I’ve been an avid social media user since 2004 when I first signed up for Facebook.
I’ve always loved it. And, over the years, I continued to add apps and networks and handles. I started a blog, I adopted the lingo, I mastered the hashtag.
Since moving to rural Tennessee, social media has been my saving grace. This online world has given me a forum to connect with like-minded people. To keep in touch with friends. To remind myself that there is GOOD in the world.
But, over the past two days, I am left feeling a little perturbed.
With the incident that happened in Vegas, there are people posting their fears, their concerns, their prayers. And then there are others who are using it as a way of educating others and giving people suggestions on what to do re: gun control laws and supports for Puerto Rico.
Everyone I follow has good intentions. (I mean, if you don’t, I’m pretty quick to un-follow. Don’t bother lecturing me on how I’ve created an “echo chamber” by un-following the online trolls. I’ve got some real life trolls to deal with so I like to keep my online world a safe space).
But that’s exactly my issue with it right now. It’s been my safe space. The place I turn to when I need to “be with people” who understand me. Who know how I am feeling. And who feel the same way. I dive into my phone and my social media outlets when my external world is too much for me to handle. (A terrible coping skill, but more on that later).
This week, though, I’ve been finding a lot of judgement. A lot of, “Your positive thoughts and prayers are going nowhere.” Or, “How the hell could you post a picture of your sandwich when people were massacred last night?”
I don’t know.
I feel like there are people grieving. And then there are other people who claim they are not grieving hard enough.
But, the truth is, most people don’t lay out their grievances and day-to-day agenda on Facebook for the world to see.
The person who posted a picture of their sandwich may have contacted every single senator to raise hell about gun control. Or the person who posts positive thoughts and prayers may have also quietly donated $500 to Everytown for Gun Safety.
People don’t put everything out there for the world to see.
And that’s something that is difficult for us to remember.
Social media is just a small snippet of someone’s life.
You can use it to troll. Or you can use it for good.
I think we all need to stop pointing fingers at others claiming they aren’t doing enough. And just DO the things that need to be done.
That being said, how are you using social media for GOOD today?