Sunday, 1 November 2015

30 Day Writing Challenge - Day 1 - Five Problems with Social Media

I haven't written anything on this blog, aside from book reviews, for a long time now.  When I saw this challenge, I decided to take it!

Day 1 - Five Problems with Social Media

1) Gives the illusion of intimacy and friendship.

There are a lot of things good about social media, including ways we can use social media to enhance our friendships.  It's a great way to send someone a quick note of encouragement and to keep up somewhat with people we simply don't have time to get together with.

At the same time, if I just read updates about someone, without actually interacting with them or discussing things with them, they don't even know that I know about it, and it certainly isn't deepening our relationship.  It gives the illusion of knowing someone without actually knowing them. It gives the illusion of being friends when you're actually just "Facebook stalking".

2) Venting

Social media is not the place for people to vent, and yet they do it all the time, saying things publicly that should be kept private.  It's always good to remember the 24 hr rule when you get upset - give yourself 24 hrs to think things over before confronting someone.  And if you still need to confront them - don't do it on Facebook!

3) Depersonalization

Social media causes people to not seem like actual human beings.  Some of the comments people make about the people in a news article or opinion piece are horrifying!  Even if you don't know them personally, they're still real people.  It's also given rise to sexting and all sorts of inappropriate behaviour online.

4) Rudeness

A combination of #2 and #3 - people tend to say things online to and about people they actually do know that they would never say to their face.  The depersonalization of social media makes people forget this is a real person with real feelings that they're addressing.  That combined with the false anonymity barrier it provides, can cause people to go off in a way they never would "in real life".  The problem is, the people they are addressing ARE real, and the effects ARE felt in real life.

5) No room for mistakes

There is no room for our teenagers to make mistakes - at least, not without that mistake getting broadcast for all the world to see.  No matter where you are or what you're doing, there is someone with a cell phone that is ready to document your most embarrassing moment, or the moment in time you wish you could go back and erase - but now you'll never be able to because it's preserved in internet history.

I think this list could go a lot longer than just 5!

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