SOCIAL MEDIA SUCKS! AGREE OR NOT?

I know I have spoken out on this topic many times before, but each and every day it never ceases to amaze me how much influence social media has on all of us.

An example: I came across someone on Instagram about a new product, which I am trying out for them and of course once connected, my Instagram has had daily posts and stories from said person. I can only say how flabbergasted I am about how much this person (and I will not name them) shares about their life on social media. It never stops. In less than a month, I know where this person lives, I have had a guided tour around their apartment, I know the place, the location, what the weather is like, and almost an hour-by-hour account of literally everything going on in their life. Isn’t this strange then that the same person complains when inundated with messages and comments, they really do not want to hear. So much so, that I feel that I have to write this blog, using them as an example on how irresponsible it is to post so much. It really is believe me.

Recently said person is in a new relationship and I know just everything there is to know. When and where they meet, their holidays, the food they eat, what they did on holiday. And even worse I know all the holiday plans for the rest of the year because they both made a big announcement about it. Now isn’t it really dumb these days to tell people online that you are going to be away and the exact date? You might as well leave the front door open and tell everyone to help themselves, because as I said in the first paragraph, the location is absolutely no secret whatsoever.

What makes me really sad is when children get involved in the social media frenzy too. And we get every tiny piece of information about their progress (or not) and that is wrong. People do not realize that behind the scenes there is a very evil dark web collating images of children for reasons none of us want to think about. Personally, I never share images of my own family, mainly out of respect for them, but definitely never of my grandchildren, having been scammed myself when someone stole images and published them out to all my contacts. You know the famous saying: ‘once bitten, twice shy!’ If you have had this happen to you as well, then you know exactly what I mean.

But back to the subject. As the new relationship was someone who has had their photos stolen by scammers and complains daily on their own social media about it, it was an absolute foregone conclusion that this would open the door for ‘hate messages’ and people claiming that they are in the same relationship too. They think they are because they are being scammed by someone else. And as sad as it is, one must raise the question, isn’t it their fault if they post so much information?

Last night, I was flabbergasted to read in a discussion that said person is going to have her eggs frozen for future use. This really is the limit; I feel that this is such a personal thing and why shout it out on social media and then of course get inundated with good advice and good and bad comments. Why discuss at all? Surely this is something to talk to your partner about. It is particularly disturbing when a normal healthy young woman is carping on about this nonstop for those who have great difficulty getting pregnant or are undergoing IVF treatment which is a long, hard and often sad and disappointing road. Not always, but certainly the stories I have heard from friends and such like is that it is a project where you have to be ready for the ups and downs.

Isn’t it just too amazing for words that there are doctors in the world who recommend that you start saving your eggs and have them cryo-frozen just in case you want to start a family at a later date? Now I know technology has come a long way over the past years, but to me this seems rather unnecessary when basically you are a normal healthy young person and have already had one child, albeit from another relationship. 

The point with social media influencers is that we all know it’s big business. Look at Ronaldo Christiano, one of the biggest social media earners, by appearing on a few billboards here and there and posting out about a product, brings in a very substantial extra revenue. One then asks the question when it is ever enough, as one of the highest paid footballers in the world. Same for actors and  stars who just happened to be in the front line at the gene pool. A few sprays of Boss Bottled gives Chris Hemsworth a huge extra annual income especially when you are the leading person for the brand, worldwide. Does he really need the income as one of the highest paid actors in the world? Yes/no? Everyone loves seeing his handsome face beaming down from billboards across the globe, but hmmm …. it makes you think doesn’t it? I just wonder if it might be more fulfilling/rewarding to donate the earnings to charity and then feel it had been worthwhile, or to those with less? But it seems that the old idea, the more you have the more you want, applies here.

People of lesser status also generate income by promoting and selling brand names. Advertising is an expensive business, like a full-page ad in the dailies, so anyone who is willing to post out on social media non-stop, often goes into a ‘paid partnership’ for a brand, clothing, an energy drink and so it goes on. These are the smaller fish in the sea compared to the big well-known names. But all the same, it’s a very lucrative business, for the company selling the product and the one who posts. Also offering discounts to others using their special codes, all very interesting if you want to boost your followers, but in the end who is actually following you? Do you really know. The figures look good, but do you want 50 million followers when you know a large amount belongs to the scamming world?

I often find myself asking the question: at what cost long term? And do you really want to share every waking hour with everyone around the globe, making yourself so susceptible to people who then steal photos and use them in scamming. Scamming as I have written about many times, it a global problem, not only for the people who are actually scammed but also the people whose photos are stolen in the first place and people really believe they are in a relationship with this person. For those of you with Netflix I highly recommend that you watch a short new series called Clickbait. It a real eye-opener and exciting right through the last few minutes of the 8th episode. 

So, to end this blog, my only conclusion is to say to people, post less, no matter how much fun you think it is to share everything with everyone. Be more selective, you can share things with your personal friends through other media, encrypted WhatsApp for example but again and only when it is to people you know personally when it concerns sharing personal things.

The person I used at the beginning of the blog has had a really hard time over the past few days and although she thinks she is helping people by talking about it even more, I can only say, if you keep adding fuel to the fire, it will never go out. Enjoy your life, your relationship and your posts, but stop posting personal things, like for example, the freezing of eggs. That is far too personal and you end up with loads of people commenting. Do you really want that? It may be advice well-meant but come on …..

A while ago I wrote about how open the apps are on our smartphones, tablets and laptops. Check it, check if you are giving out your location 24/7, whether your camera and microphone is on or not. Hackers are brilliant people who can be in your space in literally seconds and taking control of your life, your family and your friends. Be warned!

Stay safe everyone.

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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