I am who I say I am! (Maybe not)

Everyone has a view on the pluses and minuses of social media. So do I!

Most people love social media for its power to connect them anytime, anywhere and with anyone. On the other hand, many folks are suspect of social media because of what some call the Connection Paradox: We’re able to reach out to whomever, whenever, but, as many pundits point out, we’ve never been more isolated or, in fact, lonelier.

My particular beef with our internet society is different. Social media allows us to create – fabricate, make up, invent, manufacture – online identities that often are disconnected from who we really are. While, in the name of popularity, this liberty sounds like fun, unchecked, it can morph into fantasy fast, leading to a kind of insanity – a gradual detachment from your true self that leaves you ungrounded and vulnerable to shocks of reality, whether they be in finding and holding people you can count on as genuine friends (not the Facebook kind), or finding and holding a job. It’s a slippery slope.

The consequences of promoting a non-you are even greater for teens and younger children who are already in formative, fragile states of identity development.

I don’t have easy answers to offer. I do think it’s worth encouraging kids (of all ages; that includes you) to let the world know who they truly are and what they truly stand for … and then hope people hit the ‘like’ button.

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