I am finally reappearing from under my rock that is Lowell, Michigan, and I finally feel like I am getting a breath of fresh air.
For months on end, I have been working from my home, with the only contact being a few close friends from high school and the world of social media. And wow, am I glad that I am not going back to that.
There is something addicting to getting information as soon as it is presented to you. You get the raw information and can form your own thoughts and opinions without mainstream media presenting a spin or a censored view of an event.
It is obvious that these platforms have vast negatives that mute many of the positives of raw social media.
My issue begins with Twitter. The fact that you can say whatever you want with little consequences can be infuriating. You get 240 characters to say some of the most whatever you want no matter how evil it can be. Guess what, if you do not want your friends and family to see your disgusting side, just put a fake username on a burner and boom, you have no repercussions.
Too many of these accounts are made, putting out false information that can create issues for millions of people. You should always have to put your name on any statements you make online. This would stop the rampant spread of rumors and misinformation that happens on Twitter.
Facebook is a political cesspool, where generations can clash at any moment. I have seen families get torn apart because one person gets offended by another’s political beliefs. If you are willing to end contact with a family member or friend in the comment section of a Facebook post, you need to assess your communication skills. Many people hide behind their screen even on Facebook and cannot dare to say their thoughts to the people their speaking to in person.
One last thing I have seen that I would like to see change in the social media is the amount of people trying to control others through public attacks. People that are willing to throw others under the bus just to get a little bit of approval from a group of people on the internet! You can see this clearly in these community chatter groups that towns run on Facebook. I have seen a moment where business owners are more than willing to throw one another under the bus for the entire town to see.
For me, it is frustrating to be around so many toxic people online. Being around these communities for six months straight has made me grow an affinity for leaving these platforms entirely. It is safer to do my job in the public eye without the temptation of potentially doing something that could ruin my reputation in a momentary anger replying to someone’s bait.