Unplugged in social media

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

In today’s world there isn’t a moment that goes by that I don’t see people on their phones when I’m in public. If they aren’t talking to someone then more often than not they are on a social media site of some sort giving the world a status update. Everyone is looking for some recognition in the world to know that they matter, and social media seems to be the best way to do it.
The other day I attended a luncheon that my local writers group was having. We all got together to hear a guest speaker talk about how she created her own successful business as a freelance writer. One of the things she mentioned that made her so successful was her marketing campaign. After she mentioned that, we all started talking about the different ways to market yourself, and we eventually settled on discussing the topic of marketing through Facebook. This discussion then led to the pitfalls of marketing on Facebook.
Facebook was built as a way to connect with other people on a social level. You can post your own thoughts and activities and connect with your friends and see what they are doing as well. In fact, I recently read an article about an interview with the President of Facebook, Sean Parker who said, “We built the platform to consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.”
I am as guilty as everyone else about going on Facebook to kill time during a lull in my day. When I am on there I am flooded with images of puppies and kittens doing silly things, feel good images of people doing nice things and of course the occasional celebrity gossip as well as all the updates from my friends and family. It feels good to be able to post something and see how many likes I can get. It makes me feel like people actually care about what’s going on in my life.
Over the past few years however, small businesses have found a way to use social media as a marketing tool. Seeing how everyone is constantly plugged into their social media it seems the best way to reach people. You can now purchase ad space that is dropped into peoples feed according to their preferences and past history of likes on Facebook. I have found that lately my Facebook feed has been overrun by ads for different products and businesses rather than status updates from my friends and family. It has become a bit overwhelming, therefore from time to time I choose to unplug for a little bit, hoping that the next time I get on and post or read people’s posts it will not be so overwhelming.
My advice to those of you who suffer from the same malady as I do, take a step back and just go out and enjoy the day. Really live life to the fullest. Go so far as to shut off the TV, radio and computer and just spend a few days in your environment without electronics. It will feel great I promise!

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