Okay, okay, social media has its flaws. I’ll be the first to admit that reading about my friends’ perfect lives has made me hate myself on more than one occasion. There’s nothing like a video of your friend’s 2-year-old reading a book better than most college students to make you feel like a failure as a mother. Of course, the ignorant fools, who leave four-letter words, racism, sexism, and inappropriate language in general on the comments sections of stories or posts are a common nuisance of anyone in media. And we’ve all felt our privacy invaded, thanks to Facebook or Instagram or some other platform, plenty of times already, and I’m sure there’s more to come. Hurray – note sarcasm.
But – and this is a big but – you have to admit that social media keeps you connected in ways you never imagined. Here are the top reasons to quit hating on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the rest:
- You can easily promote anything and everything good in your life. This includes your genius child (even if it can get annoying), wildly interesting cats, adorable puppy, and all that work stuff (startups, awards, promotions, or stuff you write). As a writer trying to get eyeballs on my words, I have no place putting down social media. With one click, I can reach a large group of people, who potentially could share my stories with even more people.
- You can get support when things go wrong. It’s no secret that I’ve been a bit of a mess since March, when I was with my grandfather as he passed away. In the days following, I wrote about what he meant to me and our family, and the response was tremendous – at least for me. Lots of people shared the condolences, their own memories of Grandpa Rocco, and gave me a lift when I needed it most. I’ve witnessed this kind of support with others, who were remembering loved ones, dealing with difficult injuries and illnesses, or going through the emotional turmoil of having a miscarriage or going through a divorce or a slew of other challenges and obstacles.
- The pictures are so pretty. C’mon, your best friend from kindergarten has some cute kids, even if they are presented as geniuses. Those cats are fluffy and adorable, too. And the food porn makes you hungry at least once a day. It’s all easy on the eyes, and a lot of it is even inspirational.
- You can stay close to family and friends near and far. Without Facebook, I would never know that my cousins in Italy helped host a neighborhood festival in the homeland or what my cousin in France’s wedding was like. I probably wouldn’t even be talking to my friends from elementary school, never mind watching their kids grow up and their careers blossom. I keep in touch with old teachers, old friends, and even new family. And I can talk to my readers in real time as they are reading and commenting on my stories. That trumps all.
I still remember the days of my early youth when my parents and nonni would wait for a certain Sunday each month to call one relative in Italy to catch up. They would have to be able to get an open phone line, which wasn’t always possible because everyone tried to call their relatives back home on Sundays. Sometimes, it would take hours to get through, and you would have only minutes to get in a jam-packed conversation that the designated relative would then have to relay to everyone in the piazza. For me, the ability to stay connected with social media – with everyone at once – far outweighs any negatives.
Still, I’m an observer of people, so I felt compelled to relay the differences between how Italians – particularly young people – use social media versus everyone else I know. You can read all about that in my latest Our Paesani post, “How Italians Use Facebook.” If you like it, be sure to share it with your friends on social media. Emoji wink, emoji wink!
Di Meglio uses the written word to help families create memories and stick together. You can follow her on Facebook at Francesca’s Newlyweds Nest and on Twitter @ItalianMamma10.