I’m an older guy who uses social media a lot. Facebook mainly, Twitter secondly and minimally, Instagram. I know some people, mainly older, who dislike social media and some who actually hate it! They say that it takes away from human contact. They say using social media is hiding behind a phone or computer and consequently, people aren’t really being themselves. Some even say it’s the end of civil civilization as we know it! I’m serious, some people think it is the worst thing to happen to human beings in ages!
A truism in life is that change always occurs. Another truism is that progress always occurs. Progress can be subjective but the fact is that civilization has progressively changed for the better. People of the Earth are much better off, generally, than ever before in history due to changes and progress. I suppose I should quickly mention that of course we have issues with some of the progress that we have made but the fact of the matter is that men, women, children are all much better in 2014 than in any time in the past. Women have more human rights and power than in any time in history. Homosexuality is being accepted more in open society than in any time in the past. Again, there are issues with these progressions but civilization has moved further ahead. Which brings us to Social Media.
As of January 2014, a Pew Research poll showed that 74% of online adults use social networking sites. Taking into account that for security reasons some workplaces prohibit their employees from using them on or off-duty, (such being the case for a relative of mine) that’s a huge amount!
The fact is that social media is great. People can communicate with others around the world in a split second and share thoughts and happenings from every corner of the planet. Good stories, bad stories, funny stories, can all be shot across the airwaves and shared with like-minded or not so like-minded individuals in seconds. Knowledge that might not have been seen by people other than in a classroom setting or a particular group setting can be learned and shared with the world—in an instant. How can that not be great!
Well, all that great can have some pitfalls as well. As an example, let’s talk about Facebook. People post pictures of themselves on their bio page and of course most people—wait a minute—all people, try to put their best foot forward including their best pictures forward, for others to see. On social media sites, some are even doctored up a bit to make them look sexier, hotter and simply, better. So, some people perhaps, would look differently than they would if they’d be sitting across a table from you. In fact, on Facebook, what I’ve seen lately are many women making themselves up like strippers, or even porn stars with revealing clothes and sexy poses which makes me wonder if Facebook may be taking a frivolous dive. But in the long run, for most people, I believe it’s simply trying to connect with others. Furthermore, it gives many people a very real social outlet where without it, they’d be lacking.
Probably, the worst thing Facebook or any social media site has going against it are those people who aren’t really who they say they are and who try to entice others with nefarious intent. Thieves, perverts or psychopaths prowl the sites. But again, that happens in one-on-one contacts also. It’s just so much easier to run into these types simply for the fact that you have many more human contacts on these sites. As an example, I have about 3,500 “friends” on Facebook. While they certainly aren’t all real friends they certainly all are real contacts who know about me. However, in all the years that I’ve been on Facebook I’ve only had one weirdo to deal with who I was able to get out of my circle, easily.
Facebook, Twitter and the like have huge positives but they bring new security and emotional challenges with them as well. But most change has new issues to deal with. I think it’s great to embrace change and see it for its good and its bad. People who think of social media as a bad force for civilization and who think that we’d be better off without it, are wrong. It very well may not be for them; but to label it as such is not embracing the change that life and progress entails.
It isn’t going away! Adapt and enjoy!
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
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