The Blessing and Curse of Social Media

Let’s agree that social media has its advantages and disadvantages, just like everything in life I might add. As in all things, hopefully the ups far outweigh the downs. Again like we all know human beings ought to be rational but this is not always so and as a result some things, possessions, relationships et al apparently flout this rule. Every person has to carefully assess this in order to live and make progress as best they want.

There are some that cannot comprehend what all the hype is about social media (this includes the message apps) and as a result choose to have nothing whatsoever to do with them. Others limit their use and try and keep an eagle eye on how their children also use it. We also have those immersed in it twenty-four seven and if it was possible this set would have moved into the internet as an alternative to their current reality. On the other hand some suffer through it because it serves as a tool, a means to an end if you will.

Personally and professionally I try to balance its use and this includes the time I spend on various platforms and this can get away from you, for instance a ten minute quickie segues becomes a two hour immersion. There’s one thing that wants to put paid to my carefully planned usage though, the monster app known as whatsapp! BBM was quite ‘sane’ and malleable compared to this behemoth. Whatsapp brought properties that made it more attractive to use and the groups and numbers allowed meant more people got on the bandwagon.

It still has loads of control features like the block, delete, mute and other buttons. I’ve made use of them (I foresee the frequency will increase) like we’ve all done at one point or the other (tell the truth). Once an acquaintance I hadn’t spoken to in three years called up and pitched a business and decided to send photos to further pique my interest. After the first five photos I had to tell her it was a lot, either clueless or deliberate she affirmed and went ahead to send more. Since it seemed she didn’t get my drift I asked her to stop but when she ignored my request and sent about twenty more photos I quickly blocked her. To say I was miffed would be putting it mildly! I was not prepared to use my entire monthly data to pander to something I might (or not be) interested in.

The frequency with which one is added to groups and the amount of chatter on said forums is another factor. Choosing to stay or leave not only helps one balance life but filters connections and relevant information. This also dramatically affects the life span of the device, omo the chatter chops battery life. I strongly believe a benefit must be derived as a flipside to the less desirable aspects and each person has to decide what works.

I saw this video about not leaving a whatsapp group and it really cracked me up! The best line was, I’m the administrator and I want to leave. For some of us this is a double-edged sword when social media seems overwhelming. To mute, leave, delete or not bother to get the app is a question we all face, often on a minute by minute basis. I believe the pertinent question should be what best serves to make and improve one’s quality of life?

Once this can be satisfactorily answered it should be easy enough to navigate the murky waters. Falling off the wagon is bound to happen but getting back up is essential. Do not beat yourself up if it happens a few times, continue to practise. Daily I continue to learn not only how to balance the social media part of my life; I’m also making progress on real life. Do you have tips on how to ensure the social aspect of virtual life does not intrude too much with real life? Please share if you do!

 

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