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The Positives and Negatives of Social Media

I do love being on social media, for it allows me to reconnect with old Chicago friends from high school, college, also friends from Des Moines, Iowa, where we lived for 23 years, and Southern California where we lived for seven years. Not to mention people from all over the world.  


Social media really took off at the millennium, when I started blogging, and since then have been posting once a week. That’s not to say I’ve gotten better at it, though I have covered many topics, changed the name of my blog, and over time needed to change the format. Not being  very good at technical stuff, I am grateful to those who have helped me, especially with the setup of my blog: Jeff, Cheryl, Rena and Claire to name a few.

Now, being part of the Women of Midlife, means sharing posts with each other. We read each others posts and comment. Some members share every day. I share once a week when a NEW POST is up.  


Reading other people’s work gives you insight into their lives and the topics they know about, share with you. Anne Paris keeps us organized, posting a link so we have a place to drop our stories. Laurie writes about her home, her pets, what she learns on her walks when encountering nature. Alana loves music, among her other talents, and does a blog “Music Moves Me” every Monday. Lois is a woman about town, keeping us up date on shows, fashion, food…things going on in our culture. Janis writes about changes happening in social media. Karen cooks, invents, shares, so that we smile and maybe count calories. Carol always makes us think, as she covers a variety of topics. Marcia writes on The Girlfriend, covering a variety of topics. One can learn about fashion, current events, medical care, the mental and physical needs of women when reading so many of our members: Pennie, Yvonne,  Lisa, Maureen, Renee, Carol, Walker, Laura, Lee, Diane!! 

Some weeks I GET IT RIGHT! Readers love my post and comment. Other weeks, not so much. But I always take into consideration the LIVES of our group: travel, work, illness in the family OR that this just isn’t a post they are interested in. 

I GET THAT! For all writers, variety is the spice of life when writing and reading. Last week many in and outside our group loved my post on KITCHEN MEMORIES. But that’s what blogging is about: sometimes you’ve got a hit; sometimes the topic is, well blah, or readers were busy…so many reasons. 


Social media and blogging, whether posting once a week or for some every day, asks of the writer: NEW IDEAS. Often it is difficult to find a topic that will interest everyone. Being a fiction writer and fiction reader, I often provide a book review. That might not please as many as a more general topic, but blogging requires we write about the odd and the different. Looking over some of my past posts indicates I’ve sometimes gone in unusual directions: A GOOD THING. My book reviews, as well as Sleep Tight and Dan Fogelberg had good readership and lots of comments. But you never know.  

I also like to choose artwork for each post, and for this one I emphasize that communication can be positive and negative. THAT IS WHAT WRITING IS. Whether writing a book or movie review, a political viewpoint or some family memory…readers will either like what you’ve created or take a pass.  

We can extend that result to any interaction on social media. The ability to love, like, laugh, be said or angry can never cover all the emotions and opinions readers have when interacting with social media. It’s a guessing game…

THE BEST PART, as I hoped to show with the illustrations above: we are communicating. Sometimes it is all positive, sometimes all negative. But communication is golden. Thanks for reading.


10 Responses

  1. Dear Beth, I totally agree that social media is a wonderful new way to keep in touch with old friends. After my 50th high school reunion, I was delighted to reconnect with my high school classmates through FaceBook. What a pleasure to share the joys of grandchildren and retirement travel with newly connected friends. From my perspective, the internet and electronic communications is one of the grand inventions of my lifetime! Hugs, Monica

    1. Oh Monica, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Personal reasons add to that…and moving for me has been one of them. Des Moines, California, now back
      in Chicago…where the hell is that woman? Right here, on Facebook, right here blogging…a kind of permanence. Thanks for your comment and
      a big hug, Beth

  2. Thanks, Beth. I know there are many downsides to social media, but it’s kind of like alcohol. The alcohol isn’t inherently bad. The experience is truly based on how the consumer uses (or overuses) it. My positives with social media heavily outweigh the negatives.

  3. Thank you so much for mentioning me! I’m honored.

    After 12 years of blogging, sometimes I wonder why I do it. But I guess I still love it. Yes, its hard when you post something you expect everyone to like, and you get crickets. Other times, you post something you expect no one will like and it’s popular. Go figure. But the very best part is meeting wonderful women and writers like you.

    1. Claire, with you as their mother, I am sure they will fall in love with books. That is what my mother did for me, and yes I know, social media, but
      what you emphasize as a mother can make all the difference.

  4. Social media has been (mostly) good for me. It’s the chief way I keep in touch with my in laws (my family seems to be much less into the socials). Because my introverted nature seems to vanish when I’m online, it’s almost tailor made for me. But then, all the rudeness and political stuff of the past few years has spoiled the joy, which is too bad. I appreciate the shoutout for members of our blogging group, too. We each bring something to the blogging table. We all write good stuff and stuff that doesn’t seem to spark interest, and perhaps that’s part of the fun of blogging. I must add, though, that Music Moves Me is not all mine. We have four co-hosts total and a few other dedicated regulars. It’s truly a group effort. But again, thanks for the shoutout.

    1. Alana thank you for your honest take on this process. The reason I only post once a week is that yes, it takes time, organization and
      then sharing. Monday works for me and then the rest of the week I can work on my writing projects. THANKS for all that you do for
      Women of Midlife, Beth

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