There are many many things I love about social media. I’m a blogger, so that’s pretty much a given, right? But, social media isn’t all yummy food and happiness – I’ve got a bone to pick.
First with the positives -
1. Pinterest lately has become my cookbook and my comic book. Many an evening is spent sitting on the couch next to my daughter while we both browse through the humor boards and share things with each other that we find funny. We pass our iDevices back and forth and do a lot of giggling. She likes to use Instagram for ecard type images while I use Pinterest. I also use Pinterest to save any recipe I want to make and find it super easy to then access the recipe from the app on my phone. And, I search recipes through Pinterest quite often.
Here is a case of productive social media use (well, productive in regards to my sweet tooth) – last night I had a craving for a single chocolate cake in a mug. Searching Pinterest initially, I came up short. So, I turned to Twitter to ask for recipe help…
I didn’t get any help, but I did create the same craving in a few friends.
Then, I went to the Fitfluential Food group on Facebook. Bingo! I got 2 responses right away and by the morning there were two more! Love my foodie friends.
Although I didn’t actually make the chocolate cake (I did have a cup of sugar free hot chocolate), I now have a whole bunch of mug cake recipes saved on my Pinterest board of Recipes I Want to Make. Although maybe at this point, mug cakes need their own board. Kind of like my Pancake Board.
2. Facebook Groups – I do enjoy Facebook. However, I like it because of the groups. I’m involved in several groups, many of which are ‘secret’ and conversation can flow freely about the topics of interest to the group. I find a lot of information/support/motivation/friendship in Facebook groups. I also love Facebook for the pictures. I have a few friends that post pictures frequently of things that they’re doing – vacations, kids and all of that. It’s great to keep in touch that way – in moderation of course.
Now the negatives -
1. Facebook – I think this is a negative against Social Media in general (and maybe in life). But, I wish people would understand the impact of what they share on social media – especially Facebook. Not the stupid political stuff (that deserves a whole rant of its own – seriously – I wanted to unfriend and block so so many people during the election), I’m talking about when people post pictures of events with their friends and make comments like “the gang’s all here” or something to that effect. What about the people you didn’t invite? Do you realize they are your friend on FB and will probably see the picture and know that they weren’t invited? It’s all about the wording – you could easily say – “dinner with Sally” – or even say nothing and just post the picture. Just be careful of your wording – it makes a HUGE impact.
So, as I’m typing this, I’m thinking I’m not making this sound like the lesson I’d like it to be. But, I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people that begin – “well, I saw this picture on Facebook and I can’t believe that so-and-so did _____ and didn’t invite me”. Or “I saw something on Facebook and it pissed me off…”
2. The post about nothing – I have to say I’m guilty of this one, but I do think it’s something I’ve learned and hopefully haven’t done recently. Here’s my thought – Think of social media as a conversation starter – if you post something on social media and NO ONE responds, it’s probably not something that should have been shared. If all you hear is crickets in return to your post – take it as a lesson and next time, keep that thought to yourself. This is something that usually happens on Facebook (you know the “I’m going to the grocery store” status update), but I’ve also seen it on Instagram (and been guilty of it there myself). Please learn a little from each thing you put out there on social media – if it’s something people want to talk about, they’ll talk about it. Social Media is not a one way conversation. It’s interactive!
My daughter is obsessed with Instagram as is her entire middle school. She learned lesson number 1 quickly – several weeks ago she had a sleepover/surprise party for a friend and it did not include all of the friends in her circle of friends. She very smartly didn’t put up any pictures of the event. Aha! Smart use of Social Media at the age of 12.
Many adults can take a lesson from that.
How many of your stories begin with “I saw xxx on Facebook and now I’m mad”?