I have just checked my facebook and twitter, I attempt to check it when I go to bed. What did I do before facebook? well, I went to sleep or, maybe, read a book.
I once heard a wonderful talk given by Stephen Fry. He read out a quote about a new invention that suggests it was, and would, ruin the world. It was destined to destroy society, break up families and relationships, turn children against their parents and people against their governments it would be the end of society as we know it. The invention he was talking about was, the book.
The book, at that time, was a creation that followed on from the invention of the printing press. The book was not seen as a good thing. Thinkers and philosophers of that time thought that if someone was sat alone, or in a corner of the family room, having an exclusive experience in their own mind that was not shared with their friends and family, that this would destroy the fabric and foundation of what a family is. Of course, prior, to the book on a winter’s evening in front of the fire, people talked, told stories, shared the day’s news. Would or could the book stop this?
Now we are in the position where people fear that the book will now be lost to the Kindle book reader, the computer, the tablet and the mobile phone. Seems to me that as each new invention of social distraction comes along what we fear most of all is change.
So what about social media?
Facebook allows people to share in a digital electronic way. It allows people to share at anytime with anyone anywhere in the world. It opens up the world and creates an awareness of other people in other situations and other countries. But what it does is creates change. It is a new form of communications. Those people that grow up with modern technology will see it as normal and the way that it is. They will not feel bereavement for the loss of the paper book when they can hold 200 books on their Kindle.
Just as the book was a feared when it was first developed so too is social media now. For many it is a threat. Some governments are so scared by its existence that it is blocked from the servers in that country. Why would a government or an interest group be sacred of people openly expressing their thoughts and feelings in a public forum? It is probably that they have things that they would rather keep hidden.
I think, that like most things, social media is neutral. Think of a knife! The knife is neutral; it is neither good nor bad. It is what we do with it that makes it good or bad. There are good books and bad books. There is good social media and bad social media. It is not what it is, it is what we do with it that counts.
Be happy, live in the present, and use your social media positively.