Recently I came across an article in a popular magazine that laid out the virtues of social media for older persons. In a nutshell, the author claimed that engaging in social media is beneficial for older/retired people because it helps keeps them current and builds important social connections, both important to healthy aging.
I had signed up to Twitter years ago, but was never really interested in participating. Quite frankly, I didn’t get it. This article however convinced me that now may be a good time to really try it out, and keep my mind active among other things.
I am a news/political junkie so I “followed” most of the top news sites and a few columnists I enjoy. I like the almost “real time ” dissemination of news stories I receive through Twitter, as well as the links to the articles if I want more detail. I do however find some of the comments very upsetting. It is not unusual to find shockingly racist and very hateful speech coming from the keyboards of some very disturbed people. I knew those people existed and heard social media has become an outlet for these folks, but seeing it staring me in the face sometimes leaves me lost for words. I am a person that does not deal with injustices very well and I now find, especially with the current political climate in the United States, that my stress levels at times rise to uncomfortable levels.
I like to reach out and add my comments when I have something to say and think being active on Twitter has helped me stay connected to the world. However given the added stress levels I now wonder whether it is worth it? If anyone knows how best to enjoy the benefits of social media and at the same time deal with the impact on your soul of some of the hateful speech that comes along with it, I would appreciate your thoughts..