Social Media is a Treacherous Path


Treacherous path

I’ve been wondering, since I wrote [this post] as to whether who I follow on any social media platform says anything in particular about me. I don’t think it means anything though other than in the meta. For instance, following someone that I perceive as smart doesn’t necessarily mean I am smart, it just means, that I find what that person has to say is interesting. But I do think our digital relationships, when it comes to political or social issues does say something about us as individuals probably more than we’d like to believe.

I’m a conservative which for some people means other than what it is intended. I do follow a lot of self identified conservatives, but then, I also follow a good number of people I would consider liberal, even progressive in their politics and social attitudes. I’m interested in points of view that are different than mine, and those people that appear to have a similar interest. Some users believe that following a person indicates agreement with everything that person posts. If that were the case, I know of a lot of people that might be categorized in ways they probably wouldn’t appreciate. Holding an opinion that may not be generally accepted shouldn’t imply any specific intent, unless that intent is made clear (racism, sexism, etc.).

I have noticed people be roundly criticized and sometimes it’s because what was posted was taken out of context. Of course the people that start those mass critiques of another seem to do that a lot.. I know a few times, in a back-and-forth with someone on Twitter, someone will take a tweet of mine and present it as some sort of “Aha!” moment, indicating I am something other than what I say I am and leading others to believe the same. I will reply to that person, saying they need to view the context of the digital convo before deciding.

Of course, it doesn’t always matter. There are individuals on social media, no matter what is said, that will attempt to turn a statement negative. It comes down to believing what you want to believe and it happens both left and right politically. If you’re not on my side, you’re automatically a bad person.

I try to be careful with those I follow. When I follow a person on Twitter, I take a look not only at their profile, but a quick look at some of their latest tweets. That will usually give me an indication as to their bonafides. Are they who they claim they are? If not, no follow. Sometimes it’s more difficult and may take a while to determine. It’s a difficult path to walk and we all need to be careful who we become invoved with online.

3 thoughts on “Social Media is a Treacherous Path

  1. “I have noticed people be roundly criticized and sometimes it’s because what was posted was taken out of context. ”

    Hahaha! Indeed, that happens a lot. What also happens more often is that people fail miserably at reading for comprehension. They scan or are in too big a hurry to bother with what you are actually writing, because what they think and write is so much more correct and truthful and intelligent. They reply to the first sentence or sometimes just the topic title.

    Or they assume that since you are a good-looking avatar with a terrific moustache, you can’t be too bright and they can’t wait to prove it to you.

    Take it from me, Dandelion Puffball. LOL

    Plus, neither of our avatars appear very old, so what does that tell them about our life experience and ability to understand anything above the Soaps.

    Oh man, do the Soaps still come on? Is Victor still marrying girls as young as his grand daughters?

    I am expecting an intelligent answer here. Don’t make me do a search…


  2. I used to reply to people that try and present me with isolated tweets asking me to condemn someone. Now I just say sorry, I don’t do out-of-context tweets. I have also seen people condemn someone for who they follow or who follows them. I follow a pretty wide variety people so I don’t get too stuck in the proverbial “echo chamber.” I also don’t plan to defend my reasoning behind it. I also follow and unfollow from time to time. It doesn’t particularly reflect any deeper meaning. I may be temporarily interested in a topic and later shift to another topic I want to know more about.


  3. Ah, Gretchen, I really think that Twitter is a plague as it is used now. The spread of outrage and angst, and banning and shaming has caused such division that I tend to think it can’t be fixed and should be abandoned.

    And, what would happen? Some new form of rabid social media would rise up to take its place, I suppose. Heavy sigh… How I long for civil discourse with extended conversations.

    No news about the Soaps, huh? Enquiring minds must know! Guess I will have to search for that information.


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