Social Media or Me Media

I've been thinking about Social Media lately and want to broach this topic without people getting defensive. If I think back to what Karl Marx said about religion, in some ways I think the same can be said regarding social media . Often times, people misinterpreted what Marx was saying about religion. When they hear Marx, regarding religion, what they hear is he's anti-religion, "He said religion is the opioid of the masses." What he really talked about was that economic realities wouldn't allow the poor to find true happiness in this life. Therefore, happiness will come in their next life according to religious teachings.
I've been thinking about Social Media lately and want to broach this topic without people getting defensive. If I think back to what Karl Marx said about religion, in some ways I think the same can be said regarding social media . Often times, people misinterpreted what Marx was saying about religion. When they hear Marx, regarding religion, what they hear is he's anti-religion, "He said religion is the opioid of the masses." What he really talked about was that economic realities wouldn't allow the poor to find true happiness in this life. Therefore, happiness will come in their next life according to religious teachings.

So what's the connection to social media? People have become absorbed with their lives around their postings in some form of social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media, people have become transfixed on posting the latest happenings in their lives. "Look at me, I just posted a selfie of me at a recent event!!" Forget being there for the event, it has become more important that people know you were there! I can just hear people already getting defensive!

I'm not trying to tell people to stop with social media, I'm just asking people to stop and think what they are doing with it.

Too many people I've spoken to, that are heavy into social media, are those that also find a fascination with reality television. Anything to escape the reality of today's world. Again, I go back to Marx's thinking.

Then there are those that get their "courage" from their postings. It is a lot easier to tell people what you think on social media then saying it directly to someone. Somehow, people believe they can say anything hurtful or false without being accountable for their actions. Especially now when the role model we follow as the leader of our nation can say whatever he wants to say online without any consequences. Some will rejoice in those tweets thinking he is telling it like it is. Wishing they could say the same thing. Complicit without having to take responsibility.

I will hear, "I'm not political, " yet I'll see postings on Facebook, for instance, that have political implications. "On, I'm not political," yet they will share a post that goes against NFL players that take a knee. "I'm not a racist, " yet a posting on their Facebook page will have a post regarding "All lives matter."

Besides the political implications, I really believe there is a sense that people are looking for some type of validation and connections in their lives. There is this desire find meaning. However, we've lost that ability, in some ways, to make a person-to-person connection. Meaning in life comes from those everyday connections to those that are close to us. It doesn't matter how many postings we do , it will not fill the cup.

I realize social media is just a tool. It has been a great tool to organize protest, find out what is happening in the world that the mainstream media doesn't always report, and communicate with others around the world. It's just like any other tool, it all depends on how you use it.

So the big question is, "How do you use social media?" Can we begin the conversation?

Next…implications regarding education and social media in schools.
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