Thursday, April 11, 2013

Social Media - The Good, The Not So Good and the Ugly?

I want to blame the weather
but I think it is actually just me....

It seems that by Thursday I have this need to just talk, rant, spout off, spill .... or as some of you may see it ...whine about stuff.

I would love to fill in some of this post with a few of my favourite pins but I still haven't figured that one out.
So, I am going to pull out some of my own photos that I find inspirational for whatever reason....random perhaps but I will try to select them with care.

Images are such an important part of blogs and part of what attracts me to various bloggers that I follow. All these images are from my home, the water, the countryside or perhaps even my little backyard.
Gives you a little insight as to where I come from and a small window into my part of the world.

And really, that for me is what blogging is all about.

I mean, imagine if we were all thrown in a room together .....okay a large ballroom at a very nice resort??
Well, really, let's have some fun with this.

And let's say we never knew each other as bloggers,
my question is,
would we get along....would we find each other interesting....would we gravitate to those that seem to hold similar beliefs as us, similar styles in clothing.... look like fun.... seemed approachable.

Am I crazy? Or, have you ever wondered about all that.

 I guess social media allows people to be something that they might not be able to express in "real" social situations and I wonder if that is really part of the good with all this.

Maybe through blogs we reach out and get to know people that we wouldn't otherwise get to know.

My mother, who will read this at some point..... is probably calling me a Pollyanna right now.

But, I still wonder and hope that social media will allow us to break down silly and unnecessary barriers established between people, between cultures, generations and....

Well, then I am forced to consider the Not So Good...

I was surfing around some new blogs written by a fairly young generation of bloggers and was
saddened to see the bullying that was going on between various readers through comments.

You know, as I do that comments can be a sensitive issue.
Some of us reply to comments directly in our blog, others such as myself through email, and others ....well,

They don't seem to have time to reply to comments.
I guess once you reach a certain "level" with your blog then you are no longer able to reply,
perhaps too many comments?
Truth be told, I no longer comment on those blogs....

Blogging for me is about the connection,
about the ability to engage with my readers
but that is my choice, that is how I approach blogging
and really that is all I want to get back from blogging.

So, what is the ugly?
it is what happened to Amanda Todd last year and now this week to Rehtaeh Parsons,
they were bullied through social media.

Bullied to a point where they saw no other way out....
That is the ugly.


  1. I am so sickened by what happened to these 2 young girls - what the hell is wrong with Canada - and these happened literally on either side of the country - this last case ( sorry have to spell Heather first to see how to write it in reverse -was she artistic or what?) Rehtaeh - they actually POST photos of the rape on Facebook - how are they not arrested yet????????????
    What further proof do they need?
    I don't know anymore Donna - it's a terrifying world out there.
    Having said that, I absolutely treasure the friendships I've made through my blog.
    Including yours.
    ( p.s. they're calling for snow tomorrow )
    p.s.s. - beautiful photos
    p.s.s.s. - from a fellow ranter - it's ok to rant !!!

  2. Acabei de conhecer o seu blog e achei lindo maravilhoso!!!Me visite:
    Siga-me e pegue o meu selinho!!!


    Beijos Marie.

    1. Oi lá, obrigado por se juntar meu blog. Vou visitar seu blog.

  3. Gorgeous photos.

    It's scary. Kids have technology at their fingertips that can be used as a weapon; I hate to say this, but maybe they should be licensed, like drivers to have access to the video component. Morality has decayed along with religion and the laws have not caught up to the technology, but even then commonsense says some of the old laws should by inference apply to these situations. And it is not limited to Canada. We had a rotten person here film a gay student in the act and post it with the same horrific result. Now google glasses? What's wrong with this world? I try not to think about it too much. It's a frightening world to bring up children in.

