Skip to main content

The Emotional Ups and Downs of Social Media

By Stephen C. Schultz



I am always amazed at the emotional energy some people demonstrate through social media. If you spend any time at all on some of the social media platforms, you realize very quickly that everyone is living a much happier life than your own...right? Not really! It may look that way, but you can be assured that every family, individual and member of society has there own demons to slay and burdens to bare.

Everyday is not a “Day at the Beach”...unless you’re a lifeguard or a fisherman, or a sailor, surfer, longshoreman, or work on a Caribbean island ...OK, lots of people probably spend all of their time at a beach. My point is, that life is full of mundane activities. It’s not all parties and excitement. The majority of people around the world spend most of their time involved in the activities of daily living, family and work.


The situation that started me thinking about this topic happened when I made a post to my Google Plus account. I saw a painting while in Bermuda that I found interesting. I took a picture of it with my phone and posted it. Almost immediately my phone made that unmistakable beep. I checked my phone and my post had been shared by someone who “Follows” me.

Below is the picture I posted from Bermuda and the message that she shared to her followers about my post.



“I GUESS HE GOT TIRED OF HIS USELESS POSTS OF KNOW IT ALL ABOUT HOW TO RAISE TEENAGERS AND NOW HE IS BACK TO SHOWING OFF HIS USELESS TRIPS TO BERMUDA!...IF HIM NOT BUSY WITH SUCH, HE WILL POST ABOUT HIS OWN CHILDHOOD!...I AM CERTAINLY GLAD HE WASN'T MY FATHER!!!!!”


My first reaction was, “Wow! There is some real heart felt emotion packed into that comment. I wonder why? She has no idea who I am or what my motivation is.”


Then I thought about what I posted in the past and wondered if there was anything I had written that might be perceived as offensive, inaccurate or hurtful. I honestly can’t think of a thing that would fall into any of those categories. My intent is to share information that is thoughtful and helpful to families who might be working through some struggles.


I have no expectation that anyone would even care about what I have to say, especially people from across the country and around the world! On occasion, there have been some members of my family and a few friends that have mentioned they enjoy reading my blog. If there are others from around the world that find my blog interesting...I’m honored to think they would stop by and read it.




This situation raises a question;


What is the best way to respond when faced with harsh words or criticism from someone on social media?


This is never an easy answer. Especially if the comments are hurtful in some way. Is it best to just ignore the comment? Should I try to engage with the person and “win them over”? Should I respond with harsh words of my own? Or, maybe I should write a blog article about the situation and use it as a way to help further a conversation about social media etiquette.


The important thing to remember is that I can only be responsible for my own words and thoughts. The way I choose to communicate with others is my choice, even if I am being provoked, denigrated or slandered in some way. Yes, the words might make me angry! Yes, I may want to lash out! Yes, the words may hurt me! However, the emotions I feel are mine, and mine alone. They are my emotions to work through. They are my emotions to feel.


Here are a couple of previous articles I’ve written that discuss in more detail the issues surrounding our emotions and the facts concerning healthy communication.


Social media platforms can be a source of community involvement and a force for good in this world. Social media can also be used to destroy relationships, bully others and allow some people a place to express ill will and hurtful rhetoric.

For me...social media is a place for kindness, caring and courage. What are your thoughts?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons I learned from a childhood experience with bullying

By Stephen C. Schultz The dew around the window was starting to bead up. In a classic case of chaos theory, the little beads of water gave way to gravity and randomly bounced and bumped their way to the window sill like a steal marble in a pinball game. There was a small pool of water in the cracked and peeling beige paint. I sat facing the window, staring at the small engraved stone nestled in the flower beds. There weren’t many flowers at this time of year. Mostly rhododendrons and Oregon grapes reaching skyward from the damp bark mulch that covered the planter area.   The month of January in Eugene Oregon was filled with days and days of mist and fog.   In fact, pretty much from October through June was filled with fog, rain, mist, showers, freezing rain and occasionally snow. The local weathermen didn’t bother with predictions about the chance of precipitation; they took pride in developing new adjectives to describe the type of precipitation and how much you can expect.

"Sugar and Spice" - A Child's Kindness

By Stephen C. Schultz I recall a childhood rhyme that went something like this; “…sugar and spice and everything nice…that’s what little girls are made of!” As the father of three daughters and one son, there is no doubt about the truthfulness of that saying. I was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago with my family. We were down at Seaport Village right on the bay having lunch. It was a beautiful day, sun shining, light breeze and we were eating on an outside deck. We were engaged in a conversation about what we wanted to do later that day when I noticed my youngest daughter, a fifth grader, was focused on something else. So, I turned to see what she was gazing at. She was following the movements of a transient man who had walked up onto the deck and was systematically searching the garbage cans for food. He was looking in each receptacle and reaching in to move the contents around. At one can, his hand came out with a partially eaten sandwich of some kind. He reached back

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w