One day they're your pal, and the next they're your worst enemy. Social media are our two-faced friends that we'd be lost without. Twitter, Facebook and the countless others I can't even think of right now have impacted my life in both good and bad ways. There are endless pros and cons, but let's just start with these:
—Being social. It's so easy to keep in touch with distant friends and family when they can be right at your fingertips. When I can't sleep at night, it's awesome to be able to jump on Twitter and know that I'll have someone to talk to. Um, hello, #Jensomnia!
—Networking. I love being able to interact with my fans. Just think of all the events you've been able to attend and all the opportunities you've had because you saw an event on Facebook or a tweet with your favorite band's hashtag.
—Making new friends. I know I'm not alone when I say that I've met and become friends with so many amazing people because of social media, especially Twitter. Our social platforms have made it so easy to meet new people, who sometimes become lifelong friends.
—Bullying. It is so much easier to bully someone while hiding behind a computer or phone than it is to do it in person. We've all dealt with bullying in one way or another, and it's shocking what people will say online that they wouldn't normally say to your face.
—Privacy. There are a lot of hackers out there, so we never really know how private the privacy settings are. The best way to avoid having something be stolen from you online is to limit the personal information you post and, of course, make sure you don't give out your passwords to anyone — but just to be safe, change your passwords frequently.
—A lack of face-to-face communication. Though social media can make it really convenient to keep in touch with people far away, they also have cut down on the physical interactions we have with those nearby. Don't forget to actually make plans. Put down your phone, and have a lunch date with a friend.
I've met so many amazing people thanks to social media that I feel the good outweighs the bad. What are some ways that social media has affected you?
To find out more about Jenny McCarthy and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.