Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming the primary form of communication in today’s society. Everything is validated through these media channels. Although I have heard from many that this was a true and relevant statement, I had never personally experienced it until this week.
My feelings about social media have always been good; I am able to keep in touch with people from elementary, middle, and high school that I probably never would have had it not been for Facebook and Twitter. I am able to view pictures of family members thousands of miles away. Recently I was able to meet with my journalism 4470 group without leaving the comfort of my home. It has even created a new sense of security when meeting new people, instead of giving out our phone number, like our parents did, we are able to add a person on Facebook first, as a sort of screening process. However, there is a dark side to these social media platforms.
Every Sex and the City fan remembers the infamous episode in which Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) was dumped on a Post-It; well if the series was on-air today that Post-It would have been replaced with Facebook. Although social media started as a way to connect with friends, it has evolved into a place where business is conducted. When I initially opened my Facebook account, I would say whatever I felt. Now I am much more conscience about my status updates and the pictures I post. After my experience this week, I am wondering if Facebook should only be used for one purpose or the other.
Mixing business and pleasure (or displeasure) has always been a no-no, but the line is blurred with social media. After realizing what had happened with my friend via Facebook I felt so many emotions and wanted to address the issue, however, not all of my 1154 friends are “personal” friends. Several are co-workers, managers, bosses, and teachers even! And detailing such a personal issue would be inappropriate, in my opinion.
Earlier this week, Google+ was featured on Good Morning America. Although I have signed up for the newest social media site, I have never participated or used the services. After watching the morning segment, I understood what differentiated the site from Facebook. With Google+ you are able to select the circle of people you are connected with before posting statues or pictures. It is a more customizable experience. You place your friends in “circles” and choose what circles you want to direct your content to.
When Google+ was first introduced I assumed that the site would fail and would not last until the end of the year. But after my personal experience, I can see the appeal. This week I learned a valuable lesson, social media is replacing interpersonal interaction in a way that I never thought it would. My experience left me baffled and a ball of emotions, one of which was shock. I was shocked that something so important, relevant and serious would be communicated with me over Facebook…without words. If this is the world my children will be raised in, I am frightened for them. Having interpersonal interaction is vital to the survival of our culture and to me, communicating serious life-changing things over social media is just plain rude.