August 11th, 2015
For many hearing impaired people, social medial is a an important way of communicating. It is easier to maintain friendships, communicate rapidly, and stay in contact with each other.
Even I am “only” on three social media sites, and that is enough for me. To maintain all of my contacts does take up quite a bit of time. For example, I am a member of a secret cat group (what can I say, I love cats!) and we spend a lot of time posting and showing, videos and photos inclusive.
I have also found old friends and acquaintances on social media with whom I fell out of contact long ago which is nice.
Despite all that, I am very cautious with my use of social media because there are enough examples in social media where a post that was posted comes back like a boomerang. Job applicants have been rejected because of pictures they posted to social media, because potential employers googled them.
A further, known risk of social media is that of isolation and loneliness. There are plenty of examples of people who no longer meet in person with their friends or acquaintances, because they use social media to the exclusion of all else. Or people are cyber bullied over social media, something that seems to happen particularly often to the young folks.
Regardless, social media is here to stay, and my previous experience with it has been positive. Because I live so far apart from my mother, I often use Skype instead of the phone. It’s good because I don’t have to try so hard, and we can see each other. I can also read lips over Skype to an extent. Or we send each other a text message (or two, three…).
I don’t phone using my mobile out of principle, and haven’t for a few years. The only exception I make is for my mother. Recently, the Dentist’s office called me onn my handy a few times to schedule an appointment. I never answered. Instead I went to the office, and set up the appointment there.
It is naturally a pleasing development that the hearing impaired are no longer dependent on the phone, but can instead text or video call each other.
To my great surprise, when I recently let some online friends from my Cat Group know that I was coming to London, my husband and I received invitations to Lunch, Dinner and even overnight stays. It is really amazing how friendly and hospitable people can be to complete strangers. I am therefore looking forward to our stay in London, and meeting my online friends in person for the first time. Social media is good for contacts, but in my opinion, it is no substitute for a meeting in person.