Saturday, 15 February 2014

Are You Under The Spell Of Social Media?

It's captivating, hypnotising, and down right annoying, but we're all totally addicted to the unmistakable lure of social media...are we not?

Is this not why you're reading this? 

It's a funny thing, this social media lark.

Remember Friends Reunited? Everyone was at it. They couldn't keep themselves from digging well into their past and dredging up every Tom, Dick and Harry that they had met through the years. This moved swiftly on to Facebook.

Facebook is bitter sweet. You can't help but join in and there are very few people who have completely resisted. Even those people have a curiosity, it's the peering over your shoulder as you check on someone's 'status' that blows their cover!

So, the moment arrives that you embrace the famous Facebook, hit that 'sign up' button and hide behind the cushion, hoping upon hope that nobody nasty will pop into view; and what do you do? You send your mother a friend request followed by other family members. Hoping they will 'accept' your friendship...yeah?

What is the world coming to? You ask your mother, father, sister, brother....in the hope that they will 'accept' your friend request. It's hilarious isn't it? And the pure joy you feel when you become 'friends' with your family is unbelievable!

So, you're on a roll now! You then ask your extended family and best friends...and you're away! You're on a roll and the 'acceptances' are flooding in! Once you hit ten you feel like the most popular person in the world (even though 75% are family members) just wait, there's months of this 'honeymoon' period to come.

So, you've steadily built up your friend count and start scouring the network for more familiar names....then OH NO! Has that friend number dropped?

You are convinced it has.

Who has gone? Who has defriended you?

That's when the depression hits. You trawl the names on your friends list, and then you frantically look at your past posts to see who you could have offended. (God forbid you would ever voice an opinion!)

When you finally do figure out who doesn't like you anymore, you become socially awkward. No, you're not going out, what happens if you bump into them, what would you say? And you are definitely pulling the plug on Facebook. Deactivating. You don't need this stress in your life...you don't need these people defriending you....

Yep. It's appalling! Facebook has encouraged a 'school yard' society amongst adults! How in the world is that possible? We are ADULTS! We have homes to run, jobs to go to and families to tend to, yet we are bickering and falling out with people we haven't spoken to face to face for years! 

Not to mention allowing ourselves to become completely transparent in our feelings! It's so easy to notice that someone has 'unfollowed' you, or rather jealous of news that you broadcast...the silence says it all. We can 'block' our 'friends', 'unfollow', and generally become a keyboard warrior! Wowzers.
Then, say a big welcome to the world of Twitter! Oh yes, we all got to grips with Facebook then...BOO! Out jumps a little blue bird to flutter in our consciousness. 

Now, like Facebook, with Twitter, you can choose to 'follow' people you kind of like. Including pals who like to talk about their lives in 140 characters or less. A lot. Some people can fill your twitter feed with tales of how they slept, good morning wishes, what's for breakfast, trips to the toilet; all followed by hashtag after hashtag after hashtag. Oh the joys!

Then it happens again...your follower number drops! WHO NOW? You bawl inconsolably at your mobile/tablet/laptop. You've spent so long nurturing, following, favouriting, tweeting and retweeting that your kids have turned into sparrows and now enjoy a snack of birdseed.

And now we have the ever expanding trendy Pinterest and Instagram. Dear me, is social media going to become the third inflammatory discussion, along with politics and religion? 
Where's that off switch on the modem?

Follow me at @katesvie