Facebook – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Social Media can have such a positive effect on things when we allow it. We find out about injustices that are occurring all around the world. Put focus on things that require it. Bill Cosby has first-hand witnessed the wrath that social media can cause. There is absolutely no question that what he had done would have finally come out, but to watch it railroad him so quickly was a thing of beauty. Social media doesn’t care how much money you have. Once facts are leaked online – you can no longer just throw money at it to go away. If it’s online, you will never be able to rid yourself of it.

You are seeing a very similar thing happen to Stephen Harper. Very few people believe that he has done a good job with this country. Even the majority of people that are voting Conservative believe that he isn’t a great choice, but is the best of the bunch. But wait, what are we seeing now? News of the Mike Duffy trial is everywhere. Harper’s knowledge of what happened seems to be evident. Social Media is gaining steam, and once again it looks as though that this will cause a major shift in who gets voted into Parliament.

This is the good of social media. What’s the bad? Well, just like the news, people seem to be drawn to disasters and stories that scream out negativity. Believing that the world is an awful place. “We have to protect the children, the children.” Nearly every single statistic has overall violence down. Whether this includes murders, abuse, or hate crimes. We have become a much more civilized society overall. Now we will always have countries that are behind the times. There is only one person in the world that you can control, and that is yourself.

Unfortunately we still believe that the world is a place that is full of hatred, and we fill it with our social media feeds. Whether its religion, sexual orientation, or ethnic diversity – our society is a much more accepting place to live. We have come a long way. I still see hyper-sensitivity everywhere though. Overreaction towards news stories. People afraid of their own shadows. It’s tiresome going through Facebook news streams. I have such a hard-time disconnecting though. Even when I travel; I get back and I think that I must have missed some major news story, and realize nothing has happened.

We fill our feeds with types of dogs that shouldn’t be banned, we must fight for the pitbulls. Ways to lose weight, somebody is upset with the way their sandwich was made at Tim Horton’s. People at McDonald’s making $15.00 an hour. Meme’s about how stupid people make them so angry. (meme’s are out control by the way) I am such a hypocrite here as well. There are times that I post up things that make me upset. I actually have a whole blog about it. One thing that I attempt to do is to even things out. Writing things that are positive or things that I find funny. Social media is draining. You know that person that you are having a beer with that is constantly complaining about something going on in their life. That is Facebook.

So why do we read it? I don’t know. There are a handful of people that I get a kick out of. They know who they are. But most times I go through the feeds, and feel nothing. I have gained nothing, and now I feel a little bit angry. The best of social media is seeing people reviewing movies or music. Or maybe notifying me of an upcoming event that I didn’t know about. Instead we get cries for attention or help to support something that really doesn’t matter. (You have seen those pictures of “share if you remember this – it’s a picture of a Nintendo?”) Wouldn’t it be great if you could customize your feed to distinguish between things that are actually useful to you versus things that are useless? Maybe this could be the next Apple invention? Something that takes a copy of your brains interests, plugs it into the USB port, and only shows you things that you find amusing or have interest in? Actually that sounds very dangerous, and very similar to a thrown away Matrix script.

Will this cause me to storm off, and threaten to pull myself away from Facebook – then crawl back weeks later? No, my addiction runs deep, and I understand that. I have given up video games just to add something nearly as useless to my repertoire. Words of advice to myself is constantly. Stop being offended by everything, and post stuff that I would want to read myself. That’s my simple rule of thumb for a Facebook-oxy-oin junkie.

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