I have two questions. When it comes to social media, how much is too much, and how far is too far? Social media, for the most part, is a wonderful thing. To think that less than 2 decades ago, networking was restricted to the office or school or by physically picking up a phone, dialing a number, and making a connection…is just a mind-blowing, incredible thought. I’m grateful to social media for making it convenient and so much easier to stay in the know and in touch with friends, family, and acquaintances and for forging connection that I have no doubt would otherwise have fallen to the back-burner in this crazy, chaotic thing that I call a life. Social media is a wonderful tool and resource…until it’s not.
As someone who studied Journalism, I of course, have a great respect for the 1st Amendment and an individual’s right to speak freely. But I draw the line at spewing negativity for the fun of it—and moreover, spewing that negativity on someone else’s profile—and using the 1st Amendment as a backdrop or excuse when called out upon it. What was once such an incredible thing—social media—has in many ways become a cesspool of misinformation, miscommunication, and blatant negativity, in my opinion. For me, it’s all the negativity that makes the thought of deactivating some of my social being profiles and accounts for good and turning elsewhere…all that much more appealing.
These days, it seems that EVERYONE has an opinion. From #BlackLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter, to which candidate is fit to be president…and everything in between. And while I wouldn’t dream of questioning a person’s entitlement of their opinions—however unwarranted or asked for–I do feel that it’s necessary to draw boundaries and if need be—protect your own right to voice your opinions–without fear of reprisal or an unleashing of a verbal throw-down…particularly when it’s expressed or voiced on your own timeline or profile. I’ve defriended, unfollowed, and blocked individuals for that very reason, more times than I care to count. And while it seems like such an unnecessary click of the mouse—especially in this day and age—it seems to be the only thing that works. There’s a sense of freedom that people experience while using social media that makes some feel they do and say whatever they please without recourse or thought for how it might be received—a sort of “you can’t touch me” element or sense that exists simply because the conversation is happening behind the screen of a computer or tablet or phone. And while that’s true—there is that faint disconnect, a cloak of anonymity and invincibility if you will—but does that therein make it right or okay? I believe that’s a question that everyone needs to ask themselves before they click on that post or tweet button. How much is too much? How far is too far? Where do YOU draw the line…or do you??