Social media, Like? Or not?

Social media has had a bad press this week. Celebrity suicide has been linked to abusive messaging; there have been allegations of a Downing Street adviser tweeting in favour of eugenics. I’ve seen posts from people stating that they want no further part of it and are leaving. I wonder if this is the best response.

It was against that background that I met a facebook friend for coffee yesterday. We met, hugged, and spent some quality time together. We also spent a small amount of cash in a local independent coffee shop.

Our contact over a number of years has been restricted to the ether of the internet. Although we don’t live far apart our paths don’t often cross. Walking to and from our meeting I also bumped into a friend and neighbour. We stopped for a real world chat. It was a morning of tangible social interaction.

Facebook had shown us what we have in common, including a desire to see and nurture the best in people. In the frenzy of post-Brexit day online activity, with friends sharing euphoria, indifference or depression, we made a connection and agreed to meet for a half term coffee date.

We talked, in the real world, of many things. Topics included matters of faith, as distinct from organised religion; rat free composting, running, flooding and global warming. We shared our concerns for the future that our children and grandchildren are facing; I was, yet again, challenged to do more to play my part in looking after our planet.

Neither of us will be leaving social media. But we will do our best to use it for good, and hopefully to arrange another real world meeting.

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