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The Female Perspective: Why Social Media Is Stressful

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc

 These days social media is a challenging place for myself and many of my friends to be. A lot of my Facebook friends have bowed out of that particular site because it’s simply too negative, too political, too, whatever other word you want to use there. A part of me agree’s.


Before I get too far into this, I want to say two things:

  1. I am on Facebook – though my presence is less and I took the FB app off my phone so I can’t check it constantly.
  2. This is in no way a condemnation or judgement of others on social media. I love social media. It’s a great way to connect with people all over the world.

So let’s move along, shall we?

My point in writing this blog is to chat about social media and how it can have such an impact on us emotionally, which seems like a strange thing because in essence, it’s an online forum. It’s not communicating with actual people face-to-face, it’s communicating via electronic means. So why then does it upset some people, anger others, and reassure still another group of people? What is it about social media that keeps us all so engaged, so active in it? According to one survey, in 2016, 78% of the US population was using social media.


In 2012, Brand Dignity wrote an article asking why social media was so popular and listed some of the basic reasons why people use it, things such as social media is free to use, it’s a way for people to network and promote their businesses, it’s a way to meet new people, and social media sites are extremely user-friendly and easy to use. All these reasons are extremely valid, but leave out the cons of social media, stuff like bullying, trolling, stalking, and just people being able to say whatever they want behind the safety of a computer screen. Not to mention, it leaves the door open for a lack of social etiquette or person-to-person connection.

It’s a funny thing for those of us who grew up before social media and before computers. I thank the good Lord on a regular basis that we didn’t have smartphones or Twitter when I was a kid. No one could document my day-to-day stupidity and the bully’s couldn’t follow me home and harass me online. Kids today have it rough in a way I never did. But at the same time, are they also learning that because you’re “safe” behind a computer screen you can say whatever you want without any real consequences? Is kindness and proper grammar going out the window? Are we living in a world where you just abbreviate everything and it’s all about selfie’s and getting the most likes?


These aren’t questions that I can even possibly answer on my own. I just know that seeing the things I see recently, what with the 2016 election, everything Trump does every, single day that horrifies most people I know, and the general negativity and shaming that goes on –I mean jeez, Lady Gaga got body shamed for her Superbowl performance – really? Because just anyone can flip over on wires and dance AND sing well in front of MILLIONS, but please, by all means, let’s mock her for her body. The world of social media is a strange place and I for one am taking a small break. I still check in once or twice a day, and I still post my blog there and when my new book comes out, I’ll post stuff then, but I can’t look at the fear-mongering posts, the angry posts, or even the happy posts all the time anymore. It’s just too much and I’d rather have human-to-human contact than the coldness of a computer screen.

What about you folks? Does social media ever stress you out? Does it effect you in any way? Why or why not? And if it doesn’t, how do you manage to say unattached? Share your tips, your tricks and your thoughts below!

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The Female Perspective: Selfies, The Silent Killer

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.

I read an interesting article today about how Selfies have killed people more than shark attacks in 2015. At first I laughed thinking, well, there you go. Then my laughter took on a different tone, of sadness. Because yes, this is the world in which we live. Where in one year at least 12 people have died while taking selfies (compare that to the 8 that died via shark attack).

FYI, you're still awesome and a part of this world even if we don't see your selfie's every day.
FYI, you’re still awesome and a part of this world even if we don’t see your selfie’s every day.

The fact is, we live in a world now where everyone with a smartphone has a camera and camcorder. Where you can photograph every special moment of your life with ease and then download it onto your social media of choice. Or you can take a myriad of selfie’s to show everyone how hot you are. I’ve taken plenty of selfie’s but not once have I done so while in a dangerous spot.  Others, have not been so luck.

Deaths have been caused by distracted photo-takers falling off cliffs, crashing their cars, being hit by trains, and even shooting themselves while posing with guns.

So what’s up with people thinking that even today it’s okay to take a photo of yourself while driving a car? Why is it we forget to “mind our surroundings” when taking a selfie in a potentially dangerous locale? What is it that makes us feel the need to take that selfie at any cost?


The article from Science Alert goes on to quote from some of the researchers in a study done on the reasons why selfie’s are so vital for some people.

“It’s all about me. It’s putting me in the frame. I’m getting attention and when I post that to social media, I’m getting the confirmation that I need from other people that I’m awesome,” lead researcher Jesse Fox told Reuters. “You don’t care about the tourist attraction you’re destroying; you don’t care about annoying people in your social media feed … you’re not even thinking about the consequences of your actions, so who cares if you’re dangling off the side of the Eiffel Tower?” ~Reuters

The selfie trend is so prevalent that officials in Russia (not a great example) have implemented laws to try and stop people from putting their lives in danger just to get that “awesome shot.”

In June, two men in the Ural Mountains died after posing pulling the pin from a hand grenade; in May a woman survived shooting herself in the head in her Moscow office; a month later a 21-year-old university graduate plunged 40 feet (12 meters) to her death while posing hanging from a Moscow bridge. ~Reuters

It’s fascinating to think about what goes into the mind of someone who takes  selfie in a place that could potentially kill them, or do something that could cause their demise. It’s horrible, sure, but at the same time what goes through someone’s mind when they decide to dangle off of a bridge to get a picture?


Honestly it all seems to be about narcissism and of loneliness.  It’s what makes us want to connect with our fellow humans via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram anyway we can. We are hoping that by putting up such a crazy photo, that we’ll get people “Liking” it and posting comments about how amazing the shot is and how crazy, carefree, awesome, etc the photographer is (*please note, this is only for extreme selfie photographers not for the occasional selfie). It’s a way to get attention because you feel as though you aren’t getting enough in some other aspect of your life. In the end, it’s one of the reasons why our social media obsessed world is flawed and dangerous.

In Yellowstone National Park exasperated officials issued warnings after five separate selfie takers were gored this summer while standing too near bison. ~Reuters

So maybe, before you take that selfie of yourself hanging off your roof with a live grenade and a posse of tigers below you, take a few minutes to think about how this might end. You aren’t invincible, and dying while taking a selfie is both ridiculous and horrific for those you leave behind.

Also, I promise you that you still exist even if we don’t see your face every single hour of every single day. Stop taking so many pictures and live the life you’re having. Connect with your fellow social media peeps in another way. Even better, get out into the world and actually experience it. It’s a pretty awesome place, I promise.

What is the weirdest place you took a selfie? Have you ever put yourself in danger for a good photo? Why or why not? What is your opinion on selfies? Good, bad, ugly? Sound off in the comments.