One morning, I opened my school WhatsApp group and saw 1050 unread messages, I wondered, what happened last night?? When I asked for a summary of what happened and lamented on how I could never catch up, one of us just said: just start from today and read on. I learned a lot from that statement. I’m still in that group, I don’t get upset with several messages appearing on my phone…I just start from today and proceed. That’s social media for you! There is a very common trend in our generation., a very deceptive one at that: we seem to be doing more, but we are definitely not getting more done. We have been blessed in our generation more than any previous generation as regarding advancement in science, technology and other areas of life. However, the very same things that are blessings to us are the same things that can become our undoing if not properly handled. One of such double-edged advancement is the social media: it can be the bridge for your advancement and yet it can also mess up your life. It can wear you out with what I call information overload… You receive all sorts…the ones you need, the ones you don’t need, the ones you want, the ones that make you laugh, the ones that add nothing to you, the ones that make you sad… all manner. You must choose wisely the stuff you want to allow into your system from your social media platform.
Every individual has the responsibility to maximally utilize these advancements in our generation.
What is social media?
The definition I find appropriate is this: Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Define intelligence? Intelligence has been defined in many ways to include the capacity for logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, and problem-solving. Examples of social media platforms
I am sure I don’t know up to half of the social media platforms available.
We have Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, twitter, wechat, telegram, etc…
Let us consider some Advantages of social media
ZinBong, a construction, and general contracting firm needed a rebranding. One of the employees met on someone on Facebook who does such stuff. They saw his samples, contacted him, he did the rebranding and got paid…till today, the company doesn’t even know what he looks like… They only know that he lives in Port Harcourt….that is one great advantage of social media.
What about getting answers, finding places, making new friends, getting jobs, making sales, connecting with family and friends, working on the go? The advantages are not exhaustible.
Before now, if you wanted to buy a car, you’d have to go back and forth and all over the place to look for it…today, you could sit in your house and look for a car all over the world…you could decide to go see the car if in your locality only when you’re sure you want it.
The social media has made the world even smaller than it used to be…we all now feel like a small village…we now exist in a global village of social networking.
However, the social .media also has pitfalls.
Let’s see …
The social media with all the advantages it has also possesses some disadvantages. I won’t bore you with a list. I’d just tell you the one that pisses me off the most because it has to do with messing up with my life
The social media is a time waster if you do not watch your frolicking with it!
Sometimes, I could be at my painfully strict modes. One day, at one of such times, someone accosted me and accused me of not responding to my phone:
I’ve been trying to reach you, why didn’t you pick your call?? Obviously upset
I responded, It is my call, and I am not under any obligation to pick all calls!
I usually advise that if you call anyone twice and they don’t pick up, don’t bother them with more calls. Drop a message. If it requires that they leave whatever they’re doing to respond with a call, they would. If not, they’d respond via text also!
Perhaps, my response to that guy was too hard…however, the truth is that you are not under any obligation to read every message, respond to every chat comment on every picture or read every friend’s wall or check every status update. One of the greatest disadvantage I consider with social media is that it can steal your time. And whatever has the capacity to steal your time has the capacity to steal your life. As far as I’m concerned, time is life!
Have you considered how you intended to just drop a message for your friend and ended up crawling all over the social media for hours…and in the end, forgot what you even wanted to do when you picked up your phone? And then a couple of minutes after you dropped your phone, you remembered, picked up your phone only to repeat the time-wasting cycle?
Social Media Abuse
There is such a thing as social media abuse. Many persons post all manner on social media. From the “send to 10 people” messages to the fake missing car and fake missing people messages…that’s abuse of the blessings of social media. Whenever you just post any message without verifying the authenticity of it, you contribute to the abuse of the social media. Whenever you water people’s time with unnecessary posts and broadcast messages, you abuse the social media., whenever whatever you post didn’t add to anybody else, you abuse the social media. Whenever you add anyone to a group without their permission, you abuse the social media. Whenever you post anything on a group that the rules stipulates shouldn’t be there, you abuse the social media.
That others aren’t seeing your face doesn’t mean you’re hidden. The social media is a public place and you ought to behave civilly on the social media!
A couple of months ago, I read a post concerning time management and decided to try monitoring time spent on my phone…I downloaded the app. On the first day, I looked at the list…top of the list was Facebook (no, not my bible), then whatsapp, then some other apps on my phone. I decided to be deliberate with my social media involvement. I decided I’d only respond to messages at designated periods and if I’m on an assignment, I won’t attend to my phone until I’ve exhausted the time apportioned for that assignment. Because, by the way, multitasking isn’t as productive as you’re made to believe.
Procrastination is the thief of time, however, social media who met procrastination in the game holds the highest record as the greatest time-thief of all times.
Monitoring your time on social media
To maximize the social media, you ought learn and discipline yourself as regarding the time you spend on the social media.
Monitoring your posts on social media
I don’t do random posts on my social media handle. Before I post or share a post, I ask myself what is the point? Why am I doing this?Before you post your new car, your picture in your bedroom, your son’s birthday, your wife’s vacation pix before you post your work place ask yourself, what is the point? It will save you a lot of data money and precious time. Before you post those selfies, ask yourself, what is the point? personally speaking, if your car is not for sale, I wonder why you want everyone to know that you drive a Mercedes and your one year old son doesn’t even know or cares about the birthday post. The question is who did you make the post for: yourself, your son, or the audience?: Sincerely. Ask yourself…What is the point?Why am I posting this?Who is getting blessed or encouraged….?Or am I just trying to play catch up so my mates don’t think I’m left behind….Am I trying to compete?Be sincere…many of the personal private stuff we put on our social media handles do not have any place in the public view….
Asset or Liability: you and the social media
Many people are making a life out of the social media. And I don’t just mean those make $1000 from home kind of adverts. I mean that people are pushing their businesses, ministry and purpose via social media. People are making impacts, reaching out to others, checking up on family and friends,changing lives via social media the social media is an asset to such people.
On the converse, there is another group of people whose activities on social media platforms don’t add anything to them or to anybody else except the telecommunications firm to which they subscribe every month.Whenever they pick up their phones, its to check what’s happening with their friends (not like they care, just to be sure they’re better off than their friends), look for the funniest joke of the day, or stalk their ex! The social media platforms take more than it gives from this group of persons! To these persons, it is a liability.Before you say that you get infos that bless you life, let me ask: all the deep truths and adverts and pictures you’ve gotten from the status of your friends for the past 3 months…what have you done with them?
As I earlier noted, the social media has full capacity to be a blessing or a curse depending on how you handle it.
You need to deliberate about what your social media is to you…What it is to you is dependent of the choices you make.
Someone once said to me: I can fall sick if I don’t have data..
To maximize the social media, you need to find out whether you’re addicted to the social media already and then you need to break that addiction…
Nobody is talking about it but a lot of people are hooked on social media.
Remember I said that it is a time waster…once you’re hooked on social media…I mean addicted to it, chances are high that you can’t spend your time profitably…For the social media to be an asset to you, you need to make wise choices.