Social media can be a blessing and a curse

Raelene HallMidwest Times
The Social Dilemma.
Camera IconThe Social Dilemma.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the documentary, The Social Dilemma, pictured.

I haven’t seen it as I don’t subscribe to Netflix.

Her daughter had seen it and was horrified at what it revealed about social media and the influence it has on its users.

I’m not blind to the issues with using social media and I try my best to control my use of it but the bottom line of it is, for myself, it’s the best way I have to keep in touch with family and friends when letter writing and printed photos are an outdated (for most) method of communication.

Yesterday, I was in town when I received an email from my daughter in Perth, 600km away.

She was looking at a dress for a friend’s wedding and wanted her mum’s opinion on it.

Two things struck me. One, how lucky I was that she cared what I thought. The other, the ability to be involved in her life, even when we are hundreds of kilometres apart.

This is so applicable also to my extended family, who are scattered across WA and interstate. Instead of a static photo in the mail, I now see babies and children via videos as they make their first sounds and take their first steps.

I am able to, from a distance, share in their lives and that of their family and friends.

Without social media, none of this would be possible.

As an adult, I hope that I have enough brains and common sense to use the internet and social media in a responsible and safe manner, but one can never be too sure.

There are plenty of people in the world who thought the same yet have had horrific things happen to them or their loved ones.

I am very thankful I am not raising teenagers in this era, having to navigate the pitfalls and perils of what social media they can access and attempting to teach them the risks it can pose for them.

What the future holds in regard to social media is a totally unknown quality, but I am sure that it will continue in various forms because, let’s face it, a few people are making a very large amount of money through it.

I guess no matter what happens, there will be people who can use but not abuse it and others who can’t.

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