April 2015

Social Media in Our Modern Society: Gift or Curse?

Watching Fox News today for the small amount of time I got, I watched a few minutes of Obama giving a speech about the recent events happening in Baltimore, Maryland. He made a comment about the importance of Social Media and why we should appreciate the influence of it on our modern society, instead of fighting it. At that point, it really shifted my perspective about the latest discussions on our society’s view of Generation Y bringing on one of the biggest fads to date; putting everything on social media. Suddenly, instead of thinking of all the reasons Social Media is a disaster, I started agreeing with all the benefits that don’t get their moment of highlight.

Because no matter who you are, you get on some sort of networking profile either for personal or professional usage. You communicate, share, post, like, comment, and talk.

Posting on Social Media forces us to become aware of what is going on around us. The first thing that comes to mind is “I don’t want to see what people are eating and I don’t want to read somebody complaining about their life and I don’t want to see pictures of somebody’s drunken night.” I believe that’s the kind of thinking that gives the negative connotation to our collective outlook about Social Media and taking away all the great aspects of this nationwide trend.

“I am updated about my favorite sports team, when something happens in my community, and I get to read the news because I don’t have a TV in my home to watch it,” says local college student from UCONN. Above that – social media gives citizens the courage to bring up matters passionately close to their hearts. They get to freely share their opinion about their view on politics, business ethics, and war. They get to promote their local businesses, peace protests, as well as lead life changing movements by way of petitions of change.

There is a reason why Generation Y is born amongst the Era of Internet. Think of the environment we live with day in and day out and the types of situations we experience as a whole and how they affect us individually. Video games, webcams, iPods, iPads, Gameboys, Nintendo DS, camera phones, texting, chat rooms, free online classes, YouTube; just to name a few. It gave us endless amounts of opportunity to be on the screen instead of getting fresh air outside. Generally speaking; yes, I do believe the most important aspect of living is being able to connect with people in Real Life. Have real conversations and be able to physically put your feet in the grass and smell the real fresh air.

However, if you think about it; we were meant to create this trend. We were meant to get caught up in the lifestyle of mobile connecting opportunities. To be preparing for the inevitable big event. With the momentum our evolution is taking us, some people are no longer able to enjoy the end of a hard day, and connecting with those they want to see, or what they want to see.

The argument of complexity vs. simplicity will go on for many more years, much like most era-changing advances our species develop. The adaptation of change is unappealing to most, and because of that mindset, it’s even more unappealing to break into the motion of acceptance of newfound knowledge.

People fight harder against change than they fight for peace.

Social Media is an unofficial gift from the technological Gods. The more we evolve, the more questions we ask, the more we seek adventure – the more we are able to share, by way of articles, pictures, and actual GPS locations by “pin dropping”. What a concept! To know that you can share something marvelously interesting such as a photo from the Crystal Caves in Mexico or something widely important such as the riots in Gaza and create a petition for peace of endangered species in both the Oceans and on the lands and it gets signed by millions of others outside your community.

We aren’t just coming to our school director and explaining why our music program needs more money. No, not anymore. We are creating organizations like Save the Music and video taping our assemblies, to raise funding for ALL schools who can’t afford new instruments or instrumental repairs. Who have the school board threatening to take out their musical programs all together, because it’s unconsidered to be as important as another subject. We are able to use Social Media and hashtags to send the message out to places we wouldn’t guess otherwise of having an internet connection! We break into the hearts of millions to bring peace and awareness by forcing conversations between communities.

People like me, who don’t like watching the news on the television get forced to learn what’s going on in the World. We are forced to give an opinion, even if it’s to ourselves. You can’t hide from important information on issues that inevitably impact our lives. From public lies told by our admired politicians, to the scandals in government and Wall Street, all the way to the “holes in the story” of organized religion and what they are really doing behind the scenes.

Other corporations, the little people, and small businesses everywhere are increasing and building in size and productivity because of social media and we see it posted everywhere when there is a sale at our local bake shop, to what kinds of goods will be at our farmer’s markets, and being able to get on a mailing list or see a coupon right from the very stoplight at which we are stopped on our way home. Thank you mobile device. How did you know I wanted to find a coupon to Aunt Lucinda’s Flower and Bakery shop for a fundraiser? Convenience.

