April 28, 2013

Insight by Michelle Libby

Social media has become a way of life for most of us. We wake up in the morning and check Facebook to see what has happened over night. More than once I’ve heard that people get more breaking news over Facebook than through television or radio. 

When we had the earthquake here a month or so ago, the first place I went to was Facebook to find out what happened and if others felt it too. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook can all be wonderful tools for spreading the good news about your impending wedding, expanding family or even passing a test. I love being in contact with family from away and feeling like I know what’s going on in their lives. 

However, recently I have encountered a few people who are cynical, and downright cruel when using social media. What is the purpose of this? Why do you use Facebook to put someone down? Why put it out there for everyone to see the hate that is in your heart? 

When we used to mail letters (some of us may still do that), we had time to think before we sent off a letter that could hurt someone else. Those who have grown up with email know to take a moment before hitting the send button to make sure this is what you want the other person to see. No such rule has been applied to social media. Rant, rave and spew hate…on your own page. Don’t do it where I have to look at it. 

This week I blocked someone for his hate words. I was glad to have that option.
There are better uses for social media. Oprah used to talk about keeping a gratitude journal and every day writing five things we are thankful for. Putting that on Twitter would help to increase the mood of the writer and of the people who read the posts. There’s no cost to being positive and having a good outlook.
Granted, sometimes life stinks. We all have bad days, but next time before you hit post, send, tweet or open your mouth, remember what it says about you. And, is that who you want to be?

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