Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. When I was a small child, computers had barely been invented. Only rich business people had mobile phones and the concept of Facebook had not even been dreamed about. Even when I went to university in Ottawa (1998), Ma & Pa FWL only had a ‘dial-up’ internet connection which, when you were connected, stopped any calls from being received on your landline and was incredibly slow. Now, we curse when we don’t have access to the internet when we travel and we expect to have free Wifi in hotels and such like across the globe.
But is social media good or bad? Do you find you lose hours on Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc.? Is that a bad thing? According to JoAnne Cantor, PhD and author of Conquer CyberOverload: Get More Done, Boost Your Creativity, and Reduce Stress, social media “meets our very basic need for a sense of belonging”. Hearing from our friends and family makes us feel important and loved and we don’t want to be the last one to know about an important event of interest. She also goes on to say that “our gadgets help quell that insatiable curiosity that we have had since we were babies.”
However, using social media channels entices us into multitasking – something which us ladies do well, of course! (There is scientific evidence to prove this, so don’t shoot the messenger!) Although it might seem like a chance to get more done, our divided attention actually hampers productivity though – no surprise there. How many times do you ask yourself ‘Now, where was I?‘…. to get more done, disable social media for periods of your day.
Today, I have had a purge on my social networking activities. In particular, I have reviewed the Facebook groups which I joined and I have removed myself from those which have not benefited me enormously. Sorry folks but when the negative thoughts outweigh the positive thoughts about a group, it’s time for me to head off somewhere else. I am happy to share the knowledge I have to help others, but I have found myself questioning various posters on Facebook recently who seem to want everything handed to them on a platter (here is the spoon with the yoghurt on it, now open wide….).
Genealogy is a growing interest – we all know that – and we need to accept that not everything we want is available for free about our ancestors. Social media does not help when people breach the terms and conditions they have agreed to with the commercial providers and post material behind the pay wall to ‘non-subscribers’ (when requested). You know those posts…. “Can SKS who has an Ancestry subscription just ….?” Please, don’t do it!
Let’s make connections with like-minded individuals and share knowledge and expertise on social media channels, but without ‘dumbing down’ this hobby/pastime/profession/obsession, whatever you want to call it….