Perils of Social Media – Kerry – 5/18/15

11018111_10204163392504336_2587494072578828502_nPerils of Social Media

18 May, 2015

Dear Kerry,

Social Media has been a blessing in many ways. It allows ease of access to family and friends. We post photos of our children, share good news, and convey greetings for occasions special and ordinary.

It also provides a source of angst within me.

I’ve watched people post specifically to hurt another. For instance, after a disagreement, a splinter of a group of friends Instagram-ed their fun-filled social outing, dubbing themselves “the Three Musketeers” to emphasize the ostracization of the one left behind. “I love these girls,” they gushed. The quart of the quartet wept, then grew angered by the purposeful attempt to harm feelings.

Tags like “these people are the best” shows preference and favoritism. If the group is small, others in their circle could wonder why they don’t factor in to the good feelings, why they are left out of the show of photos, or don’t warrant a tag for a sappy meme. Young faces and hearts fall.

Sometimes the bias can be a misunderstanding. The person posting may be caught up with thoughts of one person or group and forget to include others.

An argument can be made to thicken the proverbial skin. Still, fielding questions from a young brood about “why don’t I matter?” break a mother’s heart. Heck, I’m embarrassed to admit even at my ripe old age, I feel pangs of jealousy at times when I’m left out.

When a situation occurs, though, I ask if I’m over-reacting. Could the slight be an oversight, or was it a tacit act?

I lost a friend some time ago because I posted a meme in support of our troops. It vocalized my opinion that our troops should be better compensated. While away from the computer, a long-time friend left a snarky comment, and others remarked on her comment, defending my “right to post.” I came home to a contentious thread which culminated not in my friend contacting me, but instead to her declaration, “I’m done.” She unfriended me. I sent her a private note to try to smooth things over, but she ignored it. I assumed after she had time to cool her anger, we’d rekindle our friendship. I was wrong.

People should post what they wish on their personal page keeping in mind these are not diaries. The internet is public. Even if settings are personal and security high, the information can and often is dispensed. Just as words should not be hurtful, posts should be respectful and not harm another. We are responsible for what we say, do, and post.


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1 Response to Perils of Social Media – Kerry – 5/18/15

  1. Reblogged this on Allusionary Assembly and commented:
    This is my latest letter in the One Year Of Letters project. Please check out the OYOL page.


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