Hi there friends! Hope all had a good and safe Memorial Day weekend!
First of all, I would like to thank all of those who used social media to send in their comments on, “I unknowingly bought something…” Keep them coming!
I am sure that you have all heard or read about “social media” every day either on TV or on your computer (since no one seems to read a newspaper anymore…). It always seems to be about a “tweet” sent out by President Trump to his supporters or his adversaries. Or was it an intercepted email between politicians or erased from a server! It is always a newsmaker! Not that it matters but, is the term “Social Media” a misnomer?
You have services like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Baidu, Instagram, Linkedin, Reddit, Tumblr, Viber, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp and YouTube, to name a few.
But now, my granddaughters have come up with MarcoPolo to send us videos of whatever comes to their minds. (I’ve heard of the guy somewhere in 6th grade but,what does he have to do with Social Media?)
I know that there are some of these that are used primarily for businesses, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups and, of course, political parties (government). I imagine they have all been created with a certain purpose, in good faith and with some profit potential.
The most common, I would guess, is Facebook! When I cannot reach them by phone, I use it to communicate with friends and family. Yes, my favorite way of communicating with them is still by phone! A way not limited to 140 characters or scrutinized by someone or some software programmed to analyze your conversation! Where one can actually “feel” the mood of the other person on the line..share a laugh, get that warm and fuzzy feeling or even share a good cry!
Remember how you used to get on the phone and plan that party to get all of your friends together? Or, call and say “Happy Birthday” or “I love you” to that special someone? It’s a lot easier today! No busy signal to worry about…just text them!
Meeting someone to converse with or just mingling with friends at the local “watering hole” was the definition of socializing, not too long ago! My mom’s favorite form of socializing was “gossip”! She couldn’t wait to tell our neighbor of the going ons of anyone and everyone! Now, that was social media in it’s purest form! Her motto has always been, “don’t tell me if you don’t want anyone to know!”
The “social media” that I grew up with were the 4 “T”s – Telephone – Telegraph – Television and Tell a friend. (I hope you noticed that I didn’t say Tell Mom!)
Today, the “social media” is, in my mind, too impersonal. Well, let me take a step back…it might get a little TOO personal. Using the various services of social media, cyberbullying and online harassment is running ramped to the point that it is causing young victims to consider doing harm to themselves. Some of them, unfortunately, have done just that…all because of what we call “social media”. (Personal Note: I believe that something has to be done about being able to send messages and photos anonymously to avoid being traced back to the sending party! This just might stop this cruel and vicious activity!)
As for impersonal , we all use email for “personal” use almost every day! Did you buy something online and leave your info out there? Well, my friend, you are now “socializing” with marketers out there who will hound you and sell that info so that others may hound you, as well! Hackers will get to those vendors and get your info too! Your life is no longer yours! It belongs to the entire digital world! You and I are now really socializing!
So, again, I ask…is “Social Media” really social?
By the way, this blog by definition, is social media…. Oh well!
Take care and see you next time on “The Over 50 Corner!”