My Thoughts On The Power Of Social Media & Ignorance

I wanted to write something on how much everything has changed since I was younger. I know that makes me sound so old (by fashion blogger standards, 29 sort of is), but there’s so much out there now that creates a social experience online instead of having to go out. I know I’ve mentioned before that the online world managed to open up doors and create a career for me, since I was too ill to have a physical job, so I owe everything to it. But what I have noticed is how things are changing constantly for good and bad.

If you’re a reader of my blog, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have at least one social profile, most likely Facebook. But since there’s everything else now from Instagram and Twitter to YouTube and Pinterest and Snapchat, with so much more in-between, it’s a challenge to try and keep grounded. Our social media lives are mixed in with our real lives because it is an extension of the real world. It opens up pathways for us to communicate with everyone else without having to be there in person. However, with so much exposure and interaction, it can have negative effects as well as positive.

Often I have found myself distressed and upset from social media because of seeing things on my timeline that make me sad. I purposely don’t watch the TV news or read newspapers because it’s only the bad in the world that’s reported, but social media is like one giant news outlet too. I’ve often been extremely hurt and not wanted to go back on social media for the rest of the day because I’ve seen something awful that’s been shared, 99% of the time that’s animal abuse. It makes me feel physically sick and full of anger at how people can be so disgusting and cruel. I’m always very careful about logging on and trying to avoid the home feed and just going to my profile.

Other negatives are the ignorance. I find there’s so many judgemental and ignorant people on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook (I pretty much don’t use Facebook, only my blog page) and it annoys me. People can share something really good and someone is right there to tear them down. A photo could be posted and someone is there to jump on them and make accusations because of what they think is in the photo, without knowing the back story. I know a lot of fake news and rumours are spread this way, especially when those viral celebrity deaths go out and they’re not true. Someone can make a status and then others take it the wrong way, twist it, and before you know it there’s a whole viral attack going on which could have been avoided if people actually asked for more information rather than jumping neck deep.

One classic example of this is a woman that has a pet fox, I believe she rescued the fox and takes care of him now. He’s so happy, playing, looked after like a dog and living an extremely comfortable life. He looked like the happiest fox I have ever seen. But people are quick to comment and say it’s cruel, he should be living wild as that’s where they’re supposed to live, without human interaction. I can understand how people think this, but when us as humans are creating a world in which wildlife like foxes are struggling to survive, they need protecting. We destroy their homes so they live in our towns – they lived there first. People hunt them – which is just unthinkable. They can’t find food because of living in towns and this is a huge issue. So ignorant people saying that it’s cruel for her to keep the fox haven’t taken the time to understand that it’s cruel to be destroying their wildlife habitat and having them in danger everyday either.

The other issues are what else we do to the world. I know it’s not directly related, but I was watching Blue Planet and seeing how much plastic ends up in the ocean and is killing marine life, it shocked me. I don’t understand why the plastic even gets put into the ocean in the first place. Why are we dumping it there? As humans, we have to understand we all live as one. Animals, nature, us – we’re a unit and just because we speak to each other and can express ourselves vocally, or have the ability to learn things, it doesn’t make us better than animals. It makes us more intelligent, but that intelligence should come with respect for everything else. Not an ego that entitles humans to think they’re better than animals and start destroying things. It’s an issue that baffles me. The fact that greed, jealousy and destruction is a huge part of human behaviour. What happened to respect, love and compassion for all?

This isn’t entirely negative though because even though the bad is always published, there is good too. I’ve seen a lot of good from social media and when I do see this, it does give me some hope. As an example, I know so many celebrities are active on there and doing great things. Even just a simple interaction with fans helps greatly and it spreads awareness of so many good causes. I know a boy called Damon on Twitter through his dad’s profile. He has had Osteosarcoma Bone Cancer since he was little and he’s had a lot of operations (he lost his arm and some of his lungs) and cancer treatments, fighting his way through. This is where the power of social media comes in because his dad, Brian, tweets updates and quotes from Damon often to show how strong of a boy he is and it’s been well received. Pharrell Williams even sent him a video (privately) to wish him luck and encouragement, while his biggest hero of all, Chris Evans/Captain America, has tweeted him a few times too and made his day. He’s truly a special boy and a super hero himself for being so strong. Now without social media, none of this would have been possible, so it’s great for that reason.