  4. I agree with you all the way Donna. It's a sad and depraved world we are living in today and I honestly worry about the future generations. The social media, and the media in general, are so warped and have their own agenda. I can't believe the alleged perpetrators got away with this. It's so similar to the girl in the US recently. What are these kids thinking when they photograph these things and spread it around?? As for the bloggers who don't respond I have also given up commenting. Once in a while I do in 'hope' they might see a new commenter and respond, but no, it doesn't happen. I realize their blogs are huge and they have over 40 comments to deal with but I think if they take time to answer new ones it would be good. I enjoy hearing from my followers and also love to interact with them by responding. I have gotten to 'know' some wonderful bloggers like you! I enjoyed your photos today and love the one of the 3 Beauty Queens. :) That was a good rant! Hugs, Pam

  5. Thank you for your thoughts on this topic. Yes, I too have very strong feelings about the internet, social media etc. On the positive side, the internet provides a wonderful way for us to obtain information. How convenient it is to find the answer to everything at our fingertips instead of the "old days" when we trekked to the library. Blogging, Facebook and Twitter (I am not on FB, nor do I "tweet") can also be wonderful ways to share ideas, connect with others etc. But the negative is that it is a lightening fast way to spread gossip, slander, photos without permission, not to mention hacking and other more serious criminal acts. When that poor, young girl in the States was photographed recently by those teen boys, she received threatening text messages from other two girls afterward. I was so heartened that the local district attorney immediately arrested the two girls, and it served as an example that he would not tolerate any bullying of an innocent victim.

    As far as blogging goes, it looks more and more like high school to me! You know, the "in" crowd and those of us who do not have mega-blogs. (Not that I aspire to that!) I realize that time is a factor, but as I read comments on lots of blogs, I hardly ever see a comment by the "big dogs" on any blogs! It is as if they have risen above this. I think that so many, especially the younger women, are so intent on establishing a blogging presence and making money at it, if possible, that they have forgotten some of the rules of polite society. It's very competitive out there among them, and I prefer not to enter that fray!

  6. It is a shame that the world of social media has gone from being a way to stay in touch to a bullying device, and a tell all my business to world device! Pamela is right the media is to blame also. I mean have ever heard the disgusting, hateful and denigrating comments made by those here in the states? I don't know how bad the media is in Canada, but here, it is laughable at how they go on and on about kids bullying and they are the worlds worst.

    Now as for bloggers that don't reply . . .I don't know it just seems to me that a simple 'thank you' would be nice; honestly, if they cannot respond to comments then they need to deactivate the comment section.

    Great photos and a good rant.
    Have a great night.

  7. I have a love-hate relationship with social media too. I love the contacts we can make, the friendships we can forge, the information we can glean, but I hate the bullying and I don't like the competitiveness in blogland these days. I can understand why the big blogs don't respond to comments, so I rarely leave a comment and go to their blogs for information and inspiration.

  8. I found this blog through the hop, and I have to say that I really enjoyed this post. I, too, have been wary of social media. So much so, that I haven't participated in Facebook until I got a blog and realized that it was a matter of necessity at that point!

    I am new to blogging, and I am really enjoying the connections that I have made thus far (and the small communities that have welcomed me with open arms), but at the same time, I can see that competitive edge in other blogs (and bloggers).

    Like you, I rarely leave comments on the big blogs, only because I feel like they get lost in the wash. I try to always leave comments on smaller blogs that I enjoy (especially when I think the content is good), mainly because I LOVE comments. I really like the feedback and the ideas that come from others, and I hope that others feel the same.

    Bullying and social media is a huge issue right now, especially in adolesents. And it transcends those borders into adulthood as well, but we don't talk about it as much. Maybe because we're embarrassed that it still happens...

  9. Donna, you can tell your mom that I am the Pollyanna of blogland. I do it my way, at my own pace and assume my readers are fine with that. I've never had a mean comment and I certainly never make mean comments on the blogs I read. For me, blogland is a happy place, where I have made many wonderful friends. As you say, I never would have had the opportunity to get to know these people without the internet. I see them plant gardens, cook meals, throw parties and cry over lost pets. They invite me into their kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. They share their sorrows and happy times from the past and present. In time you get to know an awful lot about them and what matters to them. I don't think you can do that in normal social situations. The 'big' bloggers that I most admire didn't get into it as a highly competitive, follow the rules to success thing. They are the ones that make a true connection to their readers and, probably, get the most satisfaction from blogging.
    I love it when you show pictures from your area. It's the next best thing to being there and sitting back with you to take in the view!

