It is true that we love to stay connected via social media. It helps us to keep in touch with friends and family that we don't see every day. We can share ideas that are iportant to us, things we feel passionate about and even have fun along the way. With all of its wonderful attributes there are five things that really grind my gears about social media.
1. The Organization A versus Organization B Mentality
Social media seems to be a breeding ground for people posting why their organization is so much better than the one you support. I am an avid volunteer and contribute to several organizations both locally and nationally. These days if you are supporting an organization and post something positive about it people feel that gives the open door to bad mouth your affiliation. They then go on and state the numerous reasons you suck for feeling the way you do.
People have numerous reasons why they choose to support one organization over another. Sometimes it is very personal to them and can be tied to a loss of someone they loved. Do not bully someone into changing how they feel because you do not know why they came to that discovery.
Here’s an idea: Post all the information you want about how wonderful the organization you support is and why and allow others to decide for themselves. Leave it at that.
No really, stop it. There are several time zones that span the world, let alone our humble portion of it here in North America. It is rather annoying to have to go into social media lock down each evening to prevent finding out what happened on your favorite show. I know you are really excited to reveal that **** just killed **** on **** but I am three hours behind you in viewing it and would love to enjoy that feeling myself after indulging in 44 minutes of bliss at watching my favorite show.
It is not just individuals that are guilty of this egregious behavior. Celebrity and News websites seem to thoroughly enjoy ruining shows for those that have not had a chance to view it yet by placing the main event in the titles of their articles. In an age of streaming TV and DVRs, for all that is holy, please wait a bit longer before using the main event as the title of your recap.
3. Social Media Chain Letters
I am guilty of sharing these posts in times of weakness and if you are honest you probably have yourself. Do we all really think if we “share this post” that we can end world hunger, stop a crying baby in Taiwan, and earn a million dollars or any of the endless things we wish we could accomplish with just two clicks of a mouse? If it were that easy we would all be the next Bill Gates. I am all for putting out positive energy into the world but if you learn anything about social media all we are doing is helping the extended reach of that page in doing so. Disagree? That is okay, a plague will befall you and your family for not sharing this blog post so I still win. So there.
Here's a tip: Want to change the world? Volunteer and/or Donate.
4. Animal or Child Abuse Posts
I have said this numerous times but posting pictures of these types of abuse is more harmful than good. People that take photos or videos of themselves committing these acts get off on us all being appalled when we view them. Sharing them does nothing but fuel their compulsion especially if these posts go viral. Sometimes these posts are months even years old. The best course of action is to not click the links at all and report the site or post to the appropriate party.
Out of all five gear grinders, for me this is by far the most infuriating because we all know it boils down to people just not having anything better to do then to beat others down. You can post a picture of a cute puppy and people will post that the dog is a menace to society. You can change your status to feeling bad that abc happened and someone will tell you that xyz was so much worse.
Example: Football fan? Your team sucks and I don’t even know whom you support. I just hate it because I can and I have no problem telling you in every grammatically challenged way why I feel that way. If I get 20 people to like my rant then I win the internet.
With all these not so wonderful things why do I still manage to stay on this social media merry-go-round? In the end, I still find that the good far outweighs the bad. We can learn so much about what happens in the world, and engage with other viewpoints that we may not normally be privy to. It CAN be a great tool.
Just don’t post what happened on Doctor Who or Arrow this week and we’ll get along fine.