To Facebook, or not to Facebook…and Instagram…and Twitter

It’s a question I keep asking myself and I haven’t yet come up with a definitive answer.

Social media is a giant. It’s a force that has taken over life as we know it and controls large parts of the human race. We love the idea of throwing ourselves out there, sharing photographs with strangers and telling the world what we think, yet at the same time we open ourselves up to scrutiny and possible backlash with our words and images. When it all began I’m sure the intentions were honorable; 10 years ago Facebook was a means of keeping in touch with friends, Twitter was a way of sharing your thoughts quickly. It all started nicely but now those little social fairies have morphed into controlled giants capable of producing scary outcomes even their handlers can’t manage. In recent years teenagers have used Facebook as a way of bringing Cyber Bullying to life. Twitter had produced wars between celebrities and normal folk alike. We now deal with Trolls and stalkers who spend hours going through random pages leaving horrible messages for unsuspecting innocent people. And then there is Instagram which some people like Kim Kardashian use religiously to define the word ‘Vanity’.

I know I’ve written about this before but it was brought to light again with the recent death of Robin Williams.  His daughter Zelda used her social media accounts to express her grief and gratitude for her father. However she has apparently received negative comments, and images, through Twitter causing her to delete the apps so she doesn’t have to deal with added pain during her time of grief. Who does shit like that? Who goes out of their way to purposefully cause someone added grief when they are already dealing with death, pain and sadness?

I have these apps: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Facebook helps me keep in touch with family and friends who live abroad. Twitter is near to useless for me and I think I will delete it (again). Instagram lets me keep up with tattoo artists I love and other hobbies I have an interest in. I find on FB I am more of a glorified stalker than anything else. I poke around spy on friends pages! I comment on photos or status updates but that’s about it. And I’m wondering if I really want that. I spend a scary amount of time trolling through the days statuses and comments and stories and I think, ‘is this right?!’

My Dad refuses to be on any social media. He views it as a Big Brother situation and I thinks he is not far off. He has a page on Facebook but that is because he works with the public and it’s a publicity thing he has been recommended to do (I asked for a friend request and I still haven’t been accepted!) I have friends who either never jumped on the social media bandwagon or who jumped off completely and in some ways I envy them! I wish I could but the one thing that keeps me logged on is being able to ‘see’ friends and family who live so far away.

Queen sang about it, and I long to do it…but I’m scared!

“I want to break free…”

FOLLOW UP!

I did it. I officially divorced Facebook on September 17th 2014. It’s freeing and weird all at the same time. I keep catching myself wanting to check up on who has done what but I can’t. I didn’t realize how much I thought about Facebook until I hit the ‘deactivate’ button. I think this is a healthy thing to do! My husband has also done the same as me so we have jointly stepped away from the giant that is Facebook and we are no longer informing our friends about the movies we watch, how we are feeling or taking mundane Buzzfeed quizzes!

Why crap on anyone’s parade?

I’m not a huge follower of many things but I have a few select YouTube videos I like and a select few bloggers I find fun to read, I have Instagram and Twitter and the book of face. While reading a blog the other day I noticed there are quite a few people voicing concerns about publicly posted negative comments and the effect it has on them.

Social media, as we all know, is a double edged samurai sword. It can be brilliant, it can be positive, it can be productive but it can also be deadly, vicious and extremely negative. Prime examples of late have been the heart-breaking stories of teenagers committing suicide due to ‘cyber-bullying’. The scary part is the the Trolls who take the time and effort to be down right vile can be anyone in the world; one teenager in the US who committed suicide was hounded by classmates along with someone in Europe, a total stranger. It’s disgusting. What makes a random stranger feel the need to act out like that?

I follow quite a few tattoo artists on Instagram and I really enjoy looking at posted pictures of various forms of tattoo artistry. Some I look at and think ,’Eeeew!’ and others I will stare at for ages, marveling at the detail/color/image depicted on a persons body. My opinions are mine and I recognize that one persons’ likes won’t mirror mine but I wouldn’t dream of slamming a person publicly through social media, which is exactly what I saw happen to a very talented artist who goes by the name Paul Acker. He did a stunning Harry Potter leg piece which would have taken a lot of time and patience to complete. Looking at it, anyone worth their salt would say, ‘Wow! That’s quite something.’ Apparently some people did not think so and posted on his Facebook page their negative thoughts – some individuals didn’t like it, slammed his talent and said he had done a bad job all because the characters didn’t look exactly like the actors portrayed in the movies.

Why?

As a free thinking world we are entitled to opinions but to slam someone because they didn’t draw Harry Potter ‘properly’? Did J.K. Rowling feel the same when Daniel Radcliff was cast as her protagonist? He was probably as close as you could get to the character but it he would never be the Harry Potter we each, individually dreamed up as we read the books. To declare an individual persons’ expertise incompetent because it doesn’t match your personal opinion is so wrong! Do the haters take into account the actual level of capability artists possess when it come to tattoos? Sure, there are definitely people who should never be allowed near a tattoo needle, but in this case Paul Acker has serious talent. Just look at his work – it’ gruesome and not my kinda style but even so, I was amazed by some of the pieces he’s done.

 

Flip the coin; if you are going to put yourself out onto the world wide web then you have to expect an audience to have many views. You won’t please every singe person. I learnt that when I took a children’s book writing class through the University of Toronto. We all had to learn to accept that people will read/see/hear/think things totally different to what we originally wrote and sometimes it was really frustrating. With Social media there are a lot of voices, each with their own opinions and thoughts, but why get nasty? What’s the point? If you don’t like something, move on, don’t take time and effort to crap on someones parade!

One more person I am going to highlight, it’s to do with make up. This girls talent is MIND-BLOWING! Her name is Alexys Fleming, her YouTube Channel is here and she has, in my humble opinion, a stunningly good talent as an make-up artist and body painter. I will freely admit her accompanying music can be a bit harsh and personally I find her thick Chicago accent funny to listen to, but all that aside she can do brilliant work! With that said, she also receives hateful messages through her Instagram/youtube account and it gets nasty. Individuals will leave comments saying her voice is horrible, her music choices are terrible, her art is worthless…why the hell did the hater watch the video in the first place?! Positive feedback far outnumber the negative and her loyal followers will tell the haters where to go but still, why go to the trouble of writing it in the first place?

Anyhoo, that’s my two-cents on the matter. I know one day I will probably get someone voicing their disapproval of my thoughts but hey, their entitlement and if it gets nasty I will tell them to bugger off! I wonder though how many people, normal, regular individuals, deal with this sort of behavior on a regular basis? What’s the worst thing someone has written about your blog and how did it get handled?