Social Media, The Gift and The Curse

 

In a world where having instant access to people, things and information is a priority, sometimes we forget that faster is not always better. The world almost revolves around the use of social media. What most people don’t understand is that, 140 character tweet, a retweet, a picture on Instagram or Snap Chat, even a occasional rant on Facebook, could forever alter ones life for better or for worse.

I initially was anti social media. I have never been the most out going or talkative person, so I couldn’t fathom allowing people to have access to my life or giving people a way to actually reach me, especially people I didn’t know. My reasoning for getting on social media was to keep up with my family and friends. I tend to travel a lot, so numbers change, families grow and, I have to miss a lot of special moments in the lives of those I care about. Plus, I also wanted them to see some of cool moments that have taken place in my life. In 2011, after climbing a 700 meter mountain in the French Alps, I decided that this was one of those moments that I wanted people to witness. My former teammate and good friend David Noel signed me up on Twitter and gave me the warning “Bruh, it’s addictive.”

After a month or so, I saw that social media was becoming a part of the everyday norm for me. I checked my social media outlets for sports updates, the weather forecast, spiritual encouragement, and even to see what my favorite celebs were up to. As time went on, I saw what social media was doing. It gave people another way to vent their personal problems, it gave everyone a way to voice their opinion as if they were experts on any and all topics. I have also seen people grow their own personal brands by becoming more visible to the public. Actors and actresses were discovered because of their videos on Vine and Instagram. People become leaders in their communities simply by posting their views.

Social media can be a gift or a curse all depending how you use it. A gift, when used responsibly. Responsibly meaning, think before you hit send on that tweet, or post that picture. Who will the post reach? Is this really how I feel or am I trying to get someone else’s point across? How will what I post effect my own personal brand? Will my post jeopardize my well being? We see a lot of prominent people get in trouble because of what they do on social media, be careful! The Curse of social media comes when you don’t answer the previous questions. I am all for people speaking their minds, but let’s be honest, freedom of speech is not always free.

To the youth out there, please be mindful of what you are doing on social media, you never know who is watching you. That job that you applied for may check your social media, the college that is recruiting, I guarantee they check your social media on the regular basis. Don’t let a reckless post hinder your greatness!

Till next time… WORLD WAD

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