Another great thing is the fact that bullying is being recognised. Viral videos are going around of children talking about bullying and how it’s not ok, which has been well received as well because it’s led to invites from Mark Ruffalo and others to the Avengers premiere next year. It helps raise money for campaigns, it helps keep you in contact with friends and make new friends, it opens your eyes to things you didn’t know existed and helps give you some culture. There’s so much good that can come out of it that it really does help.

As an example, last weekend it had snowed so bad that transport was cancelled in areas and Adam had to get back home to Birmingham for work. I took to Twitter to check in with the train companies and see what delays were happening, which is when I found out that a tree had fallen on the line Adam would need to take, causing delays. I kept an eye on it and also reached out to some people who were stuck on the trains that had stopped because they couldn’t pass through. Then found out that a landslide had happened and the rest of the trains that night had been cancelled, so Adam had to stay here and travel early in the morning to go to work instead. Now without checking in on Twitter and finding out the information, he would have blindly gone to the station and got on a train and been stuck for hours and hours. It was a saviour for that! It’s also good for messaging out your frustrations and upsets with companies as they respond to you publicly too.

Now if we could only take all those positives of social media and keep them, without the negativity, it would be such a nice place. It all comes down to ignorance and judgement. We have to try and understand things from other peoples points of view and not bully or critisize when it’s not warranted. I’ve had it happen a lot of times to me. On Instagram once I wrote about being with Adam for 10 years and engaged, then someone jumped straight in and said something along the lines of Adam not wanting to commit to me if it’s taken that long and we’re still not married. Assuming that me (as a girl) wanted to get married as soon as possible and I was hanging on to someone who wasn’t committing. It couldn’t have been further from the truth (as you all know) and I pointed that out to them. But it goes to show how making assumptions, comments, and judgements can be so wrong.

It happens in real life too as I was in a taxi once in London after attending a press day for denim brands. Taxi drivers, as they do, always ask a lot of questions and I explained I was viewing the new collection of jeans and that I get sent them to review and try etc. To which he responded ‘why couldn’t they send you something good like TV’s, who wants jeans?’. That’s evidence again that he’s just using what he thinks is good and hasn’t taken into account that everyone is different and that I like jeans, I don’t want lots of TV’s and have no interest in reviewing them or seeing them. We’re all different. We have to learn to understand that and not put our interests and thoughts onto others. I try to explain this to so many people when I’ve had to eat before I go out, so everyone is eating except me. I’m not hungry and I’ve already said that I’ve eaten as I can’t risk eating out when I could have a reaction to the food. This seems to upset them and then they say please can I eat something because they feel bad. I explain again that I’m not worried and I’m fine with it, but it’s just being based off what they like and dislike, thinking everyone else is the same, which is what then leads to the ignorance even if the intention was good.

I’m a huge fan of Cupcakes & Cashmere, always reading Emily’s blog, and I was happy when she made a post on judgement (see it here) and how we need to try and understand other people. If a stranger snaps at you, you might need to ask yourself what happened to them today to make them so angry and upset. It’s not a personal attack on you as they don’t know you. Or if someone calls you and is upset, wanting to talk about their problems, the common thing to do is to talk about a problem you had and relay it to them. This often doesn’t help as they can think you’re turning it around to be about you and you’re trying to compare, even if the intention was good. So the best thing to do is listen, most the time people just need someone to listen. If we can make these little changes and it transitions to social media, and in real life, I think it would make such a huge difference in making the world a better place. Give someone a smile or a compliment, it goes a long way in making their day better which then spreads to them feeling happy and carrying that onto others.

