Is social media going to be the downfall of society?

The other day as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline I must have sighed a thousand times. Too many things were annoying me. As I flicked through Instagram I rolled my eyes. Then I took a step back. What was it that was really making me feel this way?


I asked the question on my Facebook group ‘What are the things that drive you up the wall about social media posts?’  The answers were plentiful. And rather insightful. Many agreed on some basics. But what was awful and a social faux pas to one was the norm for the next. And what someone couldn’t stand was a non-issue to the others.  So what did I conclude? That we actually just hate most people some days? Seems like it. We are all a bunch of judgemental assholes who get fed up seeing certain things on our timeline, but we are guilty of posting thing who make others feel exactly as we do. Yet do we stop scrolling? No.


Some examples.  The biggest bugbear were the mysterious posts either checking into A & E or shaded comments about something that had happened. They come with the inevitable comments of ‘You ok hun?’ Inviting a whaft of emotional responses, yet they just reply ‘I’ll DM you’.  Sorry Sharon, but we are all rather invested in your pathetic attempt to incite sympathy now so just bloody tell us what non event has happend! Why do we care? Because we are human. This need to know details of others lives is frightening. I have hundreds of friends on Facebook but only a handful in real life, so why do I know about all of their lives when I would most likely never speak to them in person? This is something that has interested me for a while. This need for nosiness that Facebook inspired. It has many good points but I’m not sure this is one of them.


The next biggest thing to annoy everyone was the perfect parent. Oh, you know the ones. ‘My fantastic little Jilly just completed a set of mathematics equations set for a ten year old and she’s only 53 months old! And she has been accepted to attend the Royal College of Music because she has such a flair for the kazoo at her tender age. Everyone rolls their eyes at this stuff. – don’t lie I know you do! And it’s not that we aren’t happy seeing people boasting about their kids achivements. Everyone has done it and we will do it again. Who can stop themselves being proud and wanting to share? Personally, I do enjoy the kid related posts but much more the kids playing having fun with the family type ones not the all out ‘he’s a genius’ type posts. And even when we are guilty of it ourselves we are still going to be there complaining about others doing it!


The other big contender for our social media pet hate is the sellers pages.  I now have a great way to deal with these. Block. Delete. Unfollow. Any of my friends who start up a businesses then I will back them to the ends of the Earth. I will buy their products and I will share their content. I love seeing people succeed and I rejoice at talent. I have an illustrator friend who I think is the dogs bollocks and another mum friend who started a cafe, another that bakes cakes that I recommend. I champion all of them.  But join up to one of those pyramid selling schemes and you are gone faster than my waistline when a pack of Revels is opened.  You think you’re a business women do you Sandra? Sorry to burst your bubble love, but you wouldn’t last two minutes in the real world of sales. Bombarding your friends and family with pleading Facebook posts to buy the crap you are peddaling is poor form. No, you are not an indespensable cog in the engine of commerce. A working mum making an honest living? Don’t make me laugh. You are money hungry without the want to actually work. You wanted an easy buck. Let face it who doesn’t? And it must be easy to be tempted by the idea of working from home around your family. But you gain money from recruiting new people or getting friends to host parties and encourage them to buy your tat. Which inevitably you give up after a few months when you realise that only one in a few thousand of you ‘ambasasors’ ever makes any actual money from the scheme. You are left – if you’re lucky – with a few friends who actually enjoyed the products and didn’t mind your hard sales patter. Not for me.


Spelling and grammar police were about too. Some people hate seeing others who are out there writing posts without a care for their appostrophes, and they’re not happy with those who mix up their homophones. (Hopefully I got all mine right!) I sit on the fence with this. I think personal accounts have no requirement to be grammatically correct. Whereas blogs or media outlets should be above reproach. I don’t claim to be on the ball all the time with mine as typing on a phone leaves you open to a million wrongly hit keys.  But it does drive me potty when I see bad grammar, can’t help it!


So what is the outcome? For me it was really interesting to hear and see how riled up people get about certain aspects of social media. I realise that it’s not always personal when we feel the way we do towards certain posts – I have never wanted to all out confront anyone over their posts. Yet I wouldn’t back down from my opinions if I was challenged. I just believe that like the rest of our lives it’s a case of each to their own. But putting yourself out there in any form leads to people being able to have an opinion.


How many posts do you see that you feel are racists? How many political statements do you scroll past?  How many posts do you read that are highly charged with controversy? Yet do you challenge them all? I don’t. I pick my battles in social media like elsewhere in life. Up until the advent of Twitter and Facebook these thoughts were kept inside peoples heads. Maybe debated with their nearest and dearest but not to the extent that they are nowadays. We are confronted with so much information and opinion daily that it is hard to filer it all.

There is the delete/block/unfollow buttons for a reason and you shouldn’t be afraid to use them. I have a few friends who I purposefully don’t follow on social media because I don’t enjoy their content. It doesn’t mean I don’t like them, or that we aren’t still friends. I believe that social media has given people a whole new outlet for opinions and revelation that would otherwise have remained unknown. I never knew how strongly some of my family felt politically until they joined Fcebook and I saw the posts they chose to share. In person, politics is rarely mentioned.


So has social media changed the way you view people? What are your biggest bugbears?


Let me know, I love hearing from you.


Pam xxx

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