Discussion: social media curse or blessing?

Hi dear friends!

 

Without a daily challenge for this month I’m back on track with some discussion posts and today I would like to have a chat with you about social media.

 

Do you think social media are a curse or a blessing? Or both?
Do you use them? When and why? Do you speak their language and know their inner work?

 

Some context maybe.

 

BB (Before Blogging) I was rarely on social media. I was on Goodreads of course as I’m passionate about books and I had a Facebook private account where I did not post many things. It just helped me get in touch with friends and what happened in their lives when they were living far away.

That’s it.

Incredible I know but true.

 

Now that I’m blogging I have a FB page for my blog, a FB group that I created with other blogger friends, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Pinterest account and I‘m overwhelmed with informations every day!

Some informations I’m very happy to get as new books from favourite authors, blog posts from friends, giveaways, etc. others I don’t care for (advertizing  mainly) are polluting my feed.

I’m also stressed by all these informations as I feel like I just HAVE to keep up and react but I just can’t.

 

 

Hence this discussion: are social media a curse, a blessing or a necessary evil?

Grab a cup of tea, take a seat and let’s chat about the different situations and POV.

 

 

 

As a Fellow citizen

We’ve all heard that social media played an important role in the two last presidential campaign in the US. I began to write this post in December 2017 and by the time this will be published we got the “Facebook Scandal” with a huge appology from its founder (but we’ll see were it goes). My point is not to open a debate but rather to highlight how social media influence us. Be it in elections or choosing our favorite read, Facebook, Twitter etc. read your behavioral choices and present you informations, news, promotions they think you will like.
Great right?
Well not totally as you can pay them to boost your posts and show them to others (not so neutral). You will soon see the same kind of books and choices so forget diversity and opening your mind to totally different topics. You will think, read and eat in a small circle.

 

 

Downside

They can manipulate your opinion on many subjects only showing you one side of the story.

They keep you in a closed circle running similar ideas all the time.

Upside

Now the counterpoint is that it still is a fantastic mean to see what likeminded friends read, love and have a chance to get your next fix in books, movies, fashion, whatever you love.

I think if I give so many high ratings for books that it has to do with being presented books similar to those I loved previously hence higher chance to get a high rating.

Now what?

I’d say use it but don’t believe everything you read and try to forge your own critical opinion looking for other sources of information.

Try to follow other people, different from the ones you are used to follow just to break the “circle” from time to time.

 

 

As a parent

Kids usually all are on social media. My son has a FB account to follow his classmates and debate about some schoolwork. That’s the extent of his FB activity so far. But he is a gamer and chat online with his game crew on Discord among others. They have their own community. My daughter has a FB account and is on IG as well. She is on Snapshat and is the real social media guru of the family. When I began on Instagram she showed me the ropes 😉

 

 

Upside

Most kids have a ring of “helpers” and can chat with their classmates if they need help with some topic. If they are music fans they follow their favorite band on FB or Twitter or … and know when and where they are touring. If they are fans of SJM (totally random) they can stalk their favorite author on social media and know when they’ll get their next fix. Information is gold and easy to find on everything you are interested in. Politics, sports, culture…. you name it you got it. This is an incredibly powerful source of information and knowledge. You don’t know something? Google it or ask in your inner circle. You can also connect with people all around the world and make friends everywhere.

Downsides

Bullying is one major downside of social media. Decades ago when you left school the bullying stopped. You could breathe at home. Now it follows you home as the bashing can go on with Facebook, etc. My son got a nude picture of one of his female classmates that was taken by her ex. They broke up and the boy sent her picture everywhere… I forbade my son to forward it and asked him to destroy it.

Social pressure is also incredibly high! When you see all the photoshopped pictures of your favourite stars you see all your “flaws”. I’m lucky to have level headed kids but others go on unhealthy diets etc. Social pressure also comes with the dream picture people show of their lives.

