Social media or anti-social media?



TimRemember the good old days when you could sit together around the house and not one family member was immersed in their phone or tablet , distracted from their very own presence and surroundings? No, neither do I, but I did read an article about it on Facebook the other day.

Hi my name is Tim, and I WAS a social media addict. Its hard to believe that just a smidgen over a decade ago Facebook didn’t even exist in our lives. Nor did YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat or the long list of other ways for us to share photos of our lunch. For the most part, social media has influenced our society in a positive manner. Particularly from a business point of view, it is essential to embrace any new means to communicate directly to customers.
You either embrace the new technology or be swallowed whole. But for all the good things it has given us, there is a fair share of negative points. Take this whole circle of ‘friends’ you have. You may have easily over a thousand on Facebook but when it comes to your car breaking down on the Puni straight, how many of them are true enough friends to come to your rescue? And how about the ‘Sympathy baiter’? We all know one of these people posting vague tales of woe in the hopes of landing concerned responses. And lets not forget those keyboard warriors, the bullies of cyber space. While they act like ‘Jake the Muss’ online, they are more likely to be ‘Pee Wee Herman’ in person.
And how about that Paparazzo – the inappropriate photo taggers at parties that show you half naked pashing a bottle of Jagermeister.
By the time you have woken up, half your followers including your Mum have seen it and passed comment. It is hard not to be caught up in this online community fuelled by vanity,
narcissism and shonky grammar.
Amongst all the tumultuous chaos of shenanigans, hashtags and selfies it suddenly hit me that there is lot more to life then refreshing your newsfeed for the next two second laugh.
That epiphany actually came earlier this year while bedside with my gravely ill grandmother. It was simply beautiful and beautifully simple.
Our nana Marjorie was the matriarch of our family and enjoyed such a rich life. She had lived through the Second World War, witnessed man landing on the moon, the invention and discontinuance of the cassette tape, and a constant stream of revolution in society. As she lay in the hospice surrounded by the three adoring generations of family that succeed her, Facebook and Twitter had escaped our consciousness. Our family bonded in a way I hadn’t experienced in a very long time.
We chatted about funny memories from our childhood, future plans and ultimately who was going to ‘bags’ nana’s stuff when she did cark it. Suddenly it felt as though life had clarity and meaning once  again. I don’t believe that anything the online realm offers will ever supersede the feeling of the good company of your family and friends. Perhaps the world needs a little less ‘likes’ and lot more love.

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