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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Epiphany on social networking sites

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I've reached something of an epiphany recently. Actually when you think about it, it seems there are epiphanies about anything with me. In any event, I've come to a conclusion about social networking.

Believe it or not, I've been using Facebook since it was brand new. So brand new in fact that when a user registered they must have a college-issued e-mail address. It wasn't as wide open as it is now.

Never would I have ever imagined that there would be other ways of distracting ourselves online - such as Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat - during the course of a given day. In fact now these sites have evolved beyond the PC which was the only was to access sites such as FB years ago. Now we can access these sites via cell phones or a tablet device.

So getting in touch with our friends and more random people via these various sites are easier than ever because now we can use cell phones and tablet devices. You don't have to wait until you get to a PC to utilize these sites.

Then it hits me, it's cool to be able to use these various platforms to communicate with a number of people. We could reconnect with childhood friends, classmates, family, or even make new friends. It's as useful as the many uses you can make of it however you choose.

At the same time there is a dark side to using such sites. Like any tool, if you use it the right way it will prove to be beneficial. At the same time if you use it the wrong way, then it probably will cause more harm than good. You can use such a site to project yourself as you are until you find someone who decides to mess with your reputation using online sources. And unfortunately it seems a lot of people put a lot of their lives online.

Then here comes my epiphany....there's got to be better ways to pass that time than on a PC or a mobile device. This should be time connecting with our friends and family offline and perhaps taking them to a movie or to a restaurant. That is being truly social with them in the real world.

While, I'm a long way from ever removing myself from these various sites perhaps it's time we consider how important our time is with the people we do care about. And anything else that happens online whether wanted or unwanted is at some point merely noise.

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