Social networking……..the positives and the negatives

This post has come about due to some of the behavior I have seen adults indulge in whilst using social networking sites. Some of it really has to be seen to be believed.

I use face book and twitter. I enjoy using them, mainly because it allows me to come into contact with the outside world. Being pretty much housebound its amazing how people that you thought were close, loyal, true friends forget you even exist. By having my own face book and twitter profile people can’t forget me! It keeps me in the loop and I have cultivated many friendships with people that I knew through work etc but didn’t really know.

I don’t allow face book to take over my life, I don’t allow the chat function (where people can instantly message you) as I want to be in control of the amount of contact I have with people. Plus there are some people that I am happy to have as a “friend” on face book, but I really can’t be bothered actually having a conversation with them. If that makes sense?

I have over 300 friends on face book, but the majority of them are friends in the very loosest sense of the word. Most I have accumulated through working from the age of 16 – 34, I have only one friend from university, several childhood friends, family but the rest are really colleagues.

Without an medium like face book my life would be a lot more isolated. I have my forums that I am a pretty active member in, but most people on those like to remain faceless and unless you are talking about a particular medical condition you don’t really get to know them. So there are positives to face book.

However I am glad that it wasn’t around when I was growing up. I was pretty devastated at the age of 17 to find out that a group of girls at my work place had started a “I hate the Rachel ………. club”. It was pretty organized and had a secretary and treasurer. This club was started because one of the girls at work had a boyfriend who also worked at the same place. He and I used to go to break together, being rather naive I thought nothing of it. I didn’t really know anyone there, the girls weren’t particularly friendly and the boys were so I would chat to them and take breaks with them.

 Can you imagine what would happen if the Internet had been available to these girls. I would imagine a group would have been set up on face book or I would have had abusive messages posted on my profile. The girls were older than me and would have been legally classed as adults. But this behavior doesn’t stop at 18 it continues and what I have witnessed recently makes we wonder if I should continue with face book?

Over the past few months I have seen people accused of theft, without any actual evidence. Now that was an interesting post to follow! The situation was only resolved when the person making the accusations apologized to the people accused, admitting they had no evidence to base their accusations on.

Last week I saw a bitter feud develop between 2 good friends, a feud that I am afraid will never be resolved due to the comments posted on the page. The initial motive of the first comment, which started this feud off was purely one of concern, however an open face book page is never the place to voice such concerns. The argument spread so that it included family members and the legions of fans one of the two people involved has. People that weren’t directly involved ended up adding their two cents worth and the whole thing got very ugly, very quickly. The argument went on for over two days, with the comments getting nastier and nastier. Although the gossip in me enjoyed the spectacle initially, it dawned on me that what I was witnessing was a very ugly side to human nature.

I was amazed what people felt was legitimately OK to post on face book about people they had never met. However if you want a real eye opener read the UK’s Daily Mail on line and read the comments people put! I can’t believe that there is such vile hatred being uttered about individuals that are completely unknown by those that leave comments. The disabled and anyone on benefits seem to be fair game for these people.

I won’t take sides in the argument as neither sides actions are without blame. Some silly childish comments were made that left no one looking innocent. People seem to lose their inhibitions on social networking sites and act in haste, rather than taking the time to think about the consequences of their actions. I have been guilty of that myself with my blog and now take a much more considered approach when posting.

The consequences of posting one comment is that now two friends are no longer speaking, but its bigger than that. Its now two families are at war with each other, with actions now taking place outside the Internet and solicitors becoming involved.

There is a time and a place for things to be said but should face book be the medium you chose?

OK rant over! Just a quick update on me. The hip is still causing me problems but not to the extent that it was before. If used too much it is becoming painful so its a careful balance between activity and rest at the moment. My stomach problems are starting to come back after around a six month leave of absence! I am swollen every day at present, so having to wear loose fitting clothes and making sure there is nothing directly pressing on my abdomen. I am now having to take anti sickness meds pretty regularly to try and dampen down the urge to vomit. I have started to lose my hair again, great clumps of it are coming out. Thankfully I seem to be shedding hair from all over my scalp and have no obvious patches of hair loss.

The heat is killing me and making me much more symptomatic. In the UK we are having a mini heat wave for this time of year with temperatures in the 70’s, (22-25 degrees centigrade) and yes that is enough for me to feel much worse. I love the warm weather as I am like a reptile I only feel warm in direct sunlight, however the heat is also my enemy. I can’t win!

So that’s all for now. Thank you for reading xx

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4 thoughts on “Social networking……..the positives and the negatives

  1. Hi Rachel .. I'm glad I didn't go in feet first into FB & Twitter – almost did .. dabbled a bit – but now I just want positive .. I don't need negative & I stay away from others' problems as best I can. I support where I can .. but I can't take any more on .. and the pettiness of life is too much ..

    So I'm very grateful for the supportive blogging community .. and in fact FB ..

    I couldn't deal with it .. and couldn't be bothered – there's too much else in life that's of value .. and that's the route I go as best I can now ..

    Cheers – sorry that things aren't so good .. the weather is glorious for those of us who can be in it ..

    Have a better week .. with thoughts Hilary

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  2. Rach, you are so right about social networking. It's both a blessing and a curse…Some folks think it's so important to amass a large number of “friends” it's almost like a contest for some… I myself would rather have a few true friends than many pseudo friends.

    I'm so sorry to read you're not feeling any better. I hope things start to turn around for you soon.

    Here is a link to a blog about EDS you may be interested in:

    http://rogueneuro.blogspot.com/

    Sending good thoughts your way…
    Rachel

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  3. Hi Hilary and Rachel,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. Its always nice to see that my post has interested you enough to comment. Thank you.

    Yes face book is a double edged sword. It's great for me being housebound, but as you say Hilary you have to step back from some of the negativity. I do get annoyed when people moan that they have a cold or a sore throat. Then I mentally smack my own hand and tell myself its human nature and I was once exactly like that.

    I have managed to sit in a shaded area of the garden on a lounger. Hat on shades on! I am terrified my bones will crumble if I dont start getting some vitamin D.

    I do like seeing the glorious blue skies and if I over heat I can always resort to a pack of frozen onions placed on my forehead or under my hat!

    Thanks again xx

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