What I Learned From Using Social Media

Social Media platforms are very different. Actually, find Twitter easier to use than Facebook (FB) but it is more restrictive with the characters allowed.

Often on Face Book (FB) people who post pictures of themselves do so to brag about something they have done or are doing and most just want positive only responses or even “nonpolitical” ones. And if one posts something negative or just contrary, the “Friend” gets offended. They could have just removed, blocked or hidden a response but instead the poster comes back with defensive comments like “if you didn’t have anything nice to say, then just don’t say.” “But that argument is hypocritical cause the person is actually attacking you personally doing what they don’t like being done to them. This is just attacking you personally in an effort to discourage negativity.

One woman in a “Creative Gardening Group” didn’t like my response stating that I disliked a picture of a piano filled with flowers put under a window that was right up against her house. I stated that the wood and keyboard were rotting. Also found that using pianos to do flower and plant displays in outdoor gardens is not an original idea after doing a search online. But the poster and others in the groups started attacking me personally telling me that “I was not nice,” and that “I must not have happiness in my life.”

Another instance was with a group “White Plains Citizens to be Heard” poster that said I was just complaining and that I was “noise.” This was a person trying to get people to be part of a city meeting to develop a comprehensive plan for the city. But if he wants people to come together as a group to shape a comprehensive plan, then my comments should be heard as well. I had voiced a comment that my city of White Plains (WP) sometimes solicits community input but rarely implements them into the actual final plans. Our community has real problems with empty buildings and neighborhoods that have become blighted, a term used by a former Mayor to justify the developers’ plans to eliminate blight by building more apartments higher and higher and eliminating more and more green space. To my, the blight is caused by property owners who stop maintaining their properties, so they decline and decay. These same buildings were once shiny and new construction. But if I am just doing complaining what is everyone else doing?

If we are all “noise” then why bother with a group called “White Plains Citizens to be Heard?” Or to get the community involved in any future planning. Neighbors in my building and people I have spoken to in my community do not believe our city cares what we think and just approves all developments.

Then there are those who just defriend you and block you from being their friend on Facebook when they don’t want to hear a different and opposing opinion. They could just not follow you and hide your comments but no they go and defriend you. This for me has included a relative in Texas who posted a picture of Donald T but didn’t want any political comments posted. I was using FB to engage with my actual friends and/or family for important things. I now have to email her since she does not see my posts about my parents that she might want to know what is happening to them.

Then there was another including a City Council woman who didn’t like my statement that the Hospital’s newest tall structure should have included parking instead of depending on city’s parking garage that was intended for the whole neighborhood. Hospital doesn’t pay taxes or to maintain the garage. But, then the same Councilwoman posts on “White Plains Citizens to be Heard “established for citizens to make comments good or bad about the city. She has her own agenda in wanting developers to hire contractors’ owned by Black businesses. Many developers in my city use non-union workers and do not chose black owned contractors. Many in community also want union workers hired because they get higher wages and demand better working conditions along with better benefits. I agree with her on this but if I comment on her postings, how will she react?

I though accept and read a lot of negative comments on my FB page and often start a dialog with them. Find this this challenging and sometimes are surprised that “friends” are on other pages or groups that I follow. It turns out to be a “small world after all.” Of course, I was naïve to think that everyone is allowed to be honest on FB when many out there are just looking for a pat on the back with glowing complements. So Is FB just an Ego platform? Even businesses can get negative comments and we have the right by law to post them as long as the basis for the comments is truthful.

Then there are the people who are trying to be “friends” with you for other things than just on FB. Have trouble with men and foreigners who post comments that I know will most likely will be scamming me for something or to get my info. I stopped listing things in my profile. I had email account stolen from me in Oct 2020 and a cousin got scammed by the person. I really liked my email address and because I didn’t couldn’t change all my accounts or places where I listed it (like on Ebay), this scammer could still be looking to hack me and steal something.

When using FB, posts that are personal are more appealing than those posts just passing on statements that come from somewhere else. People do not like to read long statements and one has to be as brief as possible. But if you do make a long statement, try giving a brief summary at the beginning before going into all those details.

Another thing I learned is that one can use social media to manipulate people. FB is a great marketing tool better than with and ad that one has to pay extra for. One can lure others to your FB page by posting on other pages or in other groups by putting in a link to your website. I use FB to draw people to my website sandraharrison1954.com and it often works. I am though not making any money from this, but I get more traffic.

People often post pictures but without identifying the people in the pictures. They seem to either not think it is important or that everyone knows who the people are.

So, what have you learned?

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