At 29 years of age, I was mostly against social media even when it became popular, starting with Facebook around my late teens. It was a relationship’s worst nightmare. All of a sudden we were able to connect with others, some whom we haven’t seen in ages including Ex’s, people of the opposite sex, celebrities, etc. Any kind of jealous person would be asking the same question to their spouse “who is that?!” . Now comes the explanation and reasoning behind the “follow back” button that was pressed. We were able to meet new people instantly with the click of a button and for many, tore apart relationships. The grass was always greener as they say. I hated Facebook and still do somewhat as the most important people to me are a text or phone call away. I didn’t need to know what joe blow thought about the new avengers movie BUT, having said that……I’ve found a new useful way to utilize this social media trend.
To start, let’s look back at the baby boomer era. Touch tone phones, the ones where you had to crank that wheel to dial, remember those?? That was our only means of communication from one place to another back in the day. (If you want to count morse code go ahead ). The invention of television and radio was probably one of the greatest inventions of all time. It shrunk the world for us in an instant. We could now turn on a screen and watch a news program and see what was going on in different countries. I’m sure back in those days, nobody had a hot clue what was going on over seas. Radio gave us entertainment in the form of music. Hank Williams and Johnny Cash were some of the legends I remember hearing when I was very young on my grandma’s ancient radio. People didn’t do much talking back in those days as mental illnesses were something almost non exsistent. Until suicide rates started climbing, we turned to doctors to give us zombie pills to keep us alive. Trial and error for months on end. Lab rats with these weird side effects nobody wanted a part of. You didn’t hear about mental illnesses on tv much. So people were kind of left without any knowledge of why they were feeling the way they did. I assume they probably felt this was normal and part of life that everyone experienced.
The parents were agitated and undiagnosed. Kids grew up being spanked, scolded, bullied and physically abused. Frustration from perhaps a bad day of work? All of a sudden that glass of milk you spilled was the worst thing in the world and you were an idiot, Scolded and sent to your room without toys or dinner perhaps. It was a different time back then. Well, those kids grew up. And those events that happened to them are still affecting them today, again often being undiagnosed. All of a sudden we have suicides, and mass shootings for no rhyme or reason and we wonder why these things happen?
We fast forward to today and because of social media we can now look online and see someone post their feelings and say “hey, that sounds a lot like what I’m feeling”. Hit the follow button, and all of a sudden you and this random person from San Jose California (thousands of miles away) have something to talk about. And that’s EXACTLY why social media to me, was the best thing to happen to us as a society since television and radio. Sure you could say Social media is useless had computers not been invented, but let’s stay on topic here.
The younger generation that are using social media as a means of bullying are one day going to wake up and realize what kind of impact they’ve caused. If my son or daughter became a bully that would be a horrible feeling almost as much as them being bullied. Kids are cruel, and they will post mean things to one another and continually harass classmates, especially young girls whom seem to be the most vulnerable. Remember to talk to your children and when they grow up they will carry on the tradition and teach their kids about internet bully’s. This is how society grows, by learning from each other’s mistakes.
There is good and there is bad about social media. We can look at other people’s lives and become envious and inadequate when we see vacation photos and you’re stuck in that dead end job just scraping by. (Another reason I hated Facebook). But it’s saving so many lives at the same time by getting people talking. Anonymously or not, the embarrassment or shame wasn’t a huge deal anymore, and I firmly believe this new generation of millennials will be much better off than the generation x era as I was in. I can see mass shootings coming to an end, suicide rates way down and people are going to be getting the proper treatment when someone notices the warning signs.
When I realized that what I was going through wasn’t “normal” , I was able to reach out on twitter and find others going through the same thing. After awhile, and with the help of doctors, loved ones and social media I was able to quit drinking and get myself clean and sober finally. Creating this blog was one of the best things I ever did and I hope people will continue to come back and love life as much as I’m enjoying myself today.