Every so often, I’ll come across an online article that mentions the mental effects of social media. One story noted that social media isn’t always a true picture of our entire selves, good and bad, but a depiction of how we wish the world to perceive us. Other articles observed that social media causes feelings of depression (especially when you compare yourselves against others on the same social media platform), stress (cyber-bullying) or irritation (when the same individual talks about the same issue, over and over and over and over…..*yawns*……).
At the same time, social media is a tremendous force for positive emotions. It’s great for laughter (cute laughing baby videos, anybody?) and sharing special lifetime moments. I sent birthday messages to a friend yesterday on Facebook and congratulated another friend on his engagement. There’s also the entertainment provided by my sassy cousins on Facebook, who create some hilarious and/or beautiful selfies.
I experience a gamut of emotions through my own use of social media. Sometimes there’s a mild envy when I see pictures of an amazing foreign place and I wish I could be there myself. Other times, there’s outright disgust (“Seriously? They put that online?” and disbelief (mostly at people dumb enough to brag about their misdeeds online). Social media feels overwhelming at times; the sheer volume of information is more than any one person can process.
In other cases, the social media’s been engineered to make viewers like me smile, laugh or even feel like dancing, and I respond accordingly. Social media, for me, helps me further my education, lightens my mood when I’m stressed, provides me with a quick peep at another’s culture or life experience, or wows me with the sights and sounds of something amazing. (Twisted Sifter, talking to you here, with your incredible images and videos.)
It’s so entertaining. Yesterday, I bantered with blogger Marilyn Armstrong about the stranger things people eat, including salted peanuts poured into Coca-Cola (it’s a Southern thing, y’all). Today, it was a Twitter #bookbloggers chat hosted by my Irish buddy Liam O’Dell; we talked about physical damages to books and golden Oreos.
There’s also the fun of developing cyber-friendships with other people within social media platforms. By now, I’ve been blogging long enough to have developed fun online friendships with other bloggers and Twitter users, which is vastly entertaining.
What does social media (blogging included!) do for you? How does it make you feel?