This has gotten a bit long now and has turned into somewhat of a rant, but hopefully by sharing some of these thoughts with you, it might help make things more positive in your life. Before you judge, think about the situation from that persons point of view. If something is wrong, correct them and be respectful with how you do it, and kind. I know a reader educated me on an issue here in a very kind and respectful way, which was hugely appreciated. Always make your point from an understanding place and be respectful where you can. As soon as someone jumps on you, you’re immediate instinct is defense, so nothing ends up achieved or changed that way. What are your thoughts on everything I’ve mentioned here? Lorna xx.

Follow:
Share:

26 Comments

  1. December 21, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I can’t agree more Lorna about the so called news these days. I stopped watching and listening years ago. It’s too depressing! All they focus on are the negative things in life. I despise Facebook. Instagram is plenty for me. I enjoyed reading this! May you and Adam have a wonderful Christmas! Today is my birthday by the way. 😬😳🌞

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Thank you, John! I wish you a happy Christmas too πŸ™‚

  2. December 21, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    “…I’ve already said that I’ve eaten as I can’t risk eating out when I could have a reaction to the food. This seems to upset them and then they say please can I eat something because they feel bad.”

    That’s just perfect: ‘…because *they* feel bad’.

    The taxi driver’s comment about televisions and jeans is an interesting solipsism. You can live without television; try going without clothing. Taking him in earnest, it probably reflects his assumptions about price. He wouldn’t buy anything but the cheapest jeans and electronic goods are obviously more expensive. As you say, you have to consider the context of the other person’s life and it doesn’t really matter if a bored taxi driver with his mind on autopilot talks for the sake of talking.

    I usually also take the approach of ‘just let it go’ when I see something that affronts me on the Internet. I rarely become provoked enough to actually interject but I gave in to temptation a few weeks ago and thoroughly mocked a denizen of Nevada who was holding forth on the folly and futility of Australia’s gun laws. I was quite pleased when he blocked me, so I guess I have a streak of it. I can see that some people become habituated or even addicted to the anger rush that comes from these long-range verbal duels.

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      It does always have a lot to do with the persons mindset and what they think is right because it’s right for them. Too judgmental. It can be addictive for people who really enjoy the argument for sure. Happy holidays!

  3. December 21, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Hi Lorna! This blog post is very thoughtful and well-written, like all your content, and I appreciate your insights into these issues. Social media in itself can be a really positive thing, and as you said, it’s often used for worthwhile purposes. However, it’s easily open to abuse, and that’s the part of it I don’t like. I find it quite stressful seeing news feeds too, so I’m selective when I visit social media platforms, and I try not to stray from my original purpose. I want to know what’s going on in the world, but sometimes my mind needs a break. What you said about really listening to others makes a lot of sense, and remembering that we can’t truly know what another person may be dealing with.

    Thank you for a refreshing and thought-provoking article.

    Lots of love Saba xx

    http://www.trulymadlydeeplyfashion.blogspot.com

      • December 24, 2017 / 1:48 pm

        Thank you!

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:48 pm

      I don’t blame you for being selective with your social feeds. Glad you liked it!

  4. December 22, 2017 / 2:33 am

    Social Media has its pros and cons. Like anything else in this world, it’s Yin and Yang. Yes the negative side of it can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to people’s ignorance. It’s like we’re living in a digital smart world, yet the internet is packed with stupid people. But hey, there are also lots of good stories of good people, inspiring people in my Timeline, and I tend to focus on these kinds of posts more. Stay positive dear!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      I’m definitely positive!

  5. December 22, 2017 / 3:10 am

    Social media sure does have it’s perks. The world would be a better place if people would think before they speak .TVs, wow! I also find people are rude on FB. On my fan page, I get some comments sometimes that are just like really? But I guess in life, people try to belittle someone to make themselves feel good or better. I just clicked on your back link and read about your ME. I totally missed that post. Must have been hard and I’m so proud of how far you’ve come Lorna.

    http://www.fashionablyidu.com/2017/12/the-power-of-monochrome.html

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      Oh yeah people on Facebook can be so rude and judgemental. It’s such a shame. And thank you so much, Idu! I’m looking forward to more blog posts of yours in the future!

