It’s been an age, and some, posting here. But this is me again, trying my hand at this again and testing my focus with a challenge.
So here we go, with Day 1.
5 problems with Social Media
Without reservations, social media is probably the single, most significant technology since the development of the internet. Every phase and facet of modern life involves utilisation of a particular social media tool. With increasing dependence on social media for information, entertainment and even self awareness, it’s not altogether surprising that the problems associated with the tool have amplified. This is a list of five of those problems, today.
If you knew at first glance, the meaning of that word, you’re probably a living practitioner. I mean, no one having an active social life bandies around words like hermitism. Social media, while drawing closer the edges of the world, has delineated further the units in between. More and more loners have developed since the advent of the first ‘connected network’. While social media, as implied, is a tool for connections, it has taken to replacing face to face conversation and personal interactions, isolating communities and straining friendships.
Another problem that arises when personal interactions no longer exist is, people can assume identities that are either false, or worse, stolen. Simply because you can’t see them, someone could pretend to be anyone. This can be seen as freedom of expression in one verse, but victims arise in this scenarios when someone is played for a fool after believing in a false identity of another.
Likes, dislikes, and the fact that anyone, from anywhere, with or without prior conceptualisation, knowledge or experience, can offer opinions on anything about anyone is recipe for self loathing. Artists, and other individuals who rely on public adulation of their craft, risk much when exposed to the criticisms of social media.
Catfishes, purveying themselves as more than they are, more than anyone likely has the ability to be, in terms of wealth, beauty or some other sophistication, further diminish the self confidence of people already battling with insecurity.
At the start of the internet, in 1951, it was touted as a repository for information (read:Google). Want to learn about anything, read the internet. Want to get an unbiased view on happenings around the world, read the internet. That belief hasn’t disappeared, though it should.
With social media, anyone has the ability to say anything they want and share it as verified information. This is a problem, both in cases where the broadcaster is innocent of the falsehood of their claim, and in cases where it’s completely deliberate.
PS. I am not certain when the internet started, and I didn’t bother to check. That’s a completely bogus figure up there.
Similar to false information, but infinitely more dangerous, is the ability that social media gives for political bodies to promote any version of the truth for the sole reason of swaying a section of the electorate. Tiny, verifiable, pieces of information are overly amplified and spiced up with dashes of complete untruth to either discredit any otherwise credible person/thing, or grossly exalt an otherwise undeserving person/thing.
So there you have it, five problems with social media, as I see it. There are definitely lots more and they aren’t going away.
- It’s been ages since I had to do this, and if it reads a bit dry, it’s the Harmattan.