  10. Donna. We seem to be on the same wavelength lately and I really enjoyed this post. At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur I really do struggle to "get" whole social media thing. I blog because I love the experience of sharing and connecting. And I feel wonderfully blessed and amazed by the women (like you) that I've met through blogging. But blogging has also made me very aware of what I consider to be the obsessive side of social media. At times it looks so boundary-less. Apparently nothing is too small or trivial to share. No photo that should remain private. No tweeter who doesn't feel worthy of being 'followed.' It's the strangest thing and I was trying to explain this to my 18year old tonight. But I don't think he understands my point; I think it's a different generation and they don't know any other way.
    I did want to say that I also stopped leaving comments on a lot of the big blogs too. And I really could relate to the previous commenter who compared the blogging world to the kind of popularity contest seen in 'high school.' I've observed that dynamic too, and it makes me try extra hard to be sincere. Sorry for this long winded comment but I find this whole topic to be so interesting. Thanks for a great post!
    Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  11. I think it would be fun to gather all my blog friends together somewhere fabulous and visit! I would love that!!! I actually did something very similar with an online book club (we met in Atlanta) and we had a blast! I visited one of the ladies last summer in Ohio.

    It is hurtful the way some bloggers leave some people out. For example, there are a couple of monthly link parties I always participate in, and there are a couple of bloggers who will comment on everyone's post but mine, as if I never linked-up, or as if I don't exist. I think they are tacky, quite frankly....they are not acting very classy.

    They know who they are, and I do think that they have blackballed me for whatever reason. At first I was hurt, but now I find it amusing because I know I've never done anything or written anything to upset or offend them.

    Very thoughtful post, Donna.


  12. I am a very cautious person when it comes to relationships. I am an observer. I have a lot of acquaintances but very few that are depth and breadth friends. It always surprises me when someone describes me as self assured or confident..... I just don't want to put much out there because it is often trampled. Bullying has always been a fact of life and women seem just as likely to indulge in that behaviour as men. Funny how society assumed that bullies outgrow that behaviour. They don't....some just lose their forum and others seek out another group to control. I admire people like Ricki who are able to move on and not let the bully we know unfortunately, too many cannot.

    It is a very cold heavy wet rain here..... a little sunshine would be appreciated. LOL

    1. Hi there CanndoCanda, since you come up as a noreply blogger I will leave my reply to you here.

      You are not the first person to tell me that they are cautious about how much they "share with others". And, in this day and age perhaps we need to be teaching students in school more about the impact of social media and their desire to share "everything". I think that personally since this is not something I grew up with I have had time to consider my need for a certain level of discretion about what I do share. I don't believe our children however have had that luxury given the rapid fire pace of development of a large span of social media formats and therefore they need guidance.

      But I do want to say that it is important to remember that observers are good. It is a role that plays an important part of team dynamics. Often the observers see the details that so many others missed.

      And, guess what, it is snowing in Montréal today and we are expecting snow by this evening. Spring has lost its way.

  13. Lots of food for thought here today. The comments part has been on my mind lately. The blog comments are how I've gotten to know my favorite bloggers. We now email back and forth about all kinds of things.

    For the most part, though, I leave a comment just because I want the blogger to know I enjoyed their post for one reason or another. I really don't expect a response. Often, when those comments get a response, it is a word or two that makes it obvious the bloggers are following the blog etiquette rule stating that one must respond to all comments to their posts. I'm not bothered by these responses, but I could actually do without them.

    I'm not familiar with the media cases you mentioned. The do sound similar to ones in the U. S., though. The need to deal with bullying gets a lot of attention right now, but I'm not seeing any significant, useful changes filtering down to make changes in parenting and schooling. That's really unfortunate.

  14. I have been responding to people directly by email but perhaps I should have responded to each of you directly in this post as it is a very interesting discussion and one I am enjoying following.

