Social Media - Pros and Cons
Back in the day we had to go through so much trouble getting to know someone and there was always that "what if they're lying" question lingering in your head. Certainty was out of the question until you had known that person for a while. But then one day Social Media came along and made it way easier for us to get to know the "real" them before we even met them.
Like everything in this world Social Media has it's pro's and con's, one Facebook status can make or break you but no matter what 99% of the time it defines you. Think about it... Facebook shows your friends what kind of music you like, the topics you enjoy reading on, your beliefs and ideologies, what you stand for or are indifferent about, whether or not you value your family's opinion, if you're a family person or not, if you like to go out a lot or are more of a stay at home person, what places you like to go to, what kind of people do you surround yourself with and even if you're not much of social person at all. Correct me if I'm wrong but if Facebook can give me an overview of the kind of a person you are I really don't need to do much digging do I?
Nonetheless keep in mind that it works both ways the other person gets to see the exact same things about you. If you meet someone and decided to add them as a Facebook friend before giving him/her your number and you’re trying to get to know them at a more personal level, there is always a chance that they may not 'like' what they "see" after they already liked what they saw. But let's be real, Facebook has become such a monstrosity that no matter how hard you try to portray something you're not sooner or later the real you will come out and if that person doesn't like the real you then look at the bright side, now you have space to add someone worthy to be added to your contact list.
"People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it's surfaced through friends and people they know and trust." -Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson
There are many variables when determining whether or not social media is a good tool for you to use to define a person. How often do they use it, what do they use it for most of the time, do they measure their words when posting statuses?, what type of content do they like and share?, what do they care about?, etc… Now all these things are important when creating a profile of a person especially if you are considering building a long lasting relationship with this individual. As kids we learn that sharing is caring but when you expose yourself to everyone and put absolutely no effort or set no boundaries in regards to the content that is shared it may harm you in the long run. You may lose out on enjoying and learning new things and new people by the not paying attention to what you say or gain a nice following by doing so. Your statuses and shares may deny you the opportunity to get the job of your dreams if the company you applied for feels like you stand for ideals that go against the company’s values or views or may aid in you landing that job if you took the opportunity to explain what you are sharing and why.
“Social media provides us the opportunity to think before we ‘speak’, giving us a better shot at reasoned dialog. So it’s not a huge surprise to me that not only can real communication happen, but real relationships can blossom.” – Paul Biedermann, @PaulBiedermann, 12Most
Oftentimes we hear people telling others to think before we speak but rarely ever do it. The good thing about social media is that not only does it give us the opportunity to do this but it also gives us the opportunity to fix it if we didn’t say it right the first time. The one thing you need to think about when posting anything online is that nothing ever deletes itself from the internet. There is always a way to retrieve those risqué photos you posted when you were young and ignorant, there is always a chance that someone might screenshot that status you posted and next thing you know it’s viral. Now more than ever it is imperative to make sure that you are always thinking before you are “speaking” and most of all acting because one slip may land you on the front page of a google search. If you are smart enough you may use this to your advantage but if you are not then I’m sorry to say that it will cause you more problems than you probably need.
“When sexting replaces actual sex, then I will believe that social media relationships have replaced real, face-to-face relationships. Get out from behind the screen and make your social media relationships something more.” - S. Anthony Innarino, @iannarino, 12Most
With that being said, it should be common sense to know that no relationship is perfect, sometimes things are said and done under specific circumstances that doesn't necessarily allow much room for explanation especially if social media is added. We must understand that a few words, shares, likes and comments will not show you everything there is to know about that person and that personal contact is crucial for a final determination. Social Media is simply another element added to that person's life and as such it can showcase that person's flaws as well as their virtues. My advice to you is to not take it too seriously unless they are. Use it as a base to create the rough draft of their profile or as a first impression but don't judge that person entirely off their Facebook page, you may be missing out on an amazing person!