Thursday, March 20, 2014

Musing on Social Media

Oh, my! I forgot to post in February! I swear that month just flew by for me.

So I'm here because a friend posted that she noticed she prefers to share positive things in her life but didn't want that to be mistaken for having a perfect life. This led to me thinking about this phenomenon. I've seen it plenty -- the memes about how posting nothing but positive means people are putting on a 'mask' or being 'fake.' Or people who post nothing but negative are 'drama queens.'

I think that's an utter fallacy. Certainly, there may be each personality type in both categories, but I think that perception is important here.

Some people only think of social media with the good moments, some with the bad, some with the all (I think I'm that one). I've never had that thing where I think people who don't post bad are living perfect lives. I figure they just like to share the happy. I don't think that people who post nothing but bad have miserable lives. I figure they just reach out for support/help this way. I think we're all more well-rounded than our social media profiles.

I posted that comment to my friend's wall, and someone else posted that I caused him to reflect on his usage of social media. I love getting replies like that. Often, when I post something controversial, it's not with the intention of changing minds (that can be great when it's something like, oh, say, ending a bigotry), but more that I want people to think, to reflect.

This was my reply:

I originally joined Facebook because a friend asked me to (in 2006) -- I think so that she could have another person with whom to play games.

I've found it a very valuable tool to promote my writing, definitely, but I use my page for my professional stuff, so I can be more myself and post controversial opinion stuff here. I'm very careful what I post/promote as an author to avoid alienating readers. I only post things that touch on themes that I'm open about in my books (such as being pro-equality/equity).

On my personal FB, I'll post things about many more social issues, parenting stuff (since I'm a mom), geek stuff (since I'm a geek, lol), etc. I do share a little bit of my private/personal life on my author page, but mostly as it pertains to being a reader/writer or is just a big event for me.

I have friends from all walks of life. Sometimes it can be tiring, seeing those who post nothing but negativity, but I can easily scroll and find some positive to lift me back up if needed, and there are times when I'm so far down, I'm the one posting all the negative -- and then there they are.

The ones who cry out so often tend to be the ones who are ready with arms outstretched when their friends need them. I never regret taking a few seconds to give them love and send out a thought that things will get better for them.

Nor do I get tired of seeing people who just bask in the joys of life.

In all, what I'm here for is to be a part of the human experience -- the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful and everything in between.

So, those are some of my thoughts on social media (specifically Facebook) and its usage. Care to share yours?