Too Much of a Good Thing

I’ll be honest, lately I’ve been feeling tired of social media, tired and disappointed. It’s not a new thing for me. I’ve felt it coming on for some time now. The pandemic might be playing a big role in this–all the negativity out there, all the misinformation that sometimes helps fuel that negativity.

These days, anyone and everyone has an opinion about pretty much everything, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What tires me out is the way some people choose to express that opinion. I’m tired of the anger and frustration that I see, people lashing out, determined to be angry at others. Sometimes people are simply downright mean. They will say hurtful things about people they don’t even know. I’ll be honest, I’ve never understood why. Well, I do understand that it’s far easier to type words than to face a real person. Social media is renown for that. What I mean is, I don’t understand why anyone would purposely want to be mean–what is the purpose, the reason? It actually says much more about the person lashing out then the people they’re attacking.

People have always had a difference of opinion. I don’t see that as a bad thing. Different opinions and different ideas can help us keep an open mind and maybe help us consider something we’ve never thought of before. That can be exciting. It’s how we find out about new things. One thing I am certain of, that as a society we will never all agree. It’s impossible. Nor should we all agree.

Social media outlets have us clamouring to collect “LIKES” and comments for the things we post, to seek that instant validation from others. Most of us lap that up. I think that deep down all many of us want is to feel as though our lives matter, that we matter as a person and we look for that outside ourselves. We allow the opinions of others to carry more weight than our own. But this is the thing–those likes are not real. We often forget what we’ve hit the “LIKE” button for. We read so many posts in one day our brains go into overload.

I’m sure many of us have fallen into that trap from time to time. But social media isn’t real life. It’s artificial to the extent that we even have to question the sincerity of some of the comments we see. Yet many of us buy into it. We’re allowing Internet communities to replace the real people in our lives. That frightens me on many levels. When I was a child, a big highlight for me was the pie sales and dances held at what we called “the hall.” The hall would be filled with people, real people, who talked and laughed. They shared the latest gossip. You could feel the energy.

Remember when people called to have a chat, they dropped in for coffee, wrote letters and sent cards, they gave hugs, real hugs, not just a word encased in asterisks in the comment section? Remember that? Now we drop a few words on their social media posts. We text. Forget the use of proper sentences, that’s all gone. Now we leave behind a string of words for others on our “friends” list to decipher. Forget punctuation. What the heck is a comma, a semi-colon, a question mark, capital letter, a period placed at the end of it all? But this is our new reality.

We live busy lives, at least that’s what we tell ourselves. But people have always lived busy lives. Modern conveniences have freed up more time in our days, time that many of us choose to replace with social media.

I think probably the main thing is to find that balance in our lives and not allow the internet to dictate to us. Unplug from time to time and spend time with real people.

While I didn’t intend for this post to come out as a rant, it seems to have rant-like qualities and I apologize for that. I’ve just been reflecting upon some things as I take time to appreciate the REAL people in my life this Thanksgiving weekend. Perhaps my next post will about the positive aspects of social media–yes there are some positives.

Happy Thanksgiving Day. I hope this will be a day for you to pause and reflect upon all the people in your life that you have to be grateful for.

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12 Comments

  1. Lynn MacNaughton4

     /  October 11, 2021

    I agree entirely with your feelings. I had this exact conversation with my daughter the other night. I feel guilty-I rarely call anyone -it’s too easy to text! Thanks for actually putting my thoughts in print!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks for dropping by, Lynn. I’m glad that my words resonated with you. I feel many of us have had similar thoughts when it comes to social media.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to be thankful for. I tend to ignore the negative aspects of Social Media and am thankful I can keep in touch with my family in many different ways. Real hugs are best but not always possible. So here is a thanksgiving hug, as real as possible. xo (One day it will be a real one!)

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Cathy

     /  October 11, 2021

    Great post, Laura! I so agree about social media and what a bad influence it can be on our lives. And we get so wrapped up in it to the detriment of our regular lives. I tend to get caught up with my Facebook and email, checking them too much. That’s when I know I haven’t got enough going on or I’m procrastinating and I need to do something else. Thanks for the reminders.

    I always like your honest and down to earth way that you express yourself. It’s so refreshing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks for dropping in Cathy. With all that said about social media, we, of course, have to take responsibility for the amount of time we devote to it. That’s if, like me, I was feeling resentful about it. Then it’s up to me to say, “Enough is enough.” This is something that we all need to work out for ourselves.

      I am glad that my words resonated with you.

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  4. Sue Slade

     /  October 12, 2021

    Honestly, I don’t think I would have survived the Pandemic without social media, often my only contact with the outside world, especially during the first 6 months of the Pandemic. I agree everything needs to be taken with a few grains of salt and there is quite a lot of negativity (which I tend to scroll right by). But without it, I would have become a complete shut-in. I did like how things that were normally done in person when online (on social media) and I was able to attend book launches that were held right across the country. People were able to participate in our store’s I Read Canadian event as far away as Calgary with Facebook. I believe even after this is all over and were are able to do in-person events again, I think it will always be a cross between online and in-person going forward. P.s. I’ve connected with some pretty lovely people online in the last year and a half, that I would not have otherwise not connected with.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    • I agree, Sue, that there are positive aspects to social media. We are the ones in charge of making that experience a positive one or a negative one and for everyone one of us that will be as individual as what we are.

      I think, through this pandemic, we’ve discovered a new approach to hosting events that gives us the ability to reach more and more people. I agree that some of these new approaches have proven to be an assert to society and no doubt will stay, in some form, in the future.
      Thanks for weighing in. You raised some excellent points. 🙂

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  5. I’ve reached my limit with social media, too. I deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts in July 2020. I’d had enough of the craziness. I also deleted my main Facebook account. I left the 2nd one up, the one with my writer’s name that I seldom used. I use it for Marketplace. I have no friends, no drama. If not for Marketplace, I’d delete this account, too.

    I think the world would be better of without social media. I have this dream that the Internet goes down for six months, and the world returns to what it was in the early 90s. How nice that would be. While I’d miss a few things, after a few weeks, I wouldn’t. And people, including me, would get a lot more things done off the computer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • I’m sure I would be one of those people getting more things done. 🙂 I like to think that I embrace new things, but I, too, long for the way things once were. Maybe it’s because of our rural upbringing and the fact that we’re so close to nature every day. For me, nature wins over the Internet any day!

      Liked by 1 person

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      • I agree: Nature wins. It’s why I haven’t accomplished much on the computer the past nine months. I spend most of my days in the garden.

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