Anti Social Media

I was unsure as to where to post this article as it’s not really Martial Arts related, however I don’t really have another relevant blog site. I figure lots of Martial Arts schools use social media as a marketing tool etc… perhaps posting here is not completely off the mark.

Anti Social Media

Hmm…..Is it just me or does “Social Media” not feel that “Social’ anymore ?
I began my social media journey later than most. I’m not one of those ‘early adopters’ I’ve heard about at business development courses. I jumped onto Facebook hoping to connect with friends that I didn’t get to see often because I was always so busy working , or with the kids so my social life was severely lacking. It was nice to see what everyone was doing….and back then in 2008 Facebook was a fun place to visit every now and then when I sat down at my laptop. No Iphone back then so access was more limited. In those days….it was all about sharing pics of what you were up to….and funny statuses that were always kind of clever. I think people were more Reserved with their posting….and actually thought of what they were going to post up before doing so.

Then out of who know’s where came the endless pictures of food. I’m guilty of course of displaying my breakfast that I’d just cooked – proud of my culinary skills but single and unable to share it with anyone…so social media seemed like a good place to feel like someone else was enjoying the meal along with me. I guess the food pics began to almost be ridiculous and it seemed nobody could even have a coffee without having to share with their list of ‘friends’ and then this kind of fell out of fashion a little. Though we still see them from time to time….now it’s more like a surprise and we can go back to enjoying these pics again as they no longer clog up your news feed.

Then came the selfies. At first they were novel and funny….and we weren’t really that good at taking them (especially before the reverse camera functionality) but then things degenerated into attention seeking photo’s and it seemed the more riske’ they got…the more likes. It became about filters and lighting and makeup and posture…and what’s worse, it became disguised as something that it wasn’t. Me – guilty. I found myself at a time where my world had fallen apart…..and I doubted who I was . I have posted more than a selfie or two……and sometimes i regret to admit it was an unconsciously deliberate (if that’s even a thing) ploy to attract attention…but usually aimed at a specific audience. It’s a not a high point in my life I can tell you that now. I’m just glad I didn’t get too extreme….and now…I get it. I’m so glad I am no longer so caught up in it that I post provocative pictures of myself and call it some kind of ‘motivational’ pic that I hope to ‘inspire others’ with. I’m so sick of it. So done with (and this is not sexist it’s just true it’s mostly females) all the ladies in the gym posting pics of them posing next to machines. Really… us the video of you working out. That would be better !
Oh….you didn’t work out. You just don’t eat and you are 23 yrs old with no kids and you already look great. As if we females (and males too to a lesser extent one could argue) aren’t already concerned about our appearance enough. We now have to compete with these pics that are just totally not real-life at all. Nor are they motivational. If anything at times they are the opposite. De-motivational or just counter productive to our self esteem. Both the poster….and the viewer.

Fast forward to 2018 and it’s just soooo so much worse.
Sometimes I almost wish the slutty selfie would make a come back as honestly it would be far less of an assault on my psyche. Now …… seems the biggest thing on social media is to hate. Since when would someone be proud to be a troll ? To be that person that just wants to start a fight for the sake of it. To stir the pot for no reason other than to try to inflate their own feelings of self-importance: – like…..”oh…people are paying attention to the ridiculous bullshit I am saying…..I must be of value”! As they say in the media….even bad publicity is still publicity, and i guess for someone lonely and unhappy enough to be cruising news feeds looking to stir up a fight, even bad attention is still attention. Can you Imagine that person at a real life party ? Imagine them Just walking around the mingling guests and jumping into random conversations saying utter nonsense just because. Arguing against everyone just because. In reality…someone’s probably going to verbally abuse them or physically knock them out. I guess hiding behind a computer screen really does give people a sense of security and grandeur.

And if the hate wasn’t enough; in marches the advertising. IT’s so prolific now that it’s infiltrated our message inbox……(stay out of my private place pls) and you can’t even have a verbal conversation anymore without seeing a random advertisement for that very thing pop up on your screen! It’s not just me…..other people have mentioned it so I’m sure I’m not going crazy. And I get that everything costs money and advertising is king when it comes to raising revenue….but really……it’s getting to the point where my screen is 2/3rds full of it.

Stir into that dreaded mix a portion of people sharing sensationalised stories that aren’t fact checked…….or worse still…… old news articles which scare everyone and do the rounds before people realise it’s a terrorist attack from 2014….or some Virus Outbreak (yeah……3 people we are all gonna dieeeeee) and it would seem that the social media scene is more Anti than social.

But…..and it’s a big but, like the world and all it’s problems there is still so much good in there. I stay on because for small business it’s an amazing platform for advertising. For personal reasons….it really is great to catch up with friends far away or those close but life is busy and there is never enough time to meet up in person often. It seems to have this ability to bring people together as much as it can separate and divide.

The battle lies in using the platform as a tool and not being sucked into the Matrix of believing it’s real. Understanding that real connection comes from knowing someone in person, and likes don’t translate to …well anything except a dopamine boost which I’m pretty sure you can get from chocolate !
Like the internet in general……it’s a fun place to watch humorous videos and stuff…..share interesting parts of your day and keep up to date with current events, but you need to be able to vet the information and know what’s true or not. You need to be able to not get drawn into the hatred and negativity when it rears it’s ugly head, and know how to crawl out if you do end up at the bottom end of that tunnel. We need to know that it doesn’t control us – we control it and our usage of it and at the end of the day…like real life…if you don’t like what you see get new friends, and get out of bad groups and get into good ones. The quality of your environment and your surrounding’s is ultimately a product of your choices and who you hang out with. This is true for our physical as well as our online world.

Not everyone likes social media and not everyone has to however i think it would be kind of ignorant to ignore it’s power. In some ways i think it will evolve to become a staple in every home / life just like TV did – only that this is a bigger , more powerful and more accessible monster. It will need to be embraced as it’s part of our world now – and it will grow and change as we do. Let’s hope we can all make it join the good side and use it for good and what it was originally designed to do. Make the world more social and connect people and ideas that are positive- but also ‘real’. It’s up to us to tame the Social Media Beast because after all – this really is a tool for the people controlled by the people that use it. Let’s make Social Media great again !