30-Day Writing Challenge Day One: Five Problems with Social Media

A note about today’s post and subsequent ones. Back in November a writers’ page I follow online posted a photo containing a 30-Day Writing Challenge. I liked the idea of comitting to such a challenge and saved the photo to inspire future posts. Lately I’ve been in a state of reflection about Diminutive Diva, trying to determine what directon the blog will take and how much of my thoughts I want to continue to share with others. It is a ongoing process. In the meantime, however, I will devote myself to writing one post per day based on the prompts given above. I hope you enjoy.~DM


30-Day Writing Challenge Day One: Five Problems with Social Media

The advent of social media is a blessing and a curse. While browsing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I am frequently grateful for the ability to connect with such a diverse array of minds from varying experiences.  But this comes with a down side, and in today’s post I discuss five trends on social media that bother me.

1)Facts? Who Needs Facts?


Social media allows us all to express our opinion on any issue to a global audience. This opportunity is one which is unprecedented in history, and one that generates much zeal to get our words out. However in the eagerness to share opinions we are forgetting the value of having an opinion that is actually informed by facts and data. It is frightening to see the number of adults who equate passion with knowledge. This is particularly worrisome when it comes to hot button topics such as politics, race and religion. Heavy issues deserve a more thorough and nuanced treatment, but in a world where we are fixated on speaking our mind this is often neglected.

2)“On To the Next One”

We have all witnessed it happen. A controversial story begins to trend. Next thing you know your entire friends list is pulling out the soapbox lest they feel left out.We see others piling on to trumpet their views and suddenly feel moved to do the same. But within three to seven days all is forgotten, and the masses have moved on to the next case of manufactured outrage. I can call it like this because I’ve frequently indulged in such behavior in the past.

3)“Blurred Lines”-The Lack of Distinction between our Public and Private Lives


For those who are growing up in the age of social media a world where the most intimate details are widely shared is all they know. Sharing your government name, birthdate, location, family relationships, romantic relationships and personal pictures on social media is so normalized that even Generation Xers like me play along. But a comment I heard on a podcast last summer made me rethink this. The individual pointed out that in the late 1980s NO ONE would have considered giving strangers access to so much of their personal lives and pictures. As a 80s Baby that resonated with me, and I began to limit how much of myself and my life I chose to provide access to on social media. I understand that the issue of what is shared online is one which every person must negotiate for his or herself. With that said I do feel that placing a higher value on privacy can reduce part of the drama and messiness that comes with social media.

4 )Wasted Time


One of my dreams in life is to write a book, a memoir of my life being raised by my maternal Grandma. Often I have told myself that my failure to do so is due to a lack of time to write. However when I ruminated on my social media use in 2015 I faced the galling realization that I already have written the equivalent of a book! Were the words I’ve devoted to the verbose missives of my status updates and ardent response in debates to be cut and pasted into a Word document they would surely be enough to publish. I have taken the necessary steps to cut back and be more productive in how I use my time. But the awareness of how much of my time and writing talent I’ve wasted ranting and debating with people on FB and Twitter still leaves an acrid taste on my lips. Perhaps you were sucked into a different kind of social media quagmire. My poison was debates; maybe yours is playing games, scrolling your timeline endlessly or stalking viewing pictures and profiles. Whatever the case may be ask yourself this question: what else could you be doing in that moment that could improve your life?

5) The Illusion


It’s quite easy to ‘fake the funk’ and pretend to be someone else on social media. One of my favorite bloggers, Trini Trent, addressed this in a podcast last summer that I highly recommend giving a listen to. Though the segment is titled “Your Instagram Is a Liar”, certain aspects apply to other social media sites as well. Some strive to shape an image of themselves and their current circumstances which bears no resemblance to their existence. In my opinion the only thing sadder than those putting on the show are those who are watch and are overcome with bitterness at the illusion, unaware that what they covet is just a carefully crafted lie.

That sums up my take on five problems with social media. How do you feel about the topic? Do you agree with my list, or would you add/remove anything? Feel free to sound off in the comments, and stay tuned for my next post in the 30 Day Writing Challenge!

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

6 thoughts on “30-Day Writing Challenge Day One: Five Problems with Social Media

  1. so much truth here! As far as the direction your blog goes, I want to point out how much I have enjoyed hearing your story, and even learning from you through it! I appreciate your honesty.

  2. This post has me again wondering how valuable FB and my privacy is. I’ve wavered in my mind MANY times on my use of FB. On the one hand, it is the reason I have the job I have now… via keeping contact with an “acquaintance” that saw that I was moving back to the state. If I didn’t post something personal it wouldn’t have led me to where I am today in my career. I also enjoy documenting my own travels, important dates, great eats, etc. via the “check-in” option. I actually review it approx. every 3 months to see which places I’d like to revisit with friends / family. I like that my family that is hours or a continent away can login and view family pics and kid updates at their convenience. However, I have a serious dislike for the fact that every move I make is “announced” to everyone else. For example, when I “like” a pic, does everyone else need to know? My like is in support of the photographer, author, or simply a nod of appreciation… No need to blast it all over my “friends” newsfeed. Perhaps I need to adjust friend lists and / or privacy settings? Transition to a password only blog for personal family updates? Or the other option I’ve pondered is simply returning to my paper journal for ALL activities, and deleting my FB all together. Very interesting trying to strike a balance in this new arena. I wish I could discuss the pros / cons further with other folk and come up with general guidelines for myself.

    1. Right, I have a problem with the broadcasting aspect. I jokingly say that FB is the ultimate snitch in how it tells you what your friends have liked and commented on!

  3. A lot of truth in your post. Lately, I’ve been getting on social media less and less. Btw, I like the idea of this 30-day challenge. I have done one the end of last year. It was quite the experience yet fun. Good luck!

    1. Hi KPhoenix,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I am truly enjoying the challenge, it is a great way to stimulate ones’ mind for sure!

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