The Dangers of Social Media

15 Oct

My Life In Mommyland

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I’ve made it a big part of my life and have had many rewarding experiences because of it.

But it has a down side. Sure, there are always the trolls who will sit from that safe place behind their computer screen and try their hardest to tear you down. Once you’ve been involved in social media long enough you grow a thick skin and let those nasty comments from anonymous haters just roll right off your back.

With social media it’s easy for things to get heated fast. What started as a light hearted comment turns into a debate between two people where personal insults start getting thrown around. I’ve seen that first hand. Religion, politics, sports, parenting, you name it I’ve seen people arguing via social media about it.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this, so I’ll get to my point.

Something happened a few weeks ago over twitter and I lost someone who I genuinely considered a friend. Not just a twitter friend but a real life one too. I was pretty upset about it…obviously since I’m blogging about it.

This person had been growing more and more surly online. I could have taken the comments that were being made as direct insults against my parenting ability, life, or just me as a person, but I didn’t. I figured that it as just someone letting off steam on a free forum.

This person made a comment (this time directed to me) that may or may not have insinuated I was a bad or neglectful mother. I made an innocent comment back that IN NO WAY was meant to be a low blow or a cheap shot against, anyone or their family situation. Well, this person took it as a cheap shot and unfollowed me then announced it to the world. In actuality my comment was meant to say that I’m not the neglectful mother you insinuated I am and had nothing to do with anyone’s family but my own.

Usually I couldn’t care less if people unfollow me. Hey, people change and sometimes my commentary isn’t what they’re looking for. But like I said before, I thought of this person as a real friend. I’m actually hoping that this person comes across this post and sees my side of the story. It’s sometimes hard to get your point across in 140 characters (but I did try).

Why would I take a cheap shot at something that is in my family too? Why would I take a cheap shot at anyone’s kids or parenting? I’m very much against the Mommy Wars, which would loosely fit this situation. Parenting is hard…REALLY hard and I would never knock someone’s parenting style, ability, or kids.

The problem with social media is that tone can’t be conveyed. What could be meant as a joke or in jest can easily be taken seriously. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t judge other parents, we all have our struggles and our way of handling those struggles. No parental judgement here.

Here’s something to keep in mind when using social media. While sites like facebook and twitter are free and open forums where you can say just about whatever you want, be respectful of others. Before you jump on someone for what they say or do online make sure that you’ve grasped their true intention first. Chances are you wouldn’t attack someone in real life so why is it ok to do it online?

Have you ever lost someone you thought was a friend because of social media? Although I guess if they were really a friend something so silly wouldn’t get in the way.

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