Layout Image

Social Media: A Love / Hate Relationship

Social media:

is addictive
creates noise
generates doubt
pretends all is well
saps self-confidence
demands impossible optimism
expresses impossible cynicism
leaves little room for shades of grey
reduces feedback to clicks and smiley faces
is full of voices calling “stretch” and “grow” forever, endlessly

Oh, but social media also:

connects with artists, musicians and writers who pass on process and practice
invites the sharing of the small and everyday, what it means to be human
lets you find kindred spirits and create deep long lasting friendships
gives you the means to publish, and find markets for your work
offers water cooler moments to share, smile, wonder, breathe
helps you find quick solutions and practical fixes
challenges your understanding
helps you work on your own
provides a sounding board
makes you rich

Maybe that’s it.

Social media teaches, over and over, that we have the gift, and the curse, of being able to choose. To choose what we filter in, and what we filter out. To choose how we manage our time, our energy, and our attention. To choose how we use the tools we have been given.

Photo credit: love / hate by Patricia Lobo on Flickr

Share on Twitter


  1. Tweets that mention Social Media: A Love / Hate Relationship | Confident Writing -- says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Todd Rutherford and Steve Kuncewicz, Julie Gibbons. Julie Gibbons said: Ah, how true, great insight > RT @joannapaterson Social Media: A Love / Hate Relationship [...]

  2. Judy Adamson says:

    I agree - practically everything has its upsides and downsides and we have to decide, over and over, whether the price is worth paying.

  3. Suzy Turner says:

    Absolutely! You’ve got it in one.
    Great post.

  4. Indigo
    Twitter: sageraven

    I couldn’t agree more. We decide what filters in and what doesn’t. At the same time we must keep ourselves open to new ideas and inspirations. (Hugs)Indigo

  5. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, what a beautiful way to present the yin and yang of social media, and of life itself. Every choice that we make has its pros and cons yet we always get to choose. The social media aspect especially resonates as I have been struggling with it of late.

  6. The Exception says:

    What a list and quite complete. It is a give and take – a balance – and one we need to take more seriously as the web and social media become a larger part of our lives, the lives of our children, and our society. The changes are quite wide spread and as of yet, unforeseen.

  7. Diana says:

    Well put, and appreciated. I even keep my MySpace page alive because of the hundreds of artists I have met there from all over the world.

    These items on your list popped out at me as my bugaboos:
    pretends all is well
    is full of voices calling “stretch” and “grow” forever, endlessly

  8. George Angus says:

    Hi Joanna,

    I have a love/love-not-so-much relationship with social media. I’ve met some great folks and I think that overall it has been beneficial to my blog, but there are some aspects about it that are not very attractive to me.

    Balance, like anything else I suppose.



  9. Niall O'Brian says:

    I’m still in love with social media, especially Twitter. I follow Danny De Vito’s tweets and get to know what he’s doing on a daily basis.

    Who would have thought THAT possible maybe five/ten years ago?

  10. Nisa West says:

    So true. Well stated.

  11. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Judy Adamson: indeed - we need to keep on bearing in mind that these things are simply tools, and to keep on adjusting them to suit what we’re trying to achieve.

  12. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Suzy Turner: Thanks :-)

  13. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Indigo: absolutely… and once you get into the idea of filters you realise how you can apply and adjust in relation to all sorts of things… Just keep on adapting and adjusting :-)

  14. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Karen Swim: thanks Karen. You give so much of yourself to the sphere, I can understand the need to step back and adjust sometimes.

  15. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @The Exception: I agree - we’re going to have to keep on learning, over and over, how to make the most of this amazing set of tools, and how to guard against its worst excesses.

    @Diana: I find the call to ‘stretch’ the most difficult too. Thank goodness for the dark heart of art and writing to keep us sane :-)

    @George Angus: I go a bit hot and cold with it myself… got a sudden burst of nausea the other week, getting a bit sick of all the chattering voices… yet at the same time I have learned so much and ‘met’ so many amazing people through this medium

  16. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Niall O’Brian: Glad you’re enjoying Twitter. I don’t get the thrill of following celebrities myself, but you’re right, it really has changed the landscape

    @Nisa West: cheers.