Monday, June 13, 2016

Why I Love Social Media

20 years ago, I first discovered the internet. It was 1996 and I was in my 2nd year of college. In those days, forums were the main way to communicate with lots of other people. I found a forum for Star Wars fans and suddenly I had all these like-minded friends.

While the internet has changed a great deal from those days, I still use it every day. In fact, most of my life is run by the internet. I work from home via the internet, I do all my banking and bill paying via the internet and of course, I use it to talk to my friends.

I have local friends but most of my close friends live far away from me. I'm an an introvert with chronic pain so there are days I don't leave the house. But I do long for human contact outside of my husband and child.

This is why I love social media. I can talk to my friends without having to leave my house. Some of my closest friends are people I've been friends with for years but have never met in person. A lot of my friends are also people I only see one a year at conventions that I talk to a lot over social media (mostly Facebook).

I never understand why people want to take breaks from Facebook. More power to them if that helps them out, but I could never do it. While Facebook isn't perfect, it works for what I use it for. I can message people directly, I can see what people are up to and I can talk with people who share the same interests in private groups.

A friend of mine is very ill. We are part of the same private group and most of the posts from this weekend were us worrying over lack of news. Praying and sending good thoughts and just huddling together via the internet as we worried and worried. I probably checked Facebook for updates every five minutes. Once we got an update, the relief was palpable. She still very ill but she's still with us.

Also after the shooting in Orlando, it was nice that my friends who live there were able to mark that they were ok. And of course, social media gives people a chance to mourn these awful tragedies together.

Social media isn't perfect, and I'd love to be able to get together with my friends in person. But until science finds a way to make transporters a thing, social media will have to do.

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