Social media

Social media

I have a love and hate relationship with social media. I hate the intrusion into everyday life, and as anyone who has had dinner here knows, looking at mobile phones while at the dinner table I find incredibly rude. Basically it’s saying to me that Facebook, or your texts, or Twitter, is more important to you than the company of those around you.

However, I love the fact that I’m chatting to an American lady who is going to start treatment on the same day as me, in Russia. I’m chatting to an Australian lady who starts a couple of weeks before me, to see what I can bring her and what I need to take from Australia. My taxi and first day getting set up in Moscow is arranged. All of this has been done through Facebook and Messenger. I love the ability to connect with people around the world, in a way I could have only dreamed of growing up.

How much can you tell about me from my Facebook page ? Quite a lot, as recent events, and manipulation by unscrupulous companies, countries and people shows.

From The Minimalists, who post some thought-provoking articles and links on Facebook

“Bottom line: It is up to us to determine how we use our chainsaws, paint cans, and technology. Our tools are just tools, and it is our responsibility to ask important questions about how and why we use them. Because to become a Luddite is to avoid an entire world of possibilities, a better world that’s enriched by the tools of technology. If used intentionally, we can change the world with these tools. Or, we can do a lot of harm. It’s an individual choice, the world is at our fingertips, and it’s up to us to act accordingly.”

I also found this, one paper and an article about this technology, the addictive nature of it, and how our ability to concentrate is being diminished by these tiny, portable, cleverly engineered devices we all carry.

To me, and given I use only Facebook and Messenger, with no interest in Twitter, LinkedIn, or SnapChat, social media is a tool. It’s a fantastic tool, and can aide communication and community in amazing ways, but at the end of the day … just a tool. Not part of my identity, and never replaces spending real time with real people.

It’s acknowledged I’m conflating smart phones and social media in this post, I guess I’m seeing social media as the words in the letter, and the smart phone as the paper on which we write. It’s a simplistic analogy; again I love, and use, my mobile phone. However, when there’s a beautiful view, we should be looking at it with our eyes and heart, not only though a phone camera.

Serene view in Scotland, after a hike around the reservoir, 2017

When in Russia, I’ll be so grateful for my phone, IPad and the communications that these tools give us through email and social media. And yes, I post photos of cats – guilty as charged.

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