Social stupidity: Why social media saves the day and ruins others

09/28/15 by Rennie Detore

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter, or social media in general, you have to marvel at just how the general public uses it.
For some, it is a paint by numbers numbing that includes step by step what you're doing through the entire day. Why the masses might believe that their "friends" or "followers" want to know what they had for breakfast, that they lost their coupon for paper towels at the grocery store or the ubiquitous posts that don't mention people by name but are more like attacking someone without actually saying what it is that is happening.
Truly a head scratcher and beyond belief in terms of annoying.

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For others, it is how they gather news and entertainment, without turning on the television or going to or others of that ilk. Their "news" feed truly is just that.
But such is the way of social media, which has essentially given everyone with a user name and password and subsequent log on information the ability to have a voice and 15 minutes of fame that lasts much longer.
The hardest part about social media is that it has some redeeming qualities, such as trying to keep in touch visually with family that you don't see all the time or finding friends you can reconnect with, but the majority of what happens on Facebook and Twitter is terribly tiresome from the posted content to just how much time is wasted checking your feed or deciding that today is the day you're going to post something to get back at your boss or an old girlfriend or boyfriend.
And some ways, it's highly stupid, particularly when you forget that what you post isn't for your eyes only.
Case in point, remember those in the know telling you that posting that you're on vacation isn't a smart Facebook or social media move. Did you stop to think that maybe someone who isn't only interested in your fascination with Cheerios or the show Scandal might be waiting to see if your house is fair game to be their personal and private showroom?
The same could be said for the inane and haphazard posting that occurs by, well, anyone that shows perhaps a lesser side of their personality, and yet wonder why they didn't get a particular job that they had high hopes to secure. Employers pay close attention to Facebook pages and social media prior to hiring you but also if you're using that sick day and yet post how wonderful that baseball game was or trip to the zoo, complete with pictures.
Your life on display doesn't work just one way, you don't just get to be a social media superstar and would be smart aleck and not have to be accountable for every word or action you post as a result.
Ironically, however, Facebook and social media can be the salvation that can be useful in serious situations, from parents unsure about the mindset of their children or their capacity to go to school or if they're being bullied to cops and authorities trying to solve a case or dig a little deeper when traditional work runs cold.
A recent story saw a few small time criminals rob a bank and post their recent windfall on Facebook, which meant a short live spending spree and quick apprehension.
Social media certainly isn't going anywhere and would figure only to play more into culture as time progresses. How you use the media is going to mean not only how it is perceived by not only you but aware that others are paying attention too for reasons both good and bad.

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