The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Social Media

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr and Tumblr! Oh, my!

It’s pretty obvious that the online world of social media is growing rapidly. Years ago it seemed that the craze was all about MySpace and Facebook was looked at more like an alternate, fancy version of email. Now in 2015, it’s INSANE to think about how far social media networking as come.

But what does this all mean?

Well, in my opinion, it means that we are changing in how we interact with each other as a society. To further explain what I mean, I present the good, the bad and the ugly of social media.

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For the Millennial Generation, many will find it hard to believe that just a few decades ago if you wanted to keep in touch with others, you had to call them on the phone or write them a letter. That sounds pretty… umm… limited. Today, social media does provide a strong way to stay in touch with others. On social media sites like Facebook, we can send private messages to friends or family members. We can share our photos and short videos on our private social media sites and we can even set up social events.

Social media also provides a way of staying up to date with what is happening in the world. Take Twitter for example. The moment a huge news story breaks, like election results, disasters, and entertainment gossip, people will start posting on Twitter newsfeeds where we can read about what is happening. You can also find things that will satisfy your creative juices with social media platforms like Pinterest and Houzz, which are sites where people post imaginative designs for things such as cooking, interior design and gardening.

Social media can even help business owners find possible employees by looking at LinkedIn pages. A LinkedIn page is like having an online resume and keeping it up to date with all the outstanding details about your employment and accomplishment history. Basically, having a good LinkedIn could land you the job you want. Yes, it’s possible. Social media, in general, can be great for employers as social media is a fantastic tool to use to advertise the goods and services of a company.

Loving the good? Well, good! Now we are shifting…

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While becoming connected to so many people through social media can be a good thing, there is another side to the coin. As a society, we are becoming so glued to what is happening with the online world then what is happening in the actual real world. In a way, we are treating the online world like it’s the real world. We love to read the updates on people’s Facebook statuses (I got a new job!… I’ve lost so much weight this month!… I got engaged to the love of my life!… etc), we love to scroll through Twitter newsfeeds on what’s happening in the world of politics, sports and general news and we really love to look at photos on Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz. To give you an example of how much we are hooked on the social media world, my cousin had a baby 3 years ago. At least 6 or 7 times a week she posts photos of her son on her Facebook page. I have only actually met the child once, yet I am watching him grow up nearly every day now.

Now, I’m not saying social media is a bad thing. Far from it, but when you are out with friends and family yet you spend half of your time scrolling through your social media sites on your smartphone, it’s a problem. If you were out for dinner with your spouse and he or she spends half of the time looking at Facebook statuses and Instagram photos, how would you feel? To add to that point, social media can take away from the productivity at a place of business. All it takes is someone to pull out his or her smartphone and start looking at their Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Are you ready to go beyond the bad? If so, it’s about to get ugly!

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Have you ever logged into your Facebook and the first thing you read is a 150-word rant on someone’s status and it’s full of bad language and the details are just a wee bit too much and too personal?

Welcome to the ugly side of social media.

It seems that so many social media users love to use their Facebook, Tumblr, and other platforms to rant about whatever is happening in their lives. It’s one thing to announce to the social media world some great news or something on your mind but it’s another thing when you write a longwinded essay with too many details. This is also true when it comes to express certain opinions, such as politics and religion. To set off a nasty storm on one of your sites – take Facebook as an example – all it takes is expressing something you firmly believe in. Say you believe in a certain political party and you write on your Facebook that you feel that party is the best to govern, it may bring in other people who do not agree. Disagreements are all well and good, but they can spark long, possibly offensive debates with others on your social media page. Name-calling, harassment, and overall bullying can happen on social media sites that can leave some bad emotional scars on people.

When it comes to looking for employment, you have to remember that possible employers will search for your social media sites to get a better sense of who you are. That might be hard to believe, but it’s true. If you have things on your social media sites that are inappropriate, that could be a deal breaker on whether an employer will hire you or not. Yes, that sounds unfair but it’s a reality in the modern world.

Now, I’m not telling you what you should or shouldn’t write or post on your social media sites. What you put on your sites is completely up to you!

But at least now you know the good, the bad and the ugly of social media.