I make my living in IT, which for the most part has been a positive but I think the industry as it’s become more mainstreamed in some ways has brought about a lot of the negative parts of itself into the lives of basically everybody. The irony here is that the sheer level of connectedness we have w/the Internet and real time communication has in some ways fed into the fears and triggers for people who suffer from depression.
Social Media’s Flip Side — There was a time I thought FB and other forms of social media were interesting and as the years drew on, as people popularized the social media platforms; whatever they were; I started to feel like the whole concept was becoming mired in an “ooh look at me” popularity contest like back in high school. The most painful personal experience for me was that I realized that FB became more important than face to face time. Maybe it was a symptom of the other problems in my marriage, or just another facet but I realized at times my now ex-wife would rather catch up on her FB feed than really talk to me. My depression and attitude were certainly a factor, I doubt I was pleasant to engage. I was never big on wanting to be popular, I shy away from the lime light, but I do enjoy being heard for opinions and discussions. Key word, discussions. These days I’ve killed off most of my mainstream social media and instead work through smaller networks or environments where managing who I communicate with is much more an elective choice.
Cyber-bullying and the Anonymous Culture — This to me might be the biggest pain point about social media and the connected communities out there. It used to be that you had to endure the possibility of being harassed at school for being different, for being an academic, how you looked, how wealthy you were. Now with the digital age though the torment doesn’t stop just because you’re outside certain walls. I can’t imagine being a parent, wanting to protecting your kid from negativity only to realize the world out there isn’t built that way. I won’t say that you need to isolate your kids in a protective bubble, since everyone’s kid is a precious snowflake but somehow parents and kids need to take responsibility for the negative things they say and do. The anonymous nature of the net has bothered me in that the minute responsibility and blame are thought to not exist, we see the absolute worst in people. But Vraxx you say, your blog is anonymous. Well sorta, I won’t divulge my full name though it’s easy enough to lookup. My first name is Addison, I’m male, 38 and a recent divorcee. That’s about all the world needs to know about me. Other than that I am just one of many voices out there. I hope that as laws and the systems we use to communicate improve that we find ways to allow for the freedom to communicate but at the same time the ability to hold each other responsible for the things we say/do. It might sound like I’m shitting on the first amendment but it’s a global culture now and folks have to realize that there are boundaries that we need to start drawing somewhere.