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Social Media – Friend Or Foe?

What is your social media preference? Facebook – Twitter – Texting? Or is it spending quality time with your friends and family with no electronic devices in the picture? This could be hard couldn’t it? What category do you fall under?

Watch what you do – be careful – watch out for the other guy, they won’t be watching out for you! These are the things our parents said to us as we left the house each day. They were talking about life around us as it was then. Today the same is true but we don’t even have to leave the house. You have to watch out and be careful all the time. Computers have taken over our lives. There is more social media out there than I probably know about and every day there seems to be more.

  1. Facebook – Watch out what you post because the whole world can see it whether you want them to or not. Yes, you can block unwanted guest, set your page and personal information to private or friends only. Sometimes when you do this you are defeating the purpose of even having a Facebook page. You wonder why you even bother. What you post on your timeline can be taken out of context and misconstrued in a way to alter what you intended it to be. You can check in and everyone knows where you are at any given time. There are stalkers out there that can get your information and sometimes do real damage – to you and your family! Be aware and be careful. These people don’t care who they hurt or how they do it. It is all about them!
  2. Twitter – Yes, you can get some strange followers and if you hit follow to follow them back, you know what I mean! After a few undesirable and annoying tweets that you are ashamed to have anyone else see – please hit delete and be done with that! How were you to know? That is not something they advertised!
  3. Personal computer – I am sure you all know where I am going with this one. Some of those random emails sent to your inbox are so out of line. Email addresses are easy to get hold of and mass emails are sent out daily from advertisers you have no interest in and spammers you need to stay away from. They are out there to grab hold of your personal information – sell you a lot of crap you aren’t interested in and sometimes drain your bank accounts! Viruses are sometimes attached to these emails so be careful what you open! Sometimes it is better to just hit delete and block them from your email account if applicable. Be aware!
  4. Cell Phone – Landlines are almost a thing of the past. Many people use cell phones only. Two of my children have nothing but that and the ones that do have a land line – I call them on their cell phone! Most cell phones today are attached to text, internet, and calls. You can access any social media from your cell phone. You can face talk and stay in touch with the world 24/7 without ever leaving your house. Watch out though – you can get into trouble! Even though it is not advertised your cell number can be acquired. Don’t answer texts from numbers that are not familiar to you. Pictures can be sent back and forth and ‘sexting’ can occur. Adults as well as children can be taken advantage of. Children as young as eight or nine have cell phones these days and need to be taught how to use them responsibly.
  5. Blogging – You heard me correctly – blogging! Think about it. You have followers and hopefully they are sincere, but they also have access to your information. You don’t know who could be lurking in the background. They know how to get in touch and some may be very capable in pulling you in. Everyone likes to be complemented on their blog and the more likes and compliments the better. You know what I mean. Don’t get too involved because you are already putting your thoughts out there on the internet for all to see.

Did you know that cursive writing is not taught anymore to elementary school children in most schools? Why? They don’t need it. They only have to know how to use a keyboard and the world is at their fingertips. In some ways it’s sad. Parents need to take hold of the situation and make sure their children know social skills such as communicating in person, writing in cursive to relay messages if nothing else, interacting with other children in play. One day they will have to get a job and hopefully there will be a live interview and these skills will be known.

And spelling! Please teach your children to spell. Reinforce what is taught in the school. With all the texting shortcuts we have to learn a new language. I find myself sometimes using u instead of you or some other form of shortcut for a common word when writing an email! -u cant I alwys do tht- (notice the no punctuation also) – because I have formed an attachment to texts. I can go for days without talking to my children by just communicating with texts. I am going to try to stop that.

Books also are not as abundant. Electronic readers are taking up the room on the bookshelf. You just need one – and every book you ever wanted to read is probably there – even the Bible! Awww….. the smell of a new book! What could be more heavenly? I have a reader, but mostly I got it so I could see how my book  ‘Crossing The Line‘ looked in e-book format. It does look good! My reader is convenient for traveling. If I had to choose for the day? A good old-fashion book that you can take a whiff of. Maybe in the near future the new readers will come with a smell attached! 🙂 What a thought!

Have I left anything out? Probably. These are just a few. Social Media can be great if used in the right context, not taken advantage of, and left closed up and out of the way as often as possible when in the company of others. Put down that cell phone and if you need a picture use your camera! You can transfer them to your cell later. 🙂 Get to know people – talk – laugh – communicate in the real world.

Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

4 responses »

  1. I agree with everything except the camera part at the end. My phone fits in my pocket and can be accessed a whole lot quicker than my big camera for those spur of the moment shots of my kids that only last a few seconds. 🙂 And it takes really good pictures. For a photoshoot though, I take out the big camera! 🙂

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  2. Did I not communicate enough with you while I was there? I tried not to be texting back and forth and just have good old fashioned conversation!
    Debbie

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