Social media has become an important resource, but also an important business in current times. It gives people ways to stay in touch across the world, as moving becomes more common, and living your lifetime in your hometown becomes very uncommon. Sharing pictures and events with family, and being able to stay in touch has helped so many families stay connected. For military families, it helps keep in touch with family as they move around the world, but also as military members deploy it gives families more options to keep in touch when communication is open. Social media has put people in touch, and helped people reconnect, but there is a dark side to be aware of, and careful of as you surf the web.
Make no mistake, social media is a business, and anything you put on the internet can come back to haunt you. It can also increase your stress, and cause issues like depression and anxiety. In working with younger people today, it’s clear that airing your dirty laundry is not really the best idea at times. The businesses behind todays social media collect data, as do government agencies. Employers are reviewing your information on the web before hire, and lawyers involved in litigation will look you up as well. Whatever you say or post on social media can be reviewed, for better or worse, and it can cause headaches if you are not careful.
Recently, people have lost jobs over “speaking my mind”, and have also been threatened with harm. Cyber bullies are alive and well on social media, ready to make you question yourself if you let them, and make you feel small. I have worked with many people struggling from events on social media. The negative influence causes issues with confidence and self-esteem, but also increases depression and anxiety. They struggle to get off social media, almost like an addiction, but they need to get off to turn things around related to mental health. Some people are trying to educate and make things better, but others have a new outlet to share their misery and poor attitude with the world. They ooze hate and negativity, and don’t care how it makes other people feel. What people wouldn’t say in person is easy to say on the internet, with a level of cover and a feeling that no one will know it’s them, but don’t believe that. If you make threats, you can be found.
Social media comes with risks. If you are willing to try social media, be careful about how you use it, and how you explore, and remember that people are watching. Don’t take things seriously, and don’t let people dictate how you feel about yourself. If there is something that you feel empowered to say, say it, not because you want the change others but because you want to be heard. If there are news stories that interest you, do more research. Not everything on the internet is real! Do your homework and be well informed. Don’t let people make you question who you are. Don’t let them question your beliefs, or your sense of what’s right. Don’t let them make you feel like you are not worthy, or important. You are important.
Social media can be good, but it can also be very bad. It can include drama, and pain, and hate. Don’t let them take you off your path. Don’t let the haters on social media make you question who you are. You are special and important. You are worthy of love and friends. Focus on your path to happiness, and don’t let it push you off your path to being happy, for life.