From what you like, to what you fear to know, to what you love to see, what you love and hate to hear. Whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not; it’s right there in your face. And sooner than later, because of social media, justice will be served to those who have hurt the nation and individual societies, communities, and personal lives of millions.

It gives us the opportunity to partner up with people. We are able to join forces.  Spread the word. ALLOWING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD. “THIS IS OUR MESSAGE AND YOU WILL LISTEN TO IT.

IT IS TIME, for people to start getting uncomfortable. IT IS TIME, for people to start compromising on their long held belief systems about the character, morale, policies, and procedures that are being practiced outside our front doors. It is time to start teaching our kids differently and giving them the freedom of independent choice and thought and allowing them to express themselves. To support not only kids, but people of all kind on their personal journey of self-discovery. It is time to stop assuming kids don’t know the better of their opinion and it’s time to start inquiring about their opinion and dropping our assumption that adults can’t learn anything from kids. It is time to start inquiring about your own perspective and to let go of the fear of disappointing a family member or friend because your belief is different from theirs. Ask yourself, ask your family and friends, ask your kids, and ask strangers questions you have never asked before. Think about topics you see on social media, and then think about them again pretending you are someone else, then think about it for a third time pretending you are another person. Keep the cycle going until you have thought about the same topic in the eyes of handfuls of people from all different backgrounds with all different belief systems. How does your opinion on the issue look now?

It’s time for the discussions to get real. And to get deep.

GET UNCOMFORTABLE.

The riots at Baltimore happened because the tip of iceberg finally cracked. There’s always a peaceful way to handle anger, however, with the choices of outrage led by the many who ran with emotion, we as a nation; thanks to Breaking News, and Social Media; received a moment of clarity all at once. Is this the kind of influence we want to have on our future generations? What have we been teaching and/or withholding from the young ones that leads them to believe this kind of action is okay?

We teach by example. Kids don’t listen to what we tell them, they listen to what we do. As parents, teachers, and role models say “Do this and don’t do that” and then turn around and do what they’re not supposed to and disregard the lesson they just gave – THAT is what kids and peers pick up on. Kids are of purity, they see in between the lines; not just read them.

WAKE UP, AMERICA! Stop pointing the finger on everyone else. Get on your electronic devices and google for yourself to research: Collective Consciousness. Read it. Re-read it. Look in the mirror after you have read it a third time. Take the information, spread it on a platter, and serve it at a potluck for you and loved ones to chew on together.

WE CANNOT CHANGE A NATION IF WE DON’T CHANGE OURSELVES. CHANGE DOES NOT JUST HAPPEN, AMERICA. WE CANNOT FORCE OTHERS TO CHANGE. WE CANNOT RIOT FOR CHANGE. WE CANNOT SAY ONE THING AND DO THE OPPOSITE. WE CANNOT PREACH ABOUT BEING GOOD PEOPLE AND THEN BLANTLY GO AGAINST WHAT WE KNOW IN OUR HEARTS IS WRONG JUST BECAUSE NOBODY IS LOOKING OR NOBODY SAYS ANYTHING.

STOP BEING AFRAID.

GET UNCOMFORTABLE.

OVERCOME YOUR EGO.

WORK TOGETHER.

TALK TO YOURSELF.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF.

We don’t get ahead by putting others down. We don’t make a difference by burning things down. We don’t become popular by the amount of Likes you get on the photo of the hamburger from Johnny Rocket’s you posted. We have a beautiful resource at our hand and are given the power to utilize. We are given the opportunity to connect with nations and Worlds beyond our own. Social media is there for our minds to expand. To grow together. To remember that different people in different parts of the World are talking about the same thing, on the same website, or the same app. Relish in that fact. Use that moment to bond with someone you wouldn’t know otherwise. Remember that we are a united World. Lift your consciousness into something bigger than yourself.

And for God’s sake…. Wake up, America.