The Afterburner 11/20/13

Social media or anti-Social media?

By LeaAnne Klentzman 

It began with the World Wide Web, which morphed to the hip and groovy www. Then came followed by .org, .net, .tv, .biz….. it seems to be endless. Social Media has become such an integral part of our lives that many forget that everyone around them is NOT interested in what we are doing every minute of each and every day…. Is it really necessary to tell all your “friends” where you are eating lunch?

Social media started as a communication tool for college students. It has morphed into a way for far older than college folks to find and keep up with all those “friends” you never liked anyway in high school, oh so many moons ago. You remember, even those classmates you never ever wanted to see again, but who could pass up knowing where they are and what they look like now. One thing is for sure, you can almost bet they are pudgy middle aged folks just like the rest of us.

Social Media has been defined as an exchange of ideas, ideologies or interactions by a group of individuals in a virtual environment. So what does that really mean? It’s where faceless “friends” can interact while secretly wearing their pink bunny slippers and not having to fix their hair or brush their teeth before hollering at someone. Social media has become a place where people say and do things anonymously without regard for others; a place where folks find themselves in a Wild West atmosphere where anything goes. With each passing day the ‘ol www morphs a little bit more into something we will not even recognize in a couple of years. One example of an unexpected metamorphosis in Social Media came in 2008 when then candidate Barak Obama folded the use of Facebook into his arsenal of campaigning tools for the US Presidency. It was a success. Since then Social Media has exponentially exploded into every imaginable realm of society.

Even local government has now jumped into the Social Media pool. Just yesterday the Rosenberg Police Department posted information on their Facebook page about a couple of brothers who were suspects in a rash of car burglaries. One brother was arrested and the other brother was wanted. With a post on Facebook they sought information from the public about the “at large” wanted car burglar. Imagine their surprise when the “at large” man posted a response to their Facebook post page saying, “#^$%* all y’all *$%& I am innocent, catch me if you can #&*?!” And they did, 6 minutes later.

With good also comes evil. The explosion in Social Media has given rise to a lot of antisocial behavior. Since all matter of personal information has been slung out into cyberspace identity theft, pedophiles, and cyber bullying are but the tip of the iceberg facing the users of Social Media. While laws have not kept pace with technology, the users of Social Media remain responsible for their actions. Never forget, nothing is lost forever, someone, somewhere, can find you. As laws catch up, it is a parent’s responsibility to keep pace with the technology that you allow into your home and to be used by your children. We can expect many more laws like those being bantered around in Florida.

We cannot sit idly by and let Social Media morph into something antisocial.

Send questions or inquiries
to LeaAnne Klentzman
Fort Bend Star
4655 Techniplex Dr. Suite 300
Stafford Texas 77477

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