Have you ever thought that she or he has a dream life compared to your life? Well chances are high that everything is not as good as it seems but it has us mildly depressed or envious. Scoop here: it’s biased. As in advertising you rarely show your bad hair day but rather post a picture with your new haircut right from the salon! Except Jay and his “couch hair” 😀 

Now what?

I would say teach your kids to be critical and have their own opinion on topics presented by social media. Tell them to look for friends with different background, cultures and experiences. Travel a lot and with accepting minds and eyes wide open. Show them pictures “before” and “after” photoshop and praise them for who they are. Show them the world and broaden their horizon if you can afford it. Tell them nothing is always black or white but that the truth is in the middle, in shades of grey. Help them to cut the ties and enjoy nature or books or ….to lessen the pressure.

 

As a Blogger

I come to the reason why I wrote this post. Blogging means communicating about your passion. Of course I love to write posts and make graphics. It’s fun and self fulfilling. But I also hope someone will read it and comment back. The hardest time is when you launch your blog and don’t have a big net of friends on social media. I was that blogger when I began. I’m really happy to have people to talk to now but the firsts posts felt like screaming in the desert.

 

 

Upside

Social media allow you to spread the love. You get to push your most beloved authors (Yay!) and shout that “that book is dang good and just read it!!!”

You stay in the loop and know what to read next. When I learned that Tahere Mafi would publish her fourth book in the Shatter Me series I was overjoyed! When Suanne Laqueur told me Beartown by Frederik Backman was her best read of 2017 I bought the book and was in reader’s Heaven! When I look at gorgeous bookstagrams I study them and try to apply some of the tips to mine. When Flavia or Krysti or … tweet about an international giveaway I enter!

You get books and ARCs to read and promote. Let’s be realistic here PR companies and editing houses are looking after bloggers having accounts on social media as a mean to push their books. It’s rational and understandable. Having accounts on social media OR a blog with tons of followers help you get your most wanted ARCs.

You show your work and your creation to others! I’m following Inkfurie (Lonna from FlyLef) on IG and I love watching her creating gorgeous letters. Calligraphy is very difficult and being an artist is often lonely. Social media enable you to show your creation and get feedback.

Inspiration. Reading creative posts, looking at gorgeous bookstagrams and graphics is an endless inspiration source. It’s motivating and pushes you to do better. Get more creative. develop new talents. Aquire new skills.

 

Downside

As already said you can feel inadequate as a blogger. When you see someone posting all the time incredible bookstagrams or creative posts you can ask why you can’t do it too? Peer pressure is a reality.

It’s HIGHLY time consuming to follow everyone and everything. It’s impossible. I’m really in awe of some of my bloggers friends commenting back on nearly everything and immediately. I would love to comment back on all your posts but when I’m coming back home at 7 PM and have to be up and dandy at 5 AM I have a limited time frame on week days to do so. I feel like a fraud most of the time. Like I’m a bad friend and disappoint people.

Now what?

I would say use it but don’t abuse it. Follow and comment when you can. Binge commenting when you have time but if you don’t remember blogging is a hobby but it’s not everything in life. You are not a bad person if you can’t like and comment on everything. You are just human. Make it the bast you can and leave out the rest. Well these are wise words but not always easy to follow my own advices. 😉 

 

Now let’s chat. What is your opinion about all this? Do you have social media accounts? Can you like and comment on everything every day (if so do tell me your secret)?

 

Thanks for reading! And sorry for the looooooong post.

 

Happy Saturday!

Sophie

 

Please follow and like us:
85

35 Replies to “Discussion: social media curse or blessing?”

  1. You make really great points! I find it hard to remain active on social media as a blogger. I do not have an IG account just a twitter, yet, I find myself forgetting about it and then suddenly updating it!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Jayati that’s the same for me with Twitter! I find it an odd social media as we have to use so few words LOL

  2. I like social media for a multitude of reasons…staying connect with friends/family who aren’t local, meeting know people with common interest, sharing with the world. Like anything though it can easily be abuse and misused.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Exactly! I used to be on FB just to stay connected with my cosin living in England.