  6. Savannah
    December 22, 2017 / 10:47 am

    I think social media is both a blessing and a curse really. It’s great for checking things, maps, staying in contact, but then its also so easy to judge others… x http://www.justsavxnnah.com

  7. December 23, 2017 / 1:54 am

    I agree! I haven’t sat down and watch the morning news since last year. I use to watch 30 mins of news then carry on with my day. Now 5 mins of the news is torture. I limit my social media time to avoid negativity. Sadly, I got use to the negative comments or post from people that I don’t read them. Its sad…
    http://www.comfycozyup.com

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      It is sad how negative everything can get. It’s such a shame.

  8. December 23, 2017 / 2:53 am

    I try to stay non-controversial on social media, with questionable results. Fortunately, I have a tolerably thick skin. (It wasn’t always, believe me.)

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      I’ve developed that too when it’s against myself, abuse to me I’m fine with and very used to, but it’s other cruelty I can’t stomach.

  9. December 23, 2017 / 6:58 am

    Didn’t read this as a rant at all Lorna, more a musing about social media! πŸ™‚

    It’s hard, as I think social media can bring out the good or the bad in people. I try to make sure the people I follow are similar to the friends I have in real life, upbeat, positive and happy people who encourage and support others. There have been a few cases where friends or even relatives have been posting things that annoy or upset me – I’d learnt to stay friends with them but unfollow the updates so I don’t see it at all – much better that way. It’s dealing with the unpleasantness in real life I’m worse at, they don’t have a mute option then, and sometimes it’s hard just to bite my tongue!

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:54 pm

      Oh that’s a good idea to block the notifications, if only that was an option on Instagram lol! I’m glad you liked the post though Mica, I always appreciate your positivity πŸ™‚

  10. Omar omar
    December 23, 2017 / 11:59 am

    you look gorgeous 😘

    • December 24, 2017 / 1:52 pm

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

  11. December 24, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    I only have 2 social media accounts – Facebook and Instagram. On the whole I find Instagram to be the friendlier of the two in terms of interacting with strangers but Facebook is great for keeping in touch with pre-existing friends. I tend to avoid the battles that can rage there. I have political opinions but, on the whole, I don’t put them up on social media even though in real life I am a member of a political party and attend the local meetings. None of this is any secret but on social media I just want to interact with people in an enjoyable way regardless of what we might agree or disagree on.

    So much has changed in how we can all interact, for sure. The internet makes some people think they can say whatever they want without consequences. That might be knocking into real life a bit now too…

    You make so many good points in this piece about the positive and negative aspects of this new technology. Social media and the internet in general are tools which, like any other tools, should be used wisely.

    At the moment I am feeling a bit conflicted about it all due to what happened recently in my life with a certain person. That is still raw so I struggle a bit to be objective – but I still believe that there is more good than bad in the world even if it’s sometimes hard to see it. πŸ™‚

    • December 28, 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Like me, I stay out of it too, but usually even if I leave a nice supportive comment or answer someone’s question, there’s someone there going on at me and they weren’t even involved. That’s happened so many times. Which I find strange because if social media is an extension of real life, you wouldn’t go up to random strangers having a conversation and join in un-welcomed to tell them how wrong they are and that your opinion is the only right one, lol. Can you imagine? Well maybe some people do, but it’s not common place like it is online at all. I hope there is more good in the world than bad too. Hopefully all the bad goes πŸ™‚

      • December 31, 2017 / 8:54 pm

        Yeah… mind you, in real life, I doubt I’d even enter a random conversation between strangers even if I was in full agreement with them. πŸ˜€ It’s such a strange thing to want to do.

        • December 31, 2017 / 11:28 pm

          It is, as you’re not welcome in it unless asked, lol πŸ˜€

Thanks for your comments =) I read & reply every one =)