Being connected in the community

Published 12:56 pm Thursday, December 15, 2016

As one of the most popular social networks to date, Facebook has opened many doors for individuals, local businesses and organizations to network.

Facebook can be an especially useful marketing tool in small communities for organizations and businesses that are looking to grow their clientele or inform others about an upcoming event.

For example, I have found out about tons of events happening around Charlotte County based on event invites and posts. Without Facebook, this might not have been the case. 

In addition, several local businesses utilize the site around the county to inform consumers of special events and sales.

While I’ve found the social networking site to be quite useful in multiple ways, there is also a dark side to excessive social media use, especially in small communities like Charlotte County.

Since most users are relatively familiar with each other, there is a risk of bullying and posting negative content about others within the community.

In this sense, Facebook has taken on an open diary appeal for many users.

Author Jefferson Bethke said, “We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are.”

For some time, I’ve thought about what this quote actually means, and I’ve come to one conclusion.

For the younger generation, there has rarely been a time when social media wasn’t a prevalent part of their lives.

In the online world, users can choose to be whomever they want. There are no restrictions.

If we were to peel back the layers hidden behind social media, we may begin to see the world in a completely different light.

However, the internet as a whole is a distraction which prevents us from true self reflection.

As the new year fast approaches, take a moment to step away from the hustle and bustle of the world.

Turn your phone off for a day and log off of Facebook.

You might just be surprised at what you uncover.

Italia Gregory is the community editor of The Charlotte Gazette. Her email address is