THE DISADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I have been wanting to write this post since I started this blog, and something recently happened that made me angry, upset and even more passionate about the topic. It truly made me understand the disadvantage of social media, and the negativity that can come from such a broad platform.
So as I’m sure you probably already know, social media is something that almost 2.1 billion people around the world are apart of. The average person checks their social media accounts around 17 times per day and browses the platforms for around 2 hours. But what’s really alarming, is that the average teenager spends 9 hours per day on the internet. It is an incredibly huge part of today’s society and sadly it is doing a lot more harm than it should.
This week was very difficult for myself and my family, due to an incident occurring involving one of our pets – which I’m of course not going to go into too much detail about to simply avoid the storm from once again spiralling out of control.
The following days after the event were filled with twisted articles in the local newspaper, Facebook posts about the episode, and heartless, insensitive comments from people who had absolutely no idea about the issue. I was kicked in the face when I was already down, I was told things that I already believed and I had my heart even more hurt than it already was. Majority of the posts were taken down, although there are still some ignorant people that refuse to remove their comments or come to some sort of an agreement.
What really bothers me, is the complete and utter disrespect people throw around when they are hidden behind a screen. Social media has turned into something that people use as a method to express their feelings, educate the public and talk about relevant topics (and sometimes not so relevant).
Small videos can turn into global sensations in a matter of minutes, posts can go to the other side of the world with the click of a button and people can communicate with each other from the other side of the globe. We are all apart of it, it is an amazing thing. But it can be so damn damaging when used in the wrong way.
People are bullied, people are preyed on and people are spoken about in awful and malicious ways. Trolls get protection from a screen and have the opportunity to write whatever they desire without it being a real problem for them. They can be as self-righteous, demonizing, hypocritical and complacent as they please. Other people’s feelings are never put into the picture; which is something that hurts far more than it helps.
When you’re on the other side, you ignore the positive and solely focus on the negative, and that’s exactly what I did. It is human nature; we want to know what people are saying and we want to fight for the people that are hurting.
What I noticed from this incident, was the age of the compassionless people writing their completely heartless comments. These people were more than twice my age; majority with children and a family. What great role models, right?
This is why children grow up to become a bully, a troll and an unkind, insensitive person. Think about your actions before you make comments, think about the impact on your children and the impact on the person you are writing about, because I can tell you, it doesn’t feel good.
Today’s society is so dependant on media. Including my life and this blog… Travel for Difference would not do as well as it has if it weren’t for social platforms. The disadvantage of social media is that everything that the world thinks is “important” is thrown in our face through one way or another, and in a matter of minutes. More and more around the globe are on the internet, and there are more and more people who think their voice is more superior than yours.
You may think I’m a hypocrite considering a lot of my life is now dependant on social media, and yes I do spend a lot of time on it… But my blog and I are here to show you that education does not have to be negative or hurtful by any means.
Your opinion does not need to be a personal attack and it certainly does not need to upset anyone in any way. If it does, you and I are clearly doing something wrong. There is no need to be a bully, an insensitive troll or a downright terrible person. There is never an excuse to be hurtful to someone, especially when they are already hurting.
So before you write anything on the internet, stop and ask yourself…
Would I say this to someone’s face?
Would I want someone to say this to my family?
Would I say this to someone that is half my age?
If your answer is no… I encourage you to question your intentions.
I am so proud of all the people who are kind and empowering to others on the internet. It should be a place to express your views in a way that helps others, to share your story and to keep in touch with people you physically can’t see. It is such an amazing part of today’s society, so let’s make it positive!
Encourage others to be kind, to be a good person and to show their children, their families and friends that being a role model is accepting when you’re wrong, when you’ve hurt and when you know it’s time to stop.
You do have the right to say what you please and your opinion certainly is valid – Freedom of speech right?
But there is a time and place for everything, and upsetting someone through your words is not achieving a thing. If someone is demonizing you, attacking you or upsetting you… They are not worth your time, your emotions or your words. Be the bigger person and show social media how it should be done.
[ READ NEXT: How to be Sustainable in the World’s Most Visited Cities ]