As this post’s title alludes, this will be another post on my perceived shortcomings of social media. This has become a hot-button issue for me in the past few weeks simply because it just keeps coming back in conversations every couple days. I will try not to repeat too much from last week, while drawing most of the content by means of going even deeper personally. Here goes nothing.
I firmly believe social media was borne out of a desire to manifest man’s proclivity toward narcissism on a global scale…or at least a broader scale. I’m not saying that social media cannot be used for good; look at John Piper’s twitter account or International Justice Mission’s facebook page. However, these are exceptions rather than the norm. Occasionally, I am prompted to change my status on facebook to something biblical or I tweet something promoting a cause in which I believe, but I can’t say this happens more often than once every blue moon.
I log into facebook (from here on called “the ‘book”) and it asks me what’s on my mind. I log into twitter and it asks me “what’s happening”. Sadly, I type to them like I would into an online diary what is on my mind and what’s happening in my life. Then it gets posted on the internet for all the world to see. As if my thought or current activity should matter to the internet as a whole. Slyly, both websites have allowed me to reason away my self-absorption as a harmless status update. I’m here to say right now that I can feel my ego grow bigger with each press of a button. Every time I hit “Tweet” or “Share”, I can feel the rebellion against an outward focus rise up like a destructive fire.
I keep the ‘book so I can stay some semblance of “in touch” with friends from whom I’m geographically removed. However, I use it so my status updates will come across my friends’ news feed and they will react to what I’ve just shared. That is not a relationship, it is a one way mirror. However, I’ve recently become fed up with the ‘book and its normally useless nature in my life.
I keep twitter so I can stay in touch with the friends I have that don’t use the ‘book frequently enough for my liking. I use it to increase followers and build a social media domain in collaboration with the ‘book. I’m also fascinated with some of the thoughts that pop into my head and I toss back and forth between me and myself. For those of you keeping score, yes, this is just another form of unadulterated pride.
Maybe you are more successful at using social media for a positive outcome than I am, but I am truly struggling to see its benefits right now. I’m not more connected, I’m really more content with being alone because I’m “connected”. I’m never alone, but even when I’m with people, I’m almost as fascinated with the thrilling silence of the internet as I am the ongoing relationships in front of me that I claim to care about most in life.
There you have it. I’ve gone and spilled the beans and now you know the crux of my hatred (yes, hatred) of social media. I hate social media because I don’t know how to use it with out abusing it. Perhaps there is someone out there reading this that could give a few pointers, but maybe we all abuse social media in our own ways.