Today, I’ve been reflecting on Social Media and how it fits into my life. Social networks aren’t for everyone but, it would seem, they are certainly for the younger generations. So, what of those who are of my generation? I’m in my late forties. My generation were the first teens, back in the 1980’s, to routinely have computers and video games at home.
We were the first twenty-somethings, back in the 90’s, to have the internet and mobile phones as part of daily life. We were the first young adults to have social media in our lives through computer screen and mobile phone technology. I believe that we are the last generation to remember a time before all of these devices.
My childhood was at a time when, in the 1970’s, making a phone call involved walking to the local telephone box with a handful of change. A time when only one or two families in the street had a telephone in their house, a car in their drive/street and when a video cassette recorder was a rare thing to have by their television. A time when we would record music from the radio, onto a cassette-tape by pressing ‘record and play’ buttons at precisely the same time while remaining utterly silent so that we didn’t record our breathing as well! A time when having a microwave oven was just a scary idea! This was a time when I used to communicate with my family in Australia by letter; with gaps of weeks between each correspondence!
Look at me now! The list of devices and gadgets in my life is something that once seemed like a science-fiction fantasy that could only be realised in tv shows like Star Trek! I can facilitate pretty much every aspect of my life simply by tapping a keyboard and staring at a screen! I truly never dreamed that so much would be so possible within my lifetime and I’m still only in my forties.
This brings me back to the subject of Social Media. Today, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress! I also have my own web site. Navigating social media can be tricky. I’ve had times where I’ve just felt so uncomfortable with it that I’ve left social media for stints of time. That said, I always returned, for social media is such an integral part of my life now; not least of all because my business and volunteering worlds are so very tied up within it.
Recently, I have been revising how I use social media. Given that I am on several social media sites, I started to find that so much replication happens between each of them. I started to reflect on the purpose of each of the social media sites I use. To clarify, what I mean is that I started to consider what the purpose of each social media site was, for me. This is because I realised that I wanted each site to serve a different function. I wanted them to have a clear distinction between each other and for them to be of use.
I also wanted to make my personal Facebook page more private. My view is that I would hope that people would rather meet with me in-person, than simply visit my Facebook page and feel that they have connected with me.
For those who get to know me through social media and for those who know me but who have come to stay in touch with me purely in the virtual world, I decided to create a public Facebook page. Anyone who wishes to connect with me, but who does not necessarily have much to do with me in my personal daily life, in-person, can stay in touch with me through this new public profile page on Facebook.
That really is much more about my own discomfort with being able to see the photos of the daily lives of people who I do know and care for, but who I don’t really see very much of in reality. Somehow it feels intrusive to see what is happening in their homes, their cars, their workplaces and even on their dinner plates! Yes, I’m chuckling but it is true. Why see all of this when we may go a whole year, or more, without meeting up or phoning each other. The art of doing relationships in-person seems to be evaporating.
I also wanted to created the public ‘window’ into my life as a place in which I could share my career as a writer and my interest in the literary world. I hope that people will enjoy my new page. It is intended to be interactive and, already, I’m delighted to say that many people are posting their comments and participating. It is like a small community is starting to grow.
So, here is where to connect with me on social media:
My public Facebook page:
What is your experience of social media? Do you have specific uses for it? If anything in this article resonates with you, please do leave a comment below to share your own experience.
(C) Dean Parsons 2018.