

I just sometimes feel that people don't often think about the comments they make before posting them.  

But, regardless of any of that negative stuff, my social media has brought me a lot of joy over the years.  I have been able to talk to family members that are thousands of miles away, in a different country, without having to spend a fortune on a phone bill.  I've been able to join in the celebrations of new babies, birthdays, holidays, and vacations.  I've been able to laugh at jokes.  I've been able to see what life is like for people that I only ever see in a professional environment.  I've been able to share my own celebrations, frustrations, and random thoughts that pass through my head.  

At the end of the day, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter have given me a way to connect.  To stay connected.  To build connections. To interact.  

And, today, that's what I am thankful for.


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