  3. I definitely think that social media can be both curse and blessing! That’s why I usually stick to a few platforms that I use frequently like Twitter and Goodreads 🙂 I feel like being active on more social media sites would probably overwhelm me pretty quickly. Social Media is also very time-consuming and you can quickly feel like you’re behind on everything that is going on.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      This is so true Caro! I have FB and IG. I go to GR three times a week currently 😉

  4. I love, love, LOVE this post!

    I agree with everything you’re saying and honestly (for my own life), I have to “schedule” times to use social media. That way I’m participating but I’m not spending too much (or too little) time on it.

    It can be such a powerful tool, but I don’t want it to take over my life.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      This is a wise and sound strategy Layne! Use it but don’t let it abuse you. I try to do the same. When I’m home for the day I blog, write, read and review till around 4PM (after having done some sports chores etc.) and begin following my social media feed from 4 PM. This way I can have some work done and I’m not overwhelmed.

  5. Great thought provoking post!
    I have an addictive personality and am very visual and had to quit Instagram as I just could not resist scrolling through all those visually stunning feeds whilst hours flew by.. so it wasn’t for me.
    I think it’s ok to use social media as a tool or as a way of connecting as long as it serves us and we are happy with its purpose.
    I mostly just blog and even those I have a fb page for my blog, I think I’ll delete it as I don’t really maintain it. I mostly interact on WordPress. I know I could broaden my audience with social media but it feels like work….and I’m lazy ….. so not much promotion is happening on my side. I just write, comment on posts I like and follow blogs I enjoy and connect with fellow bloggers in that way. But that’s me, we all enjoy different things and none of those is right or wrong.. just different. ❤️

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Vera you’ve said something very important here: you have to do what feels right for you and fits your life. You are not big on many social media so what? Maybe focusing on WP you’ll be more successful than I am …or not but you’ll still be happy with it 😉

  6. I think that are both. The social itself isn’t bad but it turn out in a certain way depending on how people use. Yes, I’m thinking a lot of the young adult community (which is the one I interact/follow the most).
    Sometimes is too much. I learned a lot from it but at the sometimes I’ve the feel that is also easy to mess up.
    Sometimes I stress a lot and is really not okay for my health. I usually end up going more on IG. Seeing picture and just answering some simple questions really help me relax more.

    The only thing is that sometimes I end up being sucked into social instead of doing actual blogging or even other more importan irl stuff

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I do love IG too Camilla! As you said more relaxing.

  7. Fantastic post! I know EXACTLY what you mean. Case in point, I’m JUST NOW seeing this post…two days after you posted it, LOL! It’s extremely hard to keep up with social media, especially with kids and family. In fact, I try REALLY hard to stay off social media and even my blog on Sundays as I consider it FAMILY DAY!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Haha don’t feel bad Trisy I’m sometimes reading posts late too 😉

  8. I have the hardest time keeping up with it all. If I do it daily, I get behind on everything else. It is SO time-consuming, but it’s also important to grow. I’ve decided only to focus on the blog (WP) and maybe adding onto Bloglovin’ and mainly working my Instagram for awhile for now. FB has sucked the life out of me, so I’m not really using that one anymore. I don’t (but probably should) work with Twitter as much either. I’ll probably change it up after awhile.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Daisy these are smart moves! I did the same choices except that I kept Facebook as I had grown quite a big follower base.

  9. The time consuming aspect of it is a bit of a curse really. I could do better on instagram if I would be on it more and commenting more and liking more but I’m not sure where I would have to find the time. I would have to spend less time with my son, or spend less time reading or blogging.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Yes Annemieke it’s always a choice to make. I love Instagram as it gave me the opportunity to be creative and artsy again something I can’t be on Twitter…

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Priyasha!! xx

  10. Great Post, Sophie! social media is a blessing and also a curse. Before blogging I didn’t have an IG account, twitter and a facebook page but now I have to keep up with all of these and it’s so darn hard and impossible. Blogging alone takes a lot of time and keeping up with social media means more time and more stress.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Raven! I so agree with you. That’s why when I feel tired I take a mini break from social media.

