To Be Social or Not To Be Social Is the Question

Since the inception of the social media craze, it has caused more chaos and confusion then family reunions. Social networking is a way to communication through mobile phones and computers. As of August 2012: The Pew Research Center surveyed online adults say that 66% use Facebook, 16% use Twitter, 20% use LinkedIn, 12% use Instagram, 12% use Pinterest, and 5% use Tumblr.

Social networks connect you instantly to friends, family and schoolmates. To be social or not is the question. We share, send, text, post and tweet 24/7. Sharing our personal information has become tolerant to updating locations, funny photos of our children, to venting about politics, bosses and causes. Has the way we communicate become silent and secluded but very loud in text, tag and flag?

In recent news reports, social networking has caused negative impacts with marriages, friendships and jobs. American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) study reported that, 66% of divorce attorneys surveyed said that they used social media in their cases to prove evidence. We do not realize the negative impact we can have by misuse of social media. We can send one photo, text and location that could harm us or destroy our character. The remarks we send could leave a mark in our lives forever in cyberspace. We tweet damaging remarks about our boss, coworkers or infidelity with an old flame through chat.

How are we protecting our children? Do we realize that we are exposing our children to predators by allowing them to be online unprotected. The Cyber Bullying Research Center reports that over 80% of teenagers use their cellphone every single day, 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive pictures or nude content of themselves to others. Twenty-five percent of them have been the victims of bullying or sexual solicitations.

As a mother myself, it frightens me to know that children are exposed to over 1.08 billion users via mobile devices. Being proactive and purchasing parental control software to protect our children from cybercrime. Should our children be social or should they be social is the question. Social media can take your children places they have never seen been before the age of adulthood and open them up to cyber bullies.

There are many positive factors as well by using social media. We can research genealogy and build a family tree. Looking for a job is easier than 15 years ago, where we had to walk in and apply. We save gas and time, but just uploading our resume to potential employers. Social media is a shoppers dream. To be able to shop and ship in an instant compared to driving through traffic and crowded malls.

There are pros and cons of social media. However, it is how we choose to share and the time we spend socializing online is important. Social media is here to stay and we do not want to create a culture that virtually thinks family time is to text, tweet, share or pin. We need to get back to the basics of socializing by taking less time to tweet and more time cherishing those precious moments with friends and family. I want a real hug from friends and family, not a virtual ((((hug)))).

With this massive wave of technology, one thing is certain face-to-face, socializing will become in danger of extinction and with chat acronyms, text message shorthand and emotions will be the future of grammatically incorrect society.

The choice is yours, to be social or not social. Choose wisely!

Continue to flourish in all you do!

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