The Good and Bad Sides of Social Media

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One topic I would like to write about on occasion is the good and bad sides of social media. I am fascinated by social media. I have used Twitter and Facebook since 2009 and Instagram since 2015. I have seen both good and bad sides to social media. In recent years I feel like I am seeing more and more online harassment and that really bothers me. Leslie Jones and Anne Wheaton have both faced horrible harassment on Twitter. After watching what Leslie Jones went through, I almost deleted my Twitter account. Anne Wheaton stayed away from Twitter for several months because of the harassment. Here is a blog post she wrote about that.  Here is an article that outlines the harassment Leslie Jones received. I have also seen other women on Twitter attacked viciously for posting an opinion. It is easy to get misinterpreted on social media because it is very hard to read intent. I have seen some terrible misunderstandings and fights from this issue.

On the positive side, I have also received good advice and met some lovely people on social media. I regularly chat with people I consider to be friends on Twitter and Instagram. On social media, it is much easier to see different points of view. I follow people from around the world on both Twitter and Instagram. Hearing other points of view has expanded my horizons and enabled me to hear viewpoints I wouldn’t hear in my everyday life. I learned most of what I know about knitting and crochet from Ravelry. I found most of my blogging advice from people I follow on Twitter or Ravelry Forums.

Social media hasn’t been around that long and I am fascinated by how much it has changed things. Before social media, the main way to keep up with people was phone calls, in person meetings and email. It was a lot easier to fall out of touch with someone. Now you can easily find old classmates from years ago and know what is going on in their everyday lives. It also fascinates me how quickly information moves these days. If you are on Twitter you can see a big news story unfold in real time. You can see responses in real time by people at the event. Thanks to the internet I can interact with people all over the world. On Ravelry, I have chatted with people in several countries and discussed how their customs are different than American customs. That type of conversation was much harder to come by before the advent of social media. On Instagram, I once watched a live video of a lamb being born in Iceland while I was in Washington State; that is incredible when you think about it.