Has social media brought out your inner monster?


I love social media. Most of you reading this right now, will probably have found this post via my Twitter or Facebook feed. But every now and again, I resent my involvement in the social media world. It’s totally skewed the way I view people.

People (who at times can come across as wonderful, insightful people) say things and make comments that shake me to my core and it makes me wonder about how well you ever really know anyone.

It’s strange that I post this today because I had initially planned on writing it this morning after reading about @emmaway20, the girl who knocked a cyclist off his bike and then took to twitter to brag about it. But after the events in London earlier today and seeing the inevitable social media reaction, it’s just reinforced my thoughts.

We’ve ALL said things on Twitter/Facebook which, in hindsight haven’t been the wisest. I know I have. But how many tweets are sent every day by people who wouldn’t ever say those things in real life? Is this someone’s true colours shining through or is it simply showing off and then hiding behind a screen?

For me, I’m drawn to accounts where the user displays authenticity. I like outrageous but not cruel. I like interesting but not speculative or rumour spreading. I tend to follow people back a lot because I am super interested in people. But I also find my finger clicking the unfollow button a lot more than usual – mostly because I see tweets from people who you just *know* wouldn’t say such things outside the realms of virtual reality. I can get on board with honesty but only if it’s authentic and would be said where it matters most – outside of cyberspace.

There is just something about social media that brings out the inner monster amongst its users. It shouldn’t be a difficult concept really, what we do on the outside should be the same way we behave on the internet. But somewhere along the lines, those boundaries get blurred.
There also seems to be a culture of saying things to get kudos, to become a kind of twitter/facebook celebrity. Unfortunately, those tweets don’t reflect well on the person sending.

Does that make sense?

I can’t have those people in my space anymore. When I use social media I’m at home or in the office, I therefore have to be mindful about who I invite in to my personal space.

I like to think that I have a simple social media process to help me stay real online…

– I don’t say anything on my public stream that I wouldn’t say out loud and in public.

– I don’t @ someone in something if it’s negative and going to have a negative impact on their day. No one needs to have shit streamed right in to their space.

– I think before sending that tweet/facebook status.

– I try to be helpful and supportive, we’re all just trying to make our way in this world.

– I always REMEMBER that there is a human being on the other end of the screen.

Social media isn’t just about being noticed – it’s about interacting or learning.

– I know that I don’t have to be an open book, just be myself.

– Simply…the key to not being a monster on social media is to be a decent human being. {click to tweet}

Authenticity. Not the opposite of fake, but rather the counterpart to truthful and honest. Legitimate. The real me, excavated and discovered, aired out with all her good and bad, dreams and nightmares, fears and joys. – Susannah Conway

Tell me, are you yourself online? Do you have a system to stay authentic?


Author: Rachael

I'm a journalist and creative consultant. I write about how busy women (just like you) can live, work and eat - better.

28 thoughts on “Has social media brought out your inner monster?”

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