Saturday, 28 December 2013

Social media sites - Lessons learnt and happiness gained.

I hope you all been enjoying your christmas and holiday break!
I've very much have, enjoying quality time with the family, overeating and becoming intimate friends with the tv!
And like I always think every year, "Gee! Christmas is over helluva quick again!"
It also given me time this year to analyse my recent thoughts and disillusionment of the world and the general feeling of being lost. I know I'm not alone in this.
Friends and close ones confirm they too have similar thoughts from time to time.

One aspect of my thoughts lie on how social media has become such a negative experience for us all. 

I recently come across a post on which you can read by clicking here

Well written and thought through, it was a piece I could identify websites such as Facebook, Twitter and the likes along with Pinterest, Instagram and the millions of blogs out there, as the article from mnmlist says; 

"I read a blog post, or a magazine article, about someone doing something interesting: traveling, using a new productivity system, doing a new kind of workout, brewing artisinal coffee, making bread. And then I want to do that too.And I think we all do this. We all read inspirational things, or hear about them from a friend, and fantasize about ourselves doing the same thing.This is often a good thing — inspiration is good, right? Learning from others is definitely good. But this inspiration can often cause me to forget about what I’ve learnt, and soon I’m heading down a new path, buying a lot of things to support my new pursuit … only to abandon this pursuit when I've read something else.  Isn't it all distracting?  Making us lose our focus and drive in our own lives whilst looking and  comparing someone else's?"

As a great quote go...
With these points in mind, combined with another article that hit closer to home...Are these social sites provoking unnecessary emotions and thoughts inside of us?
Another well written article, one that i think is hitting the nail on the head and identifying a problem previously not identified in society as much as I think it needs to be.
"The researchers found that one in three people felt worse after visiting the site and more dissatisfied with their lives, while people who browsed without contributing were affected the most.
"We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry," researcher Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin's Humboldt University told Reuters."

It is something I can empathize with from my own personal experiences. How many of us succumb in our weaker moments to  "stalking" out friends or even worst, our enemies over the many social sites out there?   How many of us pour over the many holiday snaps, date night pictures and wonderful life moments these people put up for people like us to analyse and assess just how happy they indeed are, and how "wonderful" they advertise their life to be?
I had an incident of harassment via twitter several years back. In parts, my behaviour and theirs and the situation that caused it all to fester and come about was to blame but it went too far. Very personal comments went up and at one point my facebook statuses were copied and pasted word for word (despite blocking me, which was a clear indicator there was some cyber stalking going on) for all to see on twitter...a media site I refused to used from day one as I didn't like how the freedom of speech act was severely abused and misunderstood.  The fall out was huge...I trusted no one. The police at one point was getting dangerously involved and friends and family did not like the situation at all.  And it made me in all honesty as bad as the stalker at one point. There, all over her cyber history were these comments that became so thinly veiled that even friends could tell it was directed at, and were about myself. (bless them, they were good friends for how they dealt with it)
It took months and a lot of beating myself up and soul searching and it was so easy to be consumed with constant checking on twitter, facebook and all the sites to make sure nothing more was said after speaking to the person's partner and hoping it was dealt with and reassured it was. The hyper alert state I was in was exhausting...and it must have been equally exhausted for the person who was putting these comments up. Hate is so consuming for whatever reasons that caused the flame to ignite. I ironically still very much miss and love the person concerned but the trust is long gone.  Who knows what will happen...I just give them as much space as I can afford and besides, I had bigger things to deal with that took prominence over my life like dealing with the aftermaths of a severe head injury and so on...
I now left it behind, I've long since stopped checking twitter and all the social media sites concerning this person. It just kept bringing up all the hurts and feelings and the situation can be as raw as only yesterday....besides I know that the comments posted and the pictures displayed means nothing of what the life behind the screen is actually like.   Pictures tell a thousand words but they can all be wrong. A person can smile a false smile, a glorious holiday snap doesnt reveal the true state of how much someone had to work and sacrifice to be there in that moment the picture was taken.  Words posted up in anger aren't necessarily the ones you actually think and feel.
In a way, I'm grateful for the experience that occurred, no matter how painful. I've taken things on board and learnt lessons.  I do not need to or wish to know what that person now gets up to, or whether they post comments concerning myself or others up. I do not really care if they follow or read what I put up, including this blog post or say ill things. I simply wish them well. I feel no need to check them and the many others out over the web. I dont use facebook or social media very much anymore apart from Instagram which I very much enjoy taking photos and I do not part with anything uncomfortably personal there. I feel more happier for it and stabler emotionally and less distracted.
Think twice before you post a nasty, negative comment on a social media site...after all you create and destroy your own reputation and can isolate yourself from friends who will see it and think twice about trusting or talking to you. The damages you inflict are often far beyond what you comprehend and it often comes back at you more than you think.
Far more importantly, assess yourself on why you are using social media sites and are you using them well? Do you constantly throughout the day check facebook on your phone? Why? and what is the point? How many comments and statuses you actually read makes any difference to you?
Are you any happier for it overall?
Are you walking away feeling fulfilled or deep down, feeling jealous and that you are a failure for living a life less "ordinary" as perceived by you and what the millions of users out there want you to perceive? It is all very well to be inspired by what others put up but the moment it distracts you from getting anything actually done or thinking that now a good thing?
Can you simply be happier with checking social media sites a little less often and simply just live the one wild and blessed life you are given?
After all, the only real life that is happening now as we speak is the one that is through your own eyes and not through a impersonal, distorted screen
Wishing you a safe cyber journey and a happy life.
Birdie Love

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