The Good, Bad and Ugly of Social Media

Rep. Fullwood

by Reggie Fullwood

With so many thought-provoking political, social and even sports topics that could be discussed I figured that I would lighten things up a bit as we head towards the end of the summer and into the fall elections.

I want to talk about the entity of “Social Media.” For those who have been living under a rock for the past few years, social media is considered the websites and applications that enable users to create and share content, thus allowing users to participate in social networking.

The platforms are awesome. Technology is so amazing because it continues to transform our world and how we communicate and interact with each other. Now families can be thousands of miles apart and communicate on a daily, hourly or even live basis as if they were in the same household.

Social media can be a great tool if used for good – such as communicating positive community-based information. For example, high school class reunions, information about a free community health care, Obamacare registration dates, etc. Basically the good stuff that benefits people.
I even watched some really cool 2016 Olympic highlights via Facebook the other day.

Social can be a good thing, and I am even cool with you giving your spouse or baby a shout out for their birthday or even posting pictures from your kid’s PreK graduation.
However, we all know that social media is too often used for bad and not good. And bad comes on various forms. It is almost like Superman saying, “instead of using these vast super powers I have to help mankind – I am going to rule mankind and become the evil unstoppable, no one can beat me Superman.”
Well, maybe not quite that bad. What I dislike is having to fetter through peoples personal drama. I don’t want to know what you just ate for lunch or dinner. Please act like you have been to Ruth Chris Steakhouse before and stop posting pics of your entrée.

I also don’t want to know that you did three sets of 20 squats in the gym last night. And I really don’t want an inspirational message from you six times a day. Hit me with one in the morning to start my day, but good grief, who has time to post messages all day on Facebook and Instagram – really people – should you be working?

Social media has given the voiceless a voice, which is great – kinda sorta. On the surface that sounds good – and normally it would be, but too many people have turned Frankenstein’s monster in to the evil beast that he was never intended to be.

Now we have entertainers and athletes going on Twitter rants about nonsense. And this Snapchat nonsense that young people are doing is absolutely ridiculous.

Now we have young people using some of the foulest language imaginable to talk about some of the stupidest topics ever.
Who cares if your baby daddy didn’t come to your birthday party cause he was with his new baby mama. Who cares that you were so “turnt up” last night at the club last night that you don’t remember how you got home.

Really people? The way people use social media is becoming disgraceful. Stop posting all of your personal business – we don’t care. Especially my cousins!

And let me just make it clear – I am not some crazy ultra conservative. I am a free speech guy. I don’t think we should limit free speech or social media – my only request is that people be more responsible about how they use the medium.

Again, I love some of the inspirational and informative posts. I pull good quotes from Instagram all the time. I get good information from Facebook and Twitter all the time, but too often I have to sift through nonsense.

And I get it – it can be a lot of fun – especially as a break from the tough realities of life. Let’s face it people – most of us are nosey anyway. So we like getting into other people’s business.

I will admit that I love a good “meme.”

Clearly social media can be a self-esteem builder (I think that’s a positive point). But good grief, some people post so many pictures of themselves you would think that they were getting paid to do so. Selfies all day – every day? Really?

There was a recent study that showed that the average Facebook user checks the site at least 14 times a day.

The same study also said that we spend 8 hours a month on Facebook – that’s like spending a full workday on the site. If you ask some people to stop using social media they would loose their minds.

It’s pure evil, and we love it! Again, we are nosy by nature. So it is relevant to us when someone posts a funny picture Kermit the Frog with some silly quote at the bottom. We like seeing the baby pics from our cousin who just had twins, but she and her husband are stationed Japan.
Man, I hate social media, but I sure do love it sometimes.

Signing off from UNF,
Reggie Fullwood

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