While the merits of social media may be in question, I certainly appreciate the ability to stay connected with a large number of diverse people. For me, these are people whose opinions and ideas I value and like to hear, even though we may live hundreds of kilometres away from each other and may never again see each other in person.
I rely on social media to provide me a coherent story about these peoples’ lives—your lives. I expect to see kids growing up, music or sports being played, races being run, weight being lost, art being created, stories and poems being written, articles being shared, vacations and multitudes of photos being taken, houses and renovations being constructed, and even a lot of motivational quotes and posters.
What I don’t expect is random photos, videos, articles, stories and other updates that don’t seem to have any connection to anything else I know about you. And sometimes even seem to contradict what I thought I knew and liked. When I see those things I have to wonder whether I really know you, and whether I’m interested in knowing you.
While I may not have much interest in your friends’ wedding, I wish them the best and hope you had a good time. While I may not have much interest in the weird diet smoothies you’re drinking, I hope you are achieving your desired results. And certainly while I don’t share your political interests, I’m glad you’re involved and that you’re comfortable and confident enough to share them with people who may disagree.
I’d like to believe that my social media presence contributes positively to my story and your picture of me. I’m certainly not asking any of you to change what you post—I could never suggest that you shouldn’t be yourself. There are a lot of things on the internet to share and discuss, and shouldn’t they always be things that contribute positively to your story and my picture of you?