Love, compassion, joy, happiness, contentment, hate, rage, anger, rancour, jealousy, resentment etc... are powerful feelings that have existed since humankind was "created". Those feelings are pivotal components of who we are as humans. We all have a common denominator and that is being human.
Neither the internet or social media have created these feelings in us, but, yes, we might use these channels to express them. If these channels didn't exist, we would find a way to project whatever feelings we might be embraced by. It is just what it is because it is just what we do. Why? because we are only human and therefore complex creatures.
To put it in different words, before the internet and social media millions of people were killed in the name of hate, and millions of people were born in the name of love. So as we can see, these powerful feelings have always existed.
Our place in a very "interconnected" world
The above reflection is based on personal experience, but also based on living in a world where the technological tools available to us can be both utopian and dystopian, depending on our propensity to either or. Whichever our stance is, we must be very aware of the sense of responsibility that comes with using online platforms to communicate or inform or promote or tell whatever it might be we want or need to.
A very good example is singer-songwriter-actress Lady Gaga who has famously defined social media as "the toilet of the internet". The interesting thing is that her Facebook page has over 58m Likes and 56m followers. She has over 80m followers on Twitter, and over 39m followers on Instagram. I know we are not Lady Gaga, but in a very pop culture-driven world where celebrities can hugely influence us, do you not think her claim is quite contradictory?
So I think this opens the conversation of is the internet/social media "bad" or “useless” when it does not work in our convenience and/or favour? Or social media should be used the way we think it should be - a different way is not "acceptable" because it is not our way? Or is it we can find it difficult to accept and deal when the things we put out there for public scrutiny don't play out the way we originally intended? Or more importantly if it is so bad, why are we on social media at all? The questions we need to ask ourselves are endless.
What should we then do as social media lovers?
It is true that there is a dark side to the internet, but there is a very bright one, too. Whichever we go for, it's totally down to us and not the internet itself.
In my very own opinion, there is not right or wrong, but different. Once we are not causing harm, spreading hate or organising crimes, we can use our SM the way we would like to. I particularly love talking about my life and that includes my husband and dog, and about whatever it is going on in my life. I use it to share my singing (even though terrible) and dancing. To share photos and videos. I try to spread love and positive vibes whenever I can.
This is what I have been doing and I will continue doing because I love it. It is my platform, it gives me a voice and I find that empowering. And if somebody doesn't like it, so be it!
To finish, just two last things: Never stop being yourself, whatever that means to you. There is a price to pay, yes, there is, but we must be ready to pay that price if we want to be authentic, again whatever "authenticity" means to you. We have a place on earth and we can use it as we like once, again, we are not causing any harm.
One very important thing I always try to keep in mind is that, in life in general, human interactions can be quite complex and very challenging at times, both off and online. The things we say and do, sometimes the way we behave, our actions etc, have consequences, both positive and negative. When it comes to the negative ones, the question is what can we learn from them to move on to try to have a happy life? We should always try to find the lessons, because the lessons are always there. It is important to have full ownership of the consequences of our actions, at least for me it is.
Apart from that, let's live, love and let's have a laugh. Let's be joyful, let's dance and sing even if your singing is as terrible as mine hehehe. We live once so let's try to make the best of it.
Thanks for reading.