In my opinion, social media sites have always tended to attract three primary categories of people: “Agents of Change,” “Attention Seekers,” or “Connection Seekers.”
This is the mom and pop Facebook user. They want to stay in touch with friends and family over distances. The posts aren’t earth shaking or controversial. “Look at what my cat did” and posts like “we miss you and the kids” or “we’re doing a thing this weekend, come visit.” It has replaced snail mail and even regular email because the target audience is easier to deliver to and by default it’s not spam.
This category tends to post everything about themselves and what they are doing. It’s not quite narcissistic. It’s more “I need to know that I matter”to someone – anyone. There is more than likely an entire personality profile some psychologist has created for this group. I’m not going to hunt for it because, quite frankly, I don’t care.
A significant portion also tends to overshare negatively as well: openly trashing former partners, dishing dirt on their jobs, friends, family, etc. All for the purpose of someone to tell them they are justified in their feelings.
“You preach it, girl. Ain’t no man got the right to tell you …….”Any random Facebook comment
Please remember: The only constant thing in your toxic crap of a relationship (with work, people, family, etc) is YOU. You can walk away. It is an option. Always has been.
Agents of Change
This category generally has two distinct sides, with some interesting shades near the center.
On the “light” side are activist who seek to make the world better and be a positive influence on everyone. They talk about how to be better, do better. Today most of these article I find on LinkedIn as they are business related, but there are also philanthropic posts and posts bout improving the human condition.
By contrast, on the “dark” side are all the hatemongers, and people who rant about problems with no real solutions. They think they have an agenda and are “moving the needle,” but in reality they are just toxic. If you are just stating “THIS SUCKS…” and not providing a solution, you aren’t helping. It doesn’t matter if your cause is just or not.
The world, in general, seems to be filling up with more and more toxic minded people on a majority of the social media sites. I get it. I was heading down that same path. A path of becoming bitter, jaded and angry. But, in life, there is always a choice. The choice may sometimes feel like deciding between the lesser of two evils. But deciding not to choose is also a choice (someone taught me that).
I chose not to participate in and on Facebook. I chose not to watch the posts from Attention Seekers and Connection Seekers and I’m trying hard to make sure I stay on the path of becoming a positive Agent of Change. I still have social media. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter (but I ignore most of it) and I have other methods of contact. (Contact Q here)
So, let me make a suggestion. If your rant or rave doesn’t have a CTA (Call-to-Action) then it doesn’t serve a purpose. A CTA could be:
- Go help / donate / volunteer
- Read more and make an informed decision for yourself
- Steps to improve / change someone’s life/world
So, think about that before you post. Does this inform? Does it help people? Or is it negative in nature?
I’m making the choice to surround myself with positive people; to surround myself with positive vibes. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone gives it a shot the world can be made better.