Just like our careers, there are many different things that people want from social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube.
Some social media platforms have very specific uses. LinkedIn is primarily a space for professional networking, YouTube is for video sharing, Pinterest for images and Twitter is for the A.D.D kids. OK, so I made that last bit up but you get the general idea.
But what about Facebook?
Facebook certainly wasn’t the first social media platform to enter our lives but it very quickly became it’s most sacred prophet. And like any religion of size, facebook has multiple ideologies and seemingly conflicted purposes.
At it’s core facebook has no equal for connecting people and therein lies the problem.
Through the vast generality of the facebook population, we can connect with our past and current friends and peers, follow our idols and heroes, add weight to our beloved causes. We can also join, learn from and contribute to a multitude of fan pages and groups.
And as a result of all this joining and learning and sharing, we grow. We grow as individuals, we add our learning to the weight of knowledge in the communities in which we’re involved and we seek to become even greater versions of ourselves.
The problem though, is that not everyone sees social media in the same way. Some people, don’t grow and they fill your wall with nonsense or they make contributions to discussions that don’t fit the discussion in any shape whatsoever.
Worse still, some people use facebook, in particular, to show the world just how much anger and vitriol they’ve got bottled up inside them. These people don’t just happen to air their grievances. They bring down your mood, they impact negatively on your day and because of that, they impact on the learning and growing you get to absorb for that space in time, no matter how small.
It’s time to start using the block feature of facebook, like you would use a bouncer at a night club or party. This is not the time to feel guilt. The average facebook user spends 23 minutes per day on the site and over 15 hours per month. Many of us are on there a whole lot more than this.
You would soon stop attending your favourite coffee shop or restaurant if, every time you went there, there was some guy standing in the corner shouting obscenities at all who walked in. You’d leave a party pretty quickly if it was full of people who are determined to interrupt your discussions with nonsense drivel that you have no interest in. Would you even think about going to a licensed premises that had no security to keep unruly patrons in line.
Why then should you accept it in your online life. Use the block feature as your bouncer. Or at least manage how certain people get to interact with you. The quality of your facebook experience will be determined, not by all the stuff you jam in there but what you take deliberate steps to exclude.
I’m not saying, remove all the people you disagree with, for they can add value to your learning experience as well. I’m just saying, if you’ve got someone whose contribution you often cringe at or delete because you feel it’s inappropriate. Block them.
This is your social media experience. Don’t let anyone kill the joy you get from it.