Social media, whether we realize it or not – whether we admit it or not –has been a difference maker in all our lives.
For many of us, stories of our past remain concealed. I am so grateful we did not have smart phones when I was in college. These days, we all see the younger generations so much more exposed. Sure, they know how to Tweet, use Tik Tok, Snap, and Insta better than we can, but they also live in a world where right and wrong is not as clear cut as it used to be. Navigating a world with countless competing messages creates endless gray area where saw black and white.
I know my profession is deep rooted in social media. And I, seemingly, am a big fan. But there is a huge part of me that wishes it did not exist. Public relations are public relations. My first foray into marketing came in a world that used paper, television, and banner ads. So, I know, I would still be right here.
The impact of social media has made as just as much good in this world, as it has bad. It is beautiful for across the globe connectivity. For all businesses it is easier to broaden your reach through social media. We can share our stories, be part of a wonderful support system, and collect all our memories. Who doesn’t enjoy the “remember when’s” that pop up daily on our feeds?
It is also so ugly. Exposing peoples’ prejudices, intolerance, and hatred. The easy ability to spread lies. The increase of body dysmorphia in our youth and adults. The depression it can create, the inability to break from bullying, or the in-your-face (yet behind the safety of a computer screen) defriending of people. Not to mention the creepers and predators out there. It is all so much more overwhelming.
I believe seeing social media for all that it is has been a major difference maker in my life. Getting to know it, in all its intricate details, helps drown out the bad and elevate the good.
No lie though, the exposer of people’s intolerance on social media is scary. When you see them in public, they seem so normal and nice, never mentioning their hatred of a person, group, or thing.
But as Taylor Swift says, “You say in a tweet it’s a cop out, you say in the street it’s a knockout.”