How many times have you heard a tale of woe from a forlorn lover, or horror story from a worried mother? All ending in the conclusion ‘Facebook is the devil!’ Baffled by cyber terms on an everyday basis? ’Selfie’ ‘Fomo’ (fear of missing out). More times than you've sat horrified at the over shares of your friend’s 18 year old daughter I'm sure. Social media has never been so powerful and easy to use. Constant life documentation via the internet, and horror struck teenagers as they fumble for their phone only to miss out on that valuable photo opportunity. People have even been to physical lengths to change their facial structure in an effort to bag the ‘perfect selfie’. Insecurities breeding from the picture perfect projections of ourselves and our lives that we advertise to our ‘friends’ and indeed the whole internet world. Are we all really living this double cyber life? But in a world so technologically advanced and social media saturated is it really fair to blame these outlets for our bad habits and unfortunate experiences? Personally i am neither a strong campaigner or a solid protester for these frequently debated sites. I do think it is important however to understand the concepts of these mediums. Social media sites are predominantly based on what we as the account holder publicise on there, be it pictures, posts to others, details of ourselves, or a status showing our thought’s. Its all centred upon ‘your’ views on ongoings. The spotlight is on you, and that is the key. Social media allows everyone, even your 76 year old nan to have a voice. A voice that can be heard by an array of people on your account and indeed those who aren’t if your account is visible to the public. It’s how you use your fibre optic speed voice that creates the debates. A voice in writing projected to hundreds of people at one time, saved for a re read, has much more weight than one said over a packet of crisps and half a lager down the local. Such applies to images, edited, posted and captioned for all to see, judge and possibly even screenshot. The internet is permanent, everything documented in time. Im not suggesting write a ‘pro’s and con’s’ list for everything you post before you hit the send button. It’s certainly its worth posing the question, do i want my colleagues and boss to read this? Should my Aunt Maisie and my Dad’s friends view this provocative picture i just posted? The danger is not with Facebook, twitter, Instagram and other social forums. The danger is with the users and how they choose to share quite literally themselves. Use the internet with power and grace. Use it to your advantages, keeping in touch, but more importantly keeping an air of privacy. Facebook is not the devil, Facebook is simply a platform for self expression. Like my work? Find more of me here:https://boothsworld.wordpress.com

Published by Emily Booth