Social media seems like the norm and the exclusive way to communicate nowadays. Many studies show the negative impact of social media, and how it affects the brain function, acts as a highly addictive drug, and how it can actually make you loose focus, but another question which came to mind is, are we actually bullied into Social Media by our friends, peers & family ?
My point of view
You see, in my view, everything is a question of focus and point of view, and obviously mine might not be the one of others, and that’s fine. I enjoy writing articles related to my business, and non-related to my business, but which all have in common one thing, It’s about how we can make a change, together, by little things on a day to day basis. Some to make you grow, some to inspire you, some to make you think about a topic, and some to give you a push in hopefully the direction you wish to go to.
Insight through Switzerland
In Switzerland, as in many countries, alcohol is part of daily lives of many people, they will go out, enjoy a meal, and have a social drink, a beer, a glass of wine with their food. We all know of some friends who don’t drink alcohol at all, or very seldom do they take a sip. In some occasions, we do feel a certain pressure when not drinking… You’ll have a glass won’t you ? Come on, you can toast with us ? What, you want to toast with a non-alcoholic drink ? We see that peer pressure, from many comes with a social drink.
Rape ? Forced sex ?
The MeToo movement showed that women were too often forced or induced in relationships or acts they didn’t want to take part in, or being bullied and harassed in many ways. We consider this shameful, and disrespectful, and obviously we won’t tell a woman “just do it”, or “get down there, we’re all doing it”, even if some do… it’s clearly not acceptable. A “NO” is a “NO” and should be taken as such.
Linking to social media
Now how does this come into Social Media anyhow ? Well it’s quite interesting to see that people tend to act the same way, and even in a more intense and deep manner, and it is very disruptive to me. How many people have asked you if you were on Social Media ? To which you may have answered that yes, or no, but with a no came some “what ? you’re not on social media ?” Up until now, no serious issue, just a surprised look from the person interacting.
Now where the interesting fact takes place is that we know by many research that social media acts as a drug and dopamine shot, we scroll as the design is made to create addiction, refreshing the wall, liking, sharing, commenting, liking, scroll, scroll, scroll… and add flames or whatever level when you’re keeping up the pace.
Raising the issue
So, bullying ? Yes. I have been taking a few workshops this year, and enjoy writing about a couple of brands, take part in collectives, and the major issue is the following. I AM NOT ALLOWED to be out of social media. I AM NOT ALLOWED not to take part, or receive information through another medium than social media.
Brands, workshops, collectives, events, you will all use Social Media (Facebook groups mainly) to share all the information about the events, ask questions, bring up important information before and after the event. Large brands, educational companies such as RGGEDU, FSTOPPERS, PROFOTO, Canon, FujiFilm, SLRLounge, TheRoots Workshops and many in the photographic field will have private groups for users… and how about those who have decided to fight addiction and not dive into the realms of social media ? Well, no, we can’t. We might not know at what time we must be somewhere, we’ll be missing events, not getting the information, miss one to one sessions and much more.
People from the workshop will tell you, if you’re not on facebook it’s not our problem, just get back on it to get the information. And SHABAMMM !
So NO, I don’t need to be forced to drink Alcohol or take drugs, nor will I force any of my friends to do so. So WHY on earth should I be forced to go on Social Media, interact that way, knowing that it is a modern drug and proven as such ? Why do my friends, family, brands or workshops force me to go there ? I am still in search for an answer, but it’s really hurtful and should, in my humble opinion, be addressed by anyone in the industry.
Brands, you can help !
Brands, You do have a responsibility to take care of customers and people, and I beg you to read this, share this and take action to help users go back to their lives, to what they love, and do what you help them do best, use and enjoy what you have to offer, and not social media.
Please, it is so easy to create community websites nowadays, a forum, a blog, send newsletters, create google Docs or any type of form, and allow a large part of users to save their mental health.
How can you help ?
The best way you can be part of the solution and not be part of the problem is to accept, be empathic, and understand that not everybody wants, must and clearly should not be forced into anything they don’t want to do. Don’t force this social “rape, alcohol, drug” onto people. Don’t tell your friends to “get on social media” and just don’t give them any choice.
Well yes, sharing is caring… I’m not going to set foot on social media, but if you want to share this blog article, through whatever mean you want, may it be newsletter, blog, whatever, even social media i don’t give a toss if you’re on it and find it a good medium to share this news, go ahead. But, let’s make a change… and get back to something healthy.
Feel free to comment here, on my site, on my comments section here below (and not on social media), as my article will be posted there automatically by my website, and i’m not heading there (off since april 2018). Look forward to hearing from you soon.
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