Monday, July 9, 2012

Psychology of Social Media: There is something to be said...

Psychology of Social Media: As I watch people, there is something to be said about going your own way and not with the norm.

Things sure have shifted in how I live my life since 2004, this is when social media tools were introduced in my life.  I remember logging into Facebook for the first time, only college students had access and nobody of my age was on it.  As I was studying social media in a course I was taking for my doctoral studies, I watched my advisor strongly state that Social Media is something he is studying because this is going to be the next trend.  I couldn't really understand it at the time, because I was developing dynamic websites for companies and didn't see the  impact people might see as value.  Why would someone want to capture all of their information in a website that hosted a SQL server database.  Well, I was oblivious, but maintained my Facebook (and other Social Media) accounts, watching, exploring and even documenting the social interactions that my teenage daughter (at the time) and I had as she was setting up and using her accounts on My Space and then gradually moving to Facebook.  At 24, she doesn't really use Facebook much, even though she was instrumental as an intern getting a fortune 100 setup and using  Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter for their clients and human resources.  

I read this quote today, it states, "You never know when an act will start a ripple effect towards making someone feel special."  Facebook has made a ripple effect negatively in many people's lives.  A colleague got divorced because of Facebook, his wife reconnected with an old high school friend and they started developing a relationship which caused her to separate from her spouse.  My close friend, who doesn't use Facebook much, lost a relationship because several men posted something on her wall and he got jealous.  And so on.  People can 'read into' something that isn't truly depicted in a typed 5 word sentence.

There's a commercial on television that shows a twenty-something year old sitting at her laptop talking about how her parents only have 60 friends, when she has over 650 friends on Facebook, while the parents are out on their bicycles trail-riding with a group of friends.   Where is this world going?  I find myself stuck, surfing on Facebook when I realize an full hour has passed, not realizing the time got away from me.  My life is passing before my eyes and I don't even realize it because of Social Media.  Facebook doesn't depict what or who I am.  Why am I expecting it to depict others lives?  It doesn't show the truth about people's lives.  My life is much richer outside of Facebook, so I ask myself, why am I on it?

These are the reasons:
- because I find events to attend that I can't find in the newspaper,
- people like reading my daily Health Tip Posts,
- to keep my business pages up to date, and
- I post my workouts (not really a big reason why I stay on it).

I am setting a new challenge for myself, starting right now, 8:00 AM, I am cutting off from Facebook.  Let's see how long it lasts.  I will blog post my feelings, tendencies, reactions and concerns without having Facebook as a presence in my life.

Let's see how it goes.

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