    For those of you south of the border that have not heard of either Amanda Todd or Rehtaeh Parsons, they were both teenagers that were bullied through the use of social media and eventually they took their own lives. The attention that the case of Amanda Todd rendered did not seemingly have any impact on how we treat "bullying" so we now have to try and understand what went wrong in the case of Rehtaeh Parsons. I realize that these stories are universal and like you I feel that little change is coming about.

    Rehtaeh Parsons had taken the time to become an organ donor. I am not trying to push that choice but I find it interesting and somewhat amazing that she turned around and changed several people in her death. I am not sure what to say about that. I heard that this morning and have to take some time to digest my thoughts.

    I also want to comment on RJ's comments here. Wow, that is just not acceptable. Hopefully we can all make sure that those scenarios just don't happen.

    Yep, Pollyanna .....yet again.

  15. You're right, the ugly is just that UGLY! I am like you, I blog for the connection and to show through photos what my life is all about. I am rather shy and unsure of myself and through writing and photos, I can show the more sure and secure side of myself. Also, for the first time in my life I am sharing a friendship with people who like myself, love interior design. I have never had anyone to share that with before. Perhaps that is one reason I have been so unsure of myself, everybody around me has NO interest in my one big passion.
    I try to be careful about what I share, I no longer share my grands photos, as much as I would love to. And it is a medium that spans several generations. I have regular readers and comments from all ages, although the majority of them are my age, in their 50's at least.
    I cannot fathom why anyone would take the time to read a blog that they are just going to leave a negative comment on. I read blogs occasionally that express views opposite of mine, but with one tiny click I can leave it and never see anything from them again, so simple.
    Interesting subject, though.
    Have a good day and I really hope you don't get too much snow.
    Hugs, Cindy

  16. This post was interesting in so many levels.
    1) The pictures are just amazing... And I just love seeing where bloggers live!
    2) I do believe that blogging has allowed me to meet wondeful people all over the world and I find my life richer for it.
    3) Thus said, I think that just like in real life, people sometimes become friends, sometimes are just accointances, even if very nice ones, others are only "colleagues" of sorts and others are just like people we pass by at the supermarket and barely nod at. It's not a bad thing, it's just that we blog according to our personality.
    4) I see bullying every day at school and sometimes it's just impossible to get the bully to understand that there are other way to express oneself. I guess those are also bullies on the Internet... It makes me sadder than I can express when I can't change the way those pupils think...
    5) We're expecting our first Spring weekend this weekend... Not that I want to keep you complaining!!!

  17. Oh my gosh. I have heard of blog bullying but have never experienced it. I am so sorry it is happening. I think that blogging is not what it was even 2 years ago when I began. There is pressure to interact in social media when I can barely keep up with my blog and Etsy shop. Seems commenting is not at the top of the blog to-do list anymore. Posting on Facebook and Twitter seems to be more least to some. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Food for thought for sure.

  18. I think I've understood nearly everything you mean and I agree with you. I never do a competition of my life, so when I write a post in my blog, my intention is to share my feelings with people, recipes that can help them or advices and I also learn from them. I think this way of seeing life and my blog can help me and help them. I also love your pictures of course

    Hugs from Jerez


  19. I'm glad you found me :) I love this post & I've been looking through your blog. Hmmm comments I am very tongue in cheek but find myself sometimes being very boring because the written word can be perceived so much differently than when spoken. I have seen blog bullying in action a few times, I find it disgusting! Blogging both reading & writing my own is my favourite form of entertainment. I want people who leave my blog to feel happy regardless of my project. I must admit since I started blogging I now question some of the blogs I liked but I have found so many great people. In spite of age difference, race, and beliefs I've met people who have given me so much who I might not have "in real life" anyone who leaves a comment deserves an acknowledgement even if its just a thank you, I will answer all comments with a valid email address.
    As a mother of teenagers I am happy my kids so far have stayed away from social media but I also have a rule, their grandparents must be their first friends, they may not always care what I think but they do care how their grandparents perceive them.

    Anyway lovely to "meet" you :) and I'm now following


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