  11. I thinks it’s a blessing and a curse for me as an individual but a curse as a blogger. Keeping up with posts lately have been a chore and I hate that. I love chatting with other readers but I don’t like feeling the pressure of blogging. I just want to go back to when I was just chatting with my reader friends. It was more fun!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I know what you mean Danielle! You also took one week breaks from social media before and I think it was a wise move to keep the pleasure and not the pressure.

  12. I used to post much more on my personal Facebook page but I think I just got bored with it. For blogging social media are a necessary thing although FB are doing their damnedest to make it hard for us.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      That’s true about being harder Astrid. If you want people to see your post you must create true content and be personal. Problem with PR posts then..

  13. I think social media can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use it. Just like everything else in life, I guess. I’ll just speak to the blogging stuff since that’s mostly how I use it. I figured out a while ago that I can’t do it all, so I don’t have a FB for my blog, and I stopped using Instagram because it was too much work and I knew I could never compete with all the amazing book photography. I use Pinterest cuz it’s fun, and I just also pin my posts there, and sometimes it brings me visits. I use GR. And more and more I’ve gotten into Twitter. And it works me for, just using those three and pretty much using them in a way that I enjoy. I want to get into Tumblr too, but honestly I just don’t quite “get” it lol.

  14. I feel like I’m about 50/50 with social media. I really don’t use it for my personal life but with books. I love seeing other people books post and sometimes chatting with a fellow booklover. However, I do feel a lot of stress to keep up with every platform (Facebook, Instagram. and Twitter) and it gets overwhelming.
    I also want to be one of those people who say that they don’t get bitten by the envy bug, but I do. I get a little envious of people who get good arcs, I get envious of peoples bookstagrams who are way better than mine.
    I feel like I’m rambling lol! But like I said, I’m 50/50 with social media.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well me too more or less Kayla. Necessary evil I would say 😉

  15. Funny, I’m actually taking a break from most social media at the moment. It’s mostly for mental health reasons. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress from my day job recently, so most nights I’d rather work on my novel or write poetry than deal with the overwhelm of my Facebook or Twitter feeds. Plus, between my day job, the writing projects, traveling every other weekend to visit my parents, and trying to take better care of myself… It’s hard to find the time, energy, or headspace for social media. I’m sure I’ll get back to it eventually, but I’m not going to push myself, either.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      It’s a wise decision Sara. This week at work we had to answer a poll to measure our stres level and social media was on stress factor. So if you don’t feel like it you don’t.

  16. SABINA EDWARDS says: Reply

    I’m on most of the social media sites but I’ve been online quite a while. Back in the day we ran a bulliten board out of our house in saskatoon (treasure isle, back in the 80’s) We also ran opennap music sharing servers back in the day (hmmm over 20 yrs ago as my son was a baby) I think with twitter, because you are capped if no one will follow you back, it would be decent for those who ask you to follow to follow back (the rest of the social media sites aren’t as picky) I like to share on tumblr . I share way too much pets on instagram (And will have to change my name now that I no longer have ferrets)

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Wow Sabina you have a great experience indeed! Tumblr is one media that I’m not following yet. Isn’t it like having a blog on tumblr?
      And have you noticed a difference in the twenty years you’ve been on social media?

      1. SABINA EDWARDS says: Reply

        YEAH, back in the day things looked way more like forums…were you on fb when it first started? Its evolved so much. OH anyone remember myspace? I loved the music player feature on that

        tumblr is hard to explain lol

        1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

          Oh no I came to FB really late ;-)))

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.