Social media - positive and negative useage

I have to confess I’m a serial stalker on Facebook, I don’t post much information on my own page but I like to keep in touch with what’s happening in other people’s lives.

It couldn’t be more easy or convenient, if you have a computer, tablet or smart phone you have ready access to people’s electronic profiles. Some individuals like to post on their pages every few minutes confessing their innermost thoughts and feelings.

The whole scenario can become so confessional you think you’re watching Big Brother or another reality TV show.

The speed of technology is now so amazing you read about births, christenings, marriages and deaths literally as they happen.

You often heard of solicitors chasing ambulances in the hope of catching a claim case, I often wondered if I see a birth or engagement being announced on one of the social media pages should I post discount rates for baptismal and wedding ceremonies!

There is often plenty of banter and slagging on the social networking sites as friends and relations try to get one up on each other. I must confess I do try to stay above all the nonsense unless Man United get beaten and then I might make an innocent remark.

In hindsight this means I have been very active this year on Facebook. However there’s no fun anymore because as a team they get defeated so often. Instead I would rather Manchester United didn’t lose too often between now and the end of the season otherwise they might sack their manager and I wouldn’t want that; he’s going a great job!

With the speed with which information can now be shared there is a downside; unfortunately people no longer hear of good or bad news of celebrations or tragedies from their close family and friends.

Instead random posts inform them of significant events which are robbed of the personal and intimate.

Like all gifts technology can be used in positive or negative ways. Social media can be used to build up relations and share vital information or support or it can be used to target, attack and tear people apart whilst hiding behind false names or general campaigns.

The problem of cyber bulling is an all too apparent phenomenon. Children and our young people might no longer feel safe in their own homes but can become exposed to the harms of gossip and false rumours spread as easy as clicking a mouse or tapping a screen.

The challenge is maintaining face to face contact and spending time with those we love - reassuring them or their value and dignity.

There are numerous things we have no control over nor are we able to exert any influence. These are the occasions when we have to learn to become childlike and trust in God as a loving parent.