While I am not a dinosaur, and I do have an online presence on a number of social media platforms, at the back of my mind is a niggling feeling that we are all being slowly controlled by it.
Social media is an excellent platform for sharing your work, marketing your business, building a portfolio and indeed finding new contacts that will further your career. However the purported social aspect to me seems to be veering more towards the anti-social spectrum.
Bullies abound across all the social media forums, lying in wait to take people’s reputations down at any opportunity. Trolling and controlling others, they take pleasure in hurting and ridiculing, often with a hidden agenda i.e. political or mercenary motivation, but the end result is the same. Lives are destroyed, businesses brought to their knees and more and more common now the eventual degradation and humiliation of the vulnerable in our society which sometimes leads to self-harm and suicide.
Children are sucked into online socialising from an early age through interactive online gaming which promotes chatting and video blogging about each other’s lives and activities for the benefit of the public viewing. This in itself seems harmless at first, until you realise that the addictive nature of this socialising for the quieter less popular members of our society, leads them to open up more and more and get dragged further in to the social media sphere to the detriment of their own physical and mental health.
Then there is the criminal element, always lurking in wait to steal people’s information, money and security to further their own ends. Women and children are groomed and lured into unspeakable acts of abuse and exploitation and all because the anonymity of social media platforms allows criminals to invent fake personas at will in order to dupe and harm others. This very anonymity protects and hides criminals in ways never seen before and leaves us all very vulnerable to harm. As my mother used to say to us growing up, “It’s better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know”. Sometimes the wolf is hiding in sheep’s clothing and we need to educate our children and our elders and alert them to the dangers as the world is fast becoming a very dangerous place indeed.
Sitting in your halo of morning sunshine
Streaming gloriously through double glass doors
My sweet boy, desperately seeking friendship
Dejected, unemployed, and feeling poor
Unseeing of red breasted robin begging
Nor snow blanket sparkling on the step outside
Phone in hand scrolling through other’s stories
Lustful, full of envy, for other’s lives
Smiling happy selfies, exotic destinations,
Prizes to be won, just share and like
At what point did you archive reality?
Disconnect the power source from your life
I’m witnessing a new world wide epidemic
A man made virus more crippling than ‘er seen
Your world around you is slowly shrinking
Into cleverly airbrushed images on your screen
I once saw in you such talent and potential
Imagined the successful happy man you’d become
Instead I grow ever more fearful
Social media is destroying you my son
You who once thrilled to brave a rain storm
Swimming in choppy freezing cold seas
I curse the day that you swiped left
Deleting all of your spirit and childhood dreams
Tell me what’s smart about these smart phones?
Hypnotised to like a stranger’s page
My boy who once downloaded real adventure
Willingly climbs into an imaginary gilded cage
For cages are exactly what they build for him
Fake digital platforms, wherein he lives
Timed out from this beautiful world around him
From sensory experiences that no AP can give
You cannot smell a pixellated blossom
Feel stock images of wet sand between your toes
Nor can any shiny Otterbox protect you
From growing old and actual real time woes
Popularity, is naught but a clever cyber hoax
Five hundred friends, each with a glowing daily post
But no letters drop through your mail box
No warm hugs, no someone special to hold
The only kisses that you get are xxx’s
No one on one on the basketball court
Only sharing viral You-Tube videos or photos
Allowing stranger’s comments to cause you hurt
What is the deal with this new text speak
Emojis crying to explain when you’re feeling low
But still no one comes a knocking
And online isn’t a real place to go
Streams with no thirst quenching water
Filtered news not on paper but blogs
Only reading ‘bout stuff that is trending
Broken marriages, celebrities lives on the rocks
Could I as a mother have stopped this
Kept you away from the anonymous Trolls
Influenced your childhood with more #toughlove
Insisted on instilling in you more concrete goals
Please wake up to this anti-social media
Jump on and experience the roller coaster ride
Plug back into non Virtual Reality
When you do, you’ll see, it’s a wonderful life!
– By Molly Campbell