5 problems with social media (Day 1 prompt) 

5 problems with social media…for starters social media is a paradox. The concept is to encourage socialization beyond the limits of land, time, and identity, yet it fosters a sense of labeling. Labeling pigeon holes unique and complex individuals into sub-sections that only let them express one side of their whole self. You join a group for “mothers” or “writers” or “art-lovers” or whatever, but life is more diverse than that. I am a mother, a writer, an art-lover, book addict, karaoke enthusiast, foodie, history buff, diy fanatic and so much more. 
Another issue I have is the lack of actual social interaction. You cannot fathom the facets of the soul from text that’s usually written in a rush as a tweet or inconsequential status update. We have literally the world at our fingertips yet we cower in the depths of comfort and only reach out on a superficial level. It is rare to foster a true connection, and it’s kind of hard to meet other propel in the real world if we are constantly being sucked into the glow of whichever electronic screen is your latest fascination. Now I am not innocent in the mighty time-suck that is FB, Twitter, IG and more, but there must me structure in order to not lose communicative skills.


Which brings me to my third rushed proverbial thorn about social media, what is going on with this mesh of an alphabet soup where so many aren’t texting full communicable dictionary words? How can I garner a sincere response from the notification of a like or a standard emoji? Now there is something in the web-verse that is called an emoji sentence! What in the world is that? Emojis by definition are not words, they are emotion icons or emoticons. Faces and images, have we regressed to prehistoric times, before verbalization? Social media “walls” are now decorated like the hieroglyphics of ancient times. 
*and breathe, I’m almost done* Fourthly (yes I know that’s not a word, I’m using it ironically) social media can be both a tool and a weapon depending on the hand that wields it. So many insipid people have become famous off the superficiality that photographs well or translates famously in 140 characters or less. Life is not a sound byte, genuine social interaction is a give and take, a chemistry that can take a variety of directions depending on tone, gestures, facial expressions. Anything out of context can be misconstrued, at least when I have a misunderstanding with one person it can be remedied. However if it is forever cemented in the memories of all who read, like, comment, repost, share, and retweet then my folly is at the mercy of potentially hundreds if not thousands. *le sigh* 
Which brings me to my number five, bullies. Growing up during the 80s-90s I experienced bullies, I pray I never was one. But I could leave said bully behind me, literally. I could walk away, I had a loving home that allowed me reprieve. In today’s technological hell a bully is always there. Worse yet, a bully can garner a following of other bullies in training and then they collectively can pester you in the privacy of your own home, vacation, school, and future. Releasing social media poison that will leech into your psyche, under the guise of anonymity and “kids are cruel”. No, kids are blunt and sometimes lack a social filter, but they are not cruel. Cruelty is born in the hearts of the soulless. Age isn’t a factor in cruelty. But an ingenious bully can forever trail like a shadow of anger, or force the bullied into a social media hermit. Social media isn’t the problem alone though, I am not naive enough to think that. 
I’m out of breath and in a bit of turmoil over what I wrote. The truth of the negativity in the world is something I cannot comprehend, social media is not at fault. Poison just found a way to twist something good into something bad. I applaud the individuals who are using social media to spread awareness, positivity, community spirit, and healing. This free write to a simple prompt became a little bit more of a release for me. 
Embrace the power of good in your soul, and share a smile.
–C. Dougherty 

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