Posted By RichC on April 26, 2019
Likely I am not alone in constantly reevaluating the pros and cons of participating in social media. I’ve purposely limited my exposure to only a couple of platforms even though I enjoy staying in touch with friends and acquaintances … and generally don’t have a problem with people respectfully debating news and politics.
Facebook as a platform is NOT my favorite as I really don’t like much about it, but it has been a way to stay in touch with friends and family through the years. The younger crowd (my kids) have move away from the it, likely because their network grew too large and politically heated … or maybe because it became the social circle for older generations (aunts, uncles, parents, etc)? Nevertheless, I purposely have kept FB limited to family and closer friends … even as I’ve added a few personal interest groups, which in hindsight may have been a mistake … but that’s how clubs and organization have decided to communicate? My rule of thumb has been to try to post something family related once a month … and to comment or at least give my extended family and friends a “like” or two in order to stay in touch. So far so good … and thankfully I’ve avoided most things political with some success. I can’t say the same for the ads and forced posts in my feed … what an annoyance.
My second social network is Twitter and it is pretty much the opposite. Not all that much is personal with this feed as it is my newsfeed and a place where I can politely exchange real time business news and stories of interest to me … including some political opinions and debate. Generally I have no problem mentally turning off the “hate” and “fake” news … but I do get sick and tired of watching some people do more to try and divide our society and country that to unite it. Very sad.
Over the years I’ve participated daily and can say that I’m not alone. It’s an ego boost to hear people appreciate my thoughts or to tell me why I’m wrong – nothing wrong with an educated thoughtful exchange. Very few of are are right 100% of the time and all of us could learn something if we would listen twice as much as talking (which is why God gave us 2 ears and only one mouth). HA!
Speaking of Twitter, his week Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s CEO) was invited to talk with President Trump, who uses the platform to communicate directly with people. There are pluses and minus to this “straight from the horse’s mouth” communication. I’m not sure where I come down on it as it is far too easy to put one’s “foot in their mouth” when a Whitehouse communications department doesn’t have a chance to polish a president’s tweets. What came out of the meeting from what I could tell is that both the President and Jack Dorsey were able to talk about improving the platform. It is great to have real time information from a lot of smart and educated people, even if that information is surrounded by real time information from a lot of idiots and propogandists.
Unfortunately, just as with any free or open society, Twitter (and other social networks permitting all the ability to share), they are walking a tightrope between authoritarian heavy handed moderation and permitting open ended hate filled and destructive chaos. Finding that safe and sensible middle ground is near impossible … but at least Twitter seems to be trying (BTW, I’m likely biased since I use Twitter and also own $TWTR stock, which has had a pretty good week).