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Social Media: For Better or Worse?



Should you separate?



  About 8 years ago, I had a young client who told me she wanted to be a Red Carpet reporter. I asked her what steps was she taking and she replied, "I'm going to write letters to Ellen, and other talk show hosts and ask for a shot". I told her, " Letters are always good, but you younger generation kids are lucky, we had to make phone calls,  knock on doors and write letters. Now you can use social media to showcase your talents from right inside your house. How about creating a YouTube channel and doing mock interviews? Maybe you can gain a following".

  Fast forward 8 years, I don't know if the young lady achieved her dream, but YouTube is now one-of-many in a pool of advertising and promoting. One of my Facebook friends--who carried around a video recorder back in the day--doing what a lot of kids do now from their smart phones, was angry that so many people are becoming instant celebrities when he has been hustling for years but never had the right connections to "make it". Should we be mad at this generation or get on the band wagon? When in Rome...?

  Or has it become an overload of people forcing us to take a front row seat into their lives? 



picture courtesy of  MatthewHance.com
  But why do we continue to log in even though most of us end up frustrated when we log out? Even though we care less about the burger someone ordered or about the fungus that's growing on their big toe? The answer to these questions is why social media is a success! The majority of people need to feel connected to others. Some want to know if other people's lives are as good or bad as theirs. We want to see what people are wearing and what fabulous places they are going to.

  Today the world has been made a lot smaller with social media. We can see friends and strangers around the world, and also those who live right next door. Not only do we see pictures and videos, but we see them in real-time, it's as if we were on their honeymoon with them! I remember a time when people had to pull out the big photo album from under the coffee table, and show pictures from their vacation, and it was only to people who were privileged to be invited into their home. Now with 'copy and paste', your bikini picture may end up a meme on FB, seen by thousands.

  I personally have been on FB for 7 years, we have had our ups and downs. I connected with childhood friends I probably never would have seen again if it weren't for FB. But I often wish I was like my best friend who never joined any site. She enjoys her anonymity too much. She has become the abnormal, I get confused--yet intrigued-- by her non-interest in it all. I wonder how she keeps up with things if she doesn't have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. How does she function in life? I envy her at times. She enjoys life without worrying about posting pictures or checking-in. She never pulls out her phone unless she makes a call.

  But I signed those 'terms and agreements' and I am now part of the "matrix". I belong to 3 sites, which seem like a lot to me. I can't even imagine having the time to belong to more than those. I have few friends and thousands of unanswered requests. I guess I'm still trying to hold on to some privacy while still enjoying some of the benefits. 

  What do you think? Has social media made us better or worse? Or do you think one day we will get bored with it and go back to just living life, like my friend does? I think I'm almost there! 


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