Yeah, it might be ruining our society, BUT….

I just read this article on CNN – opinion section:
Opinion: Facebook threatens to ‘Zuck up’ the human race

While I completely agree that there are issues with social media and that it is changing the fabric of society, exactly in what direction we cannot predict, I don’t agree with all of it.

There are plenty of us who don’t live our lives or identities through social media, who manage to balance our lives and prioritize. For instance, I tend to be off and on Facebook and Twitter (mostly off with Twitter, it’s too “noisy” for me), I haven’t associated my identity with it, and I almost never post where I am at the moment – only afterward – I value my privacy.

Let’s take a moment to look at the positives – I appreciate how it helps me stay connected to my friends, from childhood through adulthood.  I love seeing my friends’ children grow up and sharing news about my own children and family.  Yes, some days I scroll the news feed and go, “ugh this is completely boring and full of self absorbed people, why do I ever come here,” yet other days it’s wonderful, funny, engaging.   That is what makes me keep on coming back; that social connection.

I also appreciate what it has done for the deaf community. For hearing people, they are able to develop that strong sense of community locally wherever they live, maybe slowly but surely finding their “people.” It’s not possible for the avg deaf person to live wherever they want and have that community and a circle of close, cherished friends. Take us for instance, we live in a small town and there are maybe 100-200 deaf people in the area, mostly seniors. We get our social needs met through our immediate family, social media, and traveling.

Social media also helps us connect with hearing people in our lives in ways that we are never able to, face to face, due to communication challenges.

It has also been VERY enlightening in terms of understanding how other people think. As someone who’s very unique, I think differently than most people.  Also, as a deaf person I don’t overhear chatter around me and I believe that has limited my understanding of how diverse people can be in terms of opinions, values, and so on.  Seeing the true fabric of our society has given me true insight and better understanding of the world around me.

Bottom line, it is the -individual- who is responsible for the choices they make when it comes to social media. They are the ones choosing to open up their lives and share intimate details with people who are more acquaintances than friends.  This article is basically stereotyping anyone who uses social media, putting all of us in this mold of the “always on,” “share all” social media addicts.

I really liked this comment ‘blancanvas’ made on the CNN article:

Funny, I don’t even like Facebook or use it, but this article is overkill.  What’s really killing America is the sensationalist/alarmist media that desperately tries to get people’s attention with shock pieces like this, so they can sell ad space.  Well, mission accomplished, I guess.

Touche, touche!

You know what? I bet the writer is just as superficial as he paints our society to be – he just spouted out all the negatives.  Where are the positives?  A well balanced opinion piece should at least pretend to consider the other side of the issue, to pay lip service.   In other words, I think he’s a hypocrite – underscored by the fact that his Twitter address is on the article.  But that’s just my opinion.

PS. For those of you who read my last blog post, yes I have been working on a new habit with some success, I will blog about it soon!

Elise

Elise is a former  journalist turned web developer turned event planner. She is deaf, advocates for accessible technology and ASL literacy, and very opinionated. Her passion is her family - husband Lee, sons Logan and Lucas - and her business.

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