In this pandemic/confinement climate we live in, we all use social media to communicate with others, to entertain ourselves, to learn, to fight boredom, to share our ideas, to be relevant, to create controversy, to feel alive, to matter, and to some extent, for some, to exist. Well, we don’t use social media for the same purposes but those are usually the main reasons one goes on those platforms. This confinement has made us, all of us, consume content online more than ever. That’s a fact, not an opinion.

So, I wonder…If you use social media, what is your ultimate goal? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you posting? What are you reading and watching? What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What is your plan? Do you have a plan or are you using social media to entertain yourself and pass the time? Regardless of what your answer is, you must be careful.

These questions matter immensely. They matter more than you think. The answers to those questions matter even more, if that is even possible! Whether you like to admit it or not, you are what you do, you are what you think, you are what you consume, whether it’s food or online content. People like to say, “I am not what I post! I don’t believe what I posted, I just posted it”. Nah…That’s not how it works. If you posted something, it was meaningful enough for you to share. You cared about it enough to put it on your profile. You may not agree 100% with the essence of what you posted but you agreed with it enough to put it up! Stop that cowardly shit of refusing to take any responsibility for your actions! Stop that! It is tiring. That’s why I am saying be careful. Your posts define your point of view partially, if not entirely. Your words and actions define you, right? Well, in the 21st century, your posts are a part of who you are. So, for the millionth time, be fucking careful.

First of all, be careful because anything you watch, post, write, repost is being catalogued, recorded, shared and kept by those big tech companies. The access to their platforms is free but they are not making billions of dollars by that free access we value so much. We all know they sell our personal information, our histories, our preferences to companies that use their targeted marketing to sell us shit we don’t need but we think we need. So, keep in mind that whatever you have ever written, said, recorded and posted, is in servers somewhere in the world, saved, and ready to be released again at any time. Would you stand by all your posts, 100%? If you would, then good for you! I applaud you, for real! If not, then you might be or could get in trouble.

So, be careful about what you post, write, and say. Be careful because the shit you say, post or write can come back to haunt you and make your life uncomfortable on a good day, and miserable on an awfully bad day. Be careful because people love to put other people down so they can feel better about themselves, so they can feel superior. Be careful because if you are spreading hate, it will come back to you. Be careful because if you think you know better, well, that means you might not be quite open to learning. Be careful because bullying people online all the time, usually proves you are a bully. Be careful because if you are mean to others online, it means you are mean in real life, and in person. Be careful because this isn’t a game; what you say can impact and affect other people’s lives in a way you weren’t expecting. Be careful because if you make enemies, well, when those enemies come for you, I can guarantee you that you might not be able to fight them off. Be careful because starting up a fight is easy, but you never know how it will end or what the repercussions will be. Just be careful.

I am saying all this because what I do on social media has come back to bite me in the ass on a few occasions. I am not perfect; I make mistakes like everybody else. Thankfully, nothing dramatic ever happened because I usually don’t chew what I cannot swallow. Everything I have done; I have thought about and accepted the consequences. I got no problem answering any questions or facing my accusers. Have I gone after a bully and got called a bully myself? Fuck yes! I fucking hate bullies. Are there things I could have done better? Of course! Are there things I shouldn’t have done? No. I learned from my mistakes. The latter weren’t dire, and the consequences weren’t devastating. Thankfully, I learn quickly, and I can always readjust my position and recalibrate my message. That is called learning. If you are a writer like myself and you share your opinions with the world, you must be humble enough to consider someone else’s point of view and, if you were wrong, you change your mind. That is growth. That is what adults are supposed to do.

This world ain’t as forgiving as you might think. This world can be cruel. Moreover, you may never know where a shot might come from. So, think, rethink and think again before posting anything. This is a cautionary tale for others, so they can avoid making mistakes. We all know cases where a mistake cost someone more than they could ever imagined. So, be careful.  

Remember…this social media thing is still in its infancy. We haven’t figured it out yet. We don’t really know how it works. We don’t know its limits. This social media thing isn’t regulated as it should be because anyone can pretty much say anything about anybody and not be held accountable for their words, posts or actions. Yet, one day, it will be regulated, and the past will come back like an old dormant infection and try to fuck up your life. Just sayin…

I see people creating controversies, making up stories, lying intentionally and, bullying others on a regular basis. Most importantly, I see people that don’t make any sense whatsoever. Isn’t that sad? To feel alive only through negative energy? Only through lies? Only through fire and chaos? Being negative behind a screen is easy because only cowards do that. They love the protection and the fake anonymity they get from a bot, an anonymous account. By the way, your account leaves a digital footprint, an IP address, so it is not as anonymous as you think, and it is easy to trace. Just sayin…

I ain’t here to save anyone. To each their own and I prefer when people get slapped in the face, metaphorically so they can learn. Those who love to create controversies don’t have a valuable message to share anyway. They simply feel alive when the world around them is burning and only if they are holding the match. They feel powerful during chaotic moments because silence and peace are terrifying to them. Isn’t that sad? They strongly believe they get validation from others, but the truth is, they really don’t. They believe they wouldn’t exist otherwise. They wouldn’t matter because they aren’t strong enough as they are to believe they matter as they are.

Controversies don’t last; positive energy and positive messages last forever. Making sense lasts more than sounding deep. Helping others lasts forever. Being a force for good and fighting evil are the cornerstone of lasting.

Lying, controversy and saying stupid ass shit, never last. I call that the “unholy trinity”. It never lasts and people will see through your game. You cannot dupe everybody forever. Just sayin…

This social media thing ain’t easy. So, once again, be fucking careful.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B


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