Is There a Right Way to Use Social Media?
- 2013 22 May
"It's really hard, social media is a great medium for certain things. I think it helps for raising awareness and linking and resourcing people to great tools. I think it also has the broken side where we just want to compete and compare and it's this popularity contest for mid-lifers. And we need to be affirmed on how many likes and how many comments we get. And so it's really hard.
I think we have to engage it with realistic expectations that says this is not a medium that cultivates community. It's just not. We're not going to sit across the computer or have a Twitter-a-thon where we are sharing our deepest burdens. We need to look at each other in the eye and say, 'How can I be there for you? What's going on? What are you struggling with?' And that usually only comes when we're doing life with someone in proximity, where we've built this rapport and this trust over time.
So I think if we have fair expectations of social media then we can engage it in a healthy way. But if we start to cultivate that as our community and our virtual friendships are all of a sudden our only friendships, then I think we have to reexamine am I living well? Am I being present. And I struggle with it like anyone else. It's a tough animal to engage in a way that creates healthy boundaries. But I think those who love you and are in your midst can always keep you in check on those things."