Tag Archives: social media

How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions were… unsuccessful.

A year ago, I wrote about my ‘resolution’ for 2015: to use social media more mindfully. Less, yes, but specifically more deliberately – not in the absent-minded, scattered, trying-to-fill-a-hole-in-time kind of way. Refreshing Facebook in the hope that some interesting article will appear, to occupy my brain momentarily and make me feel like I’ve spent that time in a worthwhile manner.

For the first part of the year, I did alright. I had rules for myself around when I could check in with social media during the day. It was kind of liberating, and useful when I started studying again and needed to focus. Then it started to sneak back in dribs and drabs, until suddenly I’m grazing on social media while lying in bed again. The blurring of lines also came about, I think, due to the connections and friendships I developed with people online – some of whom I have subsequently met in ‘real life’, and some I haven’t. Although I’d like to break the social media addiction, I’m not willing to give up those positive relationships. Continue reading

Another first world problem

daffodil

Like many other people, I frequently find myself hugely conflicted: between the everyday going-ons of middle-class Australian life, and the deep pain and suffering experienced by so many around the world, but particularly at the moment, those refugees fleeing parts of the middle east. This is most apparent in my Facebook newsfeed, which is scattered with healthy recipes, Buzzfeed quizzes and updates from my friends’ lives – all vertically juxtaposed against images and stories of drowned children and families. Very few people who saw it were not affected by the devastating photo of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his 5 year old brother, Galip, and their mother. As a mother of little boys, and just as a human being – I cried a lot. Continue reading

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