09 November, 2012

Final Word of Self-defense: Don't like social media? Don't be on it.

"A social network service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e.g., who share interests and/or activities."

SHARE being the operative word. Social networking sites were designed for sharing. There are no limits within that provided no-one else is getting hurt/you aren't breaking any laws. #hashtags, tagging, comments and Likes are all a part of how social media has evolved, and people should be able to use them ON THESE SITES freely and without judgement.

If you don't like people sharing their lives, don't be on a SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE. Instead of criticising people who do use them so actively, maybe think about why they use them.
I personally use them a lot for two big reasons.

# 1. Loneliness. I don't have many friends around me. Nearly all my good friends have left the city I live in and at times I spend a lot of time on my own. Being a very sharing, interactive person by nature, I use Facebook and Twitter a lot to communicate (with those people and others) and share things I might normally share with someone if they were stood right next to me. YES, I get lonely, actually. And I am not ashamed to admit that. Just because actually I DON'T publicly tell everyone when I am going through a hard time, doesn't mean I am not. 

Maybe if if you see someone like me sharing a lot online, maybe they are lonely too? I have always found social networking hugely beneficial to me for keeping in touch with my friends who are in London, Manchester,  Leeds, Australia  France, Bahrain...I miss them, and I want to share my life with them and they are not here. So sorry, but I might just choose to update my Facebook instead. Sometimes I want someone to tell me that my new hair that I am unsure of looks nice or to show them something amazing I have seen - why shouldn't I use Twitter and Facebook to do that? Still feel the need to crisitise? Oddly, I have found my Twitter followers to be THE most supportive people when I share my trials and tribulations and so I will not shy away from speaking to them just because you have an issue with it.

# 2. IT IS MY CAREER. It may not be the most meaningful of jobs, but digital marketing is something I fell into and enjoy and generally if people work in a certain industry, elements of it will fall into their personal lives. For me that is 24/7 use of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram). I actually first set up a Twitter account in 2009 because it was the first thing my manager at the digital marketing agency told me to do. I hated it for 6 months, then one day I fell in love with it. I love the POSITIVITY it brings, people sharing the positives of their lives, and the funny stories you wouldn't otherwise hear, hearing the news as it happens, seeing amazing things happen thousands of miles away all because someone has uploaded a photo onto Twitter. I HAVE to use twitter and Facebook 24/7 for my work and so of course I am in the habit of using it a hell of  alot and goddamit I enjoy it. For the reasons just outlined. So shoot me.

I woke up in the best mood in the world this morning and that is a mood I worked hard all week for. No screw that, I have worked hard for YEARS for. I spent years working in tough jobs for crap pay before I fell into one that makes me happy, sorry would you rather I didn't share that info? I have busted a gut running like crazy at various times of day to gain body confidence after years of low-self esteem and eating disorders. So I am SORRY if you don't like my Nike Plus app telling you I just ran some miles - it motivates me to share my achievements and makes me work harder. If you don't want to see my achievements, don't look at my page.

I have worked my ass off to become a good, happy person and I am proud of my life and of the person I have grown into. And I DO want to share that with the world. If you woke up in a bad mood today, and felt the need to judge or criticise people like me for over-sharing or using Faebook and Twitter in the 'wrong' way, then maybe (just maybe) you didn't work hard for those things I so actively share now and THAT'S why you cant bear to see them. Maybe?

I don't usually react to critisicm and many many times in this situation I have taken the high road of silence - knowing I am a good and happy person, and those who criticise me probably are not. But you know what? I am human. And today I snapped.

Don't criticise someone before you know their story, be accepting and kind because everyone is fighting their own battle. 


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