Friday, September 11, 2015

Social media & choice

I'm big on connections—connecting with people I love and care about, connecting with meaningful organizations, connecting with others to share ideas and connecting my inner and outer selves. Because connecting is so important to me, I really enjoy that part of social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter—even though I do less on the two latter media. Through Facebook I have connected with so many people from earlier years as well as with family members who live far from me. I see their photos and hear about their lives. Through LinkedIn I get to connect with people with whom I had regular connections during my active career years.

There are downsides to social media, however. Our information can be tracked, and we can be even more bombarded with ads than we  are otherwise. In addition, people can be bullied and harassed on social media. It's not enough that children are bullied in school but now, with all manner of devices, there's access to others 24/7.

As with so much of life, the internet and social media are both/and: They contain positive aspects and outcomes as well as negative ones. And, as is true of much of life, the good news is that you get to choose. I get to choose what parts of the internet I wish to access. So do you. I get to choose when to shut down my devices. So do you.

As a teenager, I used to tell my parents, "But everyone else is doing it," an argument they never bought! I don't have to worry about that anymore. Now I get to choose what's best for me. You do, too. Remember you have choices. Be intentional. Do what's best for you—in all things.

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