When I was in university, one of my History professors came upon a group of us discussing the question of what might have happened to Canada’s development as a country if Canadian troops hadn’t performed so well at Vimy Ridge, France in 1917 (which is known as Canada’s coming of age). He commented along the lines that while it was an interesting discussion, what happened happened. He added that because, in the early 2000s, we knew what happened, we couldn’t really speak to the roads not taken, so to speak. We can only live with the effects of the events, which, in the tragedy, were good things for Canada as a country.
I’m likely on a lower edge of the age range of those who remember life without social media. I joined Facebook in 2007 and posted about my first trip in 2008 when I went to PEI. Since then social media has been a good companion to have when I travel and more recently throughout the pandemic.
This course has stirred up many musings about my experience with social media, both personally and professionally. As such, for fun, I find myself wondering about a Vimy-like question today: What might life be like today if social media hadn’t nudged its way into our lives?
Following are a few of my musings:
What I would miss
Instant connection with friends and family who live more than a couple of hours away
With one click, I can share news once and everyone receives it. Growing up, despite enjoying writing, I was never a big letter writer, and I admit to being delinquent in responding to emails. So the thought of remaining connected solely by those two means of communication is a little stressful, especially with friends I’ve met overseas.
Having a creative outlet
You can’t miss what you don’t have so I would probably channel my creativity some other way, but I do enjoy the challenge of having to be creative in a fixed character space (such as on Twitter).
Doing this course with like-minded people such as you
I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs and discussion answers.
What I wouldn’t miss
Social media posts as news stories
I’m a current affairs junkie, but I draw the line when over half of an article is copy and pastes of Tweets or other platform posts.
While most of the time I enjoy reading witty banter on Twitter to find inspiration for my work posts, there are days where I just want to throw my phone away. On those days I just shut it all off and read. 😉
Shortened attention span
I don’t think I would miss having to compete with the steady pings and buzzes from apps when I’m having conversations with colleagues at work or friends.
Knowing that social media has infiltrated our lives as it has and for some it just is a part of their life, I still issue the challenge: what do you imagine your life would be like without social media?