This weekend I got into a discussion with a couple twenty-somethings about the rise of social media and millennials obsession with the constant flow of information. These students have closed their Facebook accounts or plan to do so in the coming weeks. Their reason? There is too much superficiality on Facebook and other social media sites. They don’t need the drama and the waste of time. They prefer things that are uplifting and have actual substance.
While I agree with that assessment of social media – a lot of it is superficial – I don’t think that’s the right response. Why separate ourselves from something that is so much a part of our modern world? By stepping away and giving up we are in essence putting up a barrier between ourselves and our peers. Wouldn’t the better solution be to take decisive steps to infuse value into these outlets? Put substance where there is none.
Of course, this is no small matter. It’s not easy to swim against the tide and buck the current trends. But, in my way of thinking, if we get as good at modern technology as the flighty are, then we can make a serious difference. This can be something as simple as putting an uplifting quote on your Facebook status or linking to a great YouTube video. Or maybe it is sending a message to a friend letting him/her know you are thinking of them. It’s in the little every day things that we can infuse the flood of information with uplifting messages.
And from what I’ve seen, people are hungry for this. I’ve started occasionally putting a good quote up as my Facebook status and have been surprised to see the number of friends who have liked the simple line or even reposted it on their walls. THAT is the power of the new technology that surrounds us. A simple message has the potential to reach hundreds, thousands, even millions.
So instead of turning away in disgust at the things we don’t like, step up and make the decision to change it. The average person has never been in more of a position to exact change as he/she is today. Take advantage.