Friday 12 January 2024

Social Media - Good or Bad?

Social Media has become the Unsocial Media

I am not a big fan of social media. Is it a good thing or not? If not what can be done to make it better? The majority will probably say it is a good thing.

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Electronic media from the first cumbersome email networks now allow real time contact . What has not changed is the tendency for people to write things that they would never say face to face. Anonymity makes people brave and brazen while hiding behind an electronic shield.

Networks like FOX News and those on them, know they are spreading lies but don't care. In some cases, legitimate corporations do rein them in. The potentially criminal part is that these "news" celebs know what kind of audience will get fired up by what they say and that many will resort to violence as a result.

Free speech is important in a democracy - it is cherished and fundamental in America. That is not always a good thing - hate mongering is an example which should be restricted and come with negative consequences for those guilty.

The violent ones often act without any true fact checking of what they have been fed. They were just looking for an excuse in the first place. People like Trump and his former crew throw chunks of beef to them as they would to a school of sharks or piranha. They also know where the fish reside. America will probably experience more Jan. 6th incidents.

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Social media just accelerates the apparently insatiable need for many people to be FIRST to hear something so they can forward it. The content and its impact don't matter anymore as long as you are first. Hollywood and celebrity gossip have always been an example of this even without immediate access. It is prime entertainment for some people.

Try this: read a good book and pass THAT on.

Imagine the following analogy and we have seen some examples almost as extreme. Some poor soul is on a rooftop or bridge contemplating jumping. There was a time when everyone would be united in trying to de-escalate the situation and talk the person down. Now half of the onlookers would only be there to video the jump and the resulting horror. Then the race to be first would be on - first on Facebook; first to text to a "friend"; first scoop to a paying media company.

What has happened to people? Every person with a phone is now both a paparazzi and a shark. Is social media the cause or has it always been inside people just waiting to come to the surface? I suspect both are true.

I suggest that Social or Unsocial Media has been responsible for many more deaths than other forms of media before it. It is really unfortunate but now that ot os in the hands of the truly evil it will be resposible for thousands - possibly millions - more.

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