Should We Avoid Social Media?

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Social media (SM), defined, refers to interactive forms of media that allow users to interact with and publish to each other, generally by means of the Internet. When we hear about SM, we think of facebook, twitter, whatsApp, Instagram, telegram etc. Which one of them are you using? Are you having a good time?

Today’s question of whether we should avoid social media or not, is not a hanging question. It is arising from the ongoing debates in the society, mostly based on moral or ethical considerations. In fact there are countries where internet access has been deliberately limited by the national government. To be exact, there are thirteen countries where there is no freedom of press and the citizens cannot use the internet to search information. It is hard to imagine that such a thing exists in the 21st century, for millennials can spend forever in tenements so long as there is internet and power, but it is true. Most of us cannot survive in such a set up, especially our dear ‘memelords’ who can seem to be employed to keep us glued on their timelines. Most countries who limit freedom of press, seem to be engaged in activities that can discredit their governments in the international arena and attract public backlash, or maybe they are just concerned to protect their citizens from the baleful influences of the internet that we cannot assume. Maybe if you have been a victim of cyberbullying—the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person often done anonymously—you may understand why some authorities infringe on the internet. This though, can in no wise cover the ill motives of embattled and totalitarian regimes, who are covering on their ills.

What about liberal societies? How is social media consumed? With freedom of use of the internet, many people can access all the SM options at their disposal. And as technology is advancing, the world is more accessible. Photos can be sent easily. Video calls can be done more easily. End-to-end encrypted spaces are more available. The world is indeed a global village. People can create their ecommerce platforms on various media and tell the world of their products at the comfort of their houses. In fact, even global courier services are available to further make social media a great platform of marketing. Social media has given many people an easier way of satisfying their sense of importance. Many people will get their good headshots, pretend to be somewhere in Maldives and accompany it with good opinions which suggests they are having a good time. This is to be crowned by the reactions by the online audience. People feel very happy if a lot of people spare their time to reward them with generous compliments in a gallant and chivalrous manner. This is especially on facebook. In fact if reactions go beyond 1K, and the subject is from that gender which often expects texts from those they didn’t text, then they automatically become a socialite.

Social media is a place for a supportive community too. I have seen very nice people on the virtual platform, way nicer than the people we meet in day to day life. A few days ago I got scolded by an individual who had a different opinion with me and a nice stranger came to my rescue, and hoisted my drooping flag. I know of people I have never met, who are committed to promoting my articles as if they were paid to do so. They read, share, like, and comment on them all the time. While the articles are great and the comments are based on sincere individual opinions and satisfaction, I must confess that it takes a lot of charisma to really give feedback, poke holes, and suggest some additional changes which can make a little difference. I have found this a true definition of a lady and a gentleman as I interact with people on these virtual platforms.

But wait a minute, what about the ills and mayhem of SM? Is it safe to hush it all away? I don’t know of a more biased yardstick. Society, especially the puritans of all times tend to raise a few concerns that we cannot ignore. For instance, sensuality in its crudest forms have been tolerated by many platforms, exposing many innocent souls to chains they want to break from but they cannot. Nudity, which is supposed to be so far from people’s reach, has been generously served, rendering the victims eternally infamous. Lofty and respected men have been ripped off their seats with the high and mighty, and forced to secure a place in the pool of nothingness. A reputation that we have built for ages using brick and mortar of character, can come tumbling down like the fall of twin towers in a matter of seconds.

All these notwithstanding, we must face the facts. Social media is not skewed towards a particular direction. Remember the computer principle of ‘garbage in garbage out’. Social networking has a very sharp filtering system which cuts everyone a slim-fit coat. If you want to know what exactly you are interested in, don’t think hard. Just get to your social media and see the kind of feeds you are bombarded with. Even sponsored posts are brought home based on your taste and preference, which is automatically optimised by the search engine. Social media gives you what you ask for. If you want to see the beautiful natural world, you will see it. If you’re a man of piety, you will be served the gospel. If you are after the muck and mire of strange boldness of human beings stranded upon the rocks of sensuality, it will be served generously.

The greatest thing you need is to be in charge. Always remember that your strongest tool in social media is the keyboard. Don’t allow anyone to hack your authority over the keyboard. Give away to no one, the liberty to bombard you with anything you don’t want on your plate.

8 thoughts on “Should We Avoid Social Media?

  1. Aha! Immediately I saw the article, I clicked it to see what it entailed. The social media craze led me to delete two of the most famous social media apps.
    Granted, I am not at par with the daily happenings on those platforms, save for the prime time news I watch. But also, I can say that it’s been worthwhile.
    The point is being in charge. That’s the lesson I draw from here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SM is a toxic playground that is now censured by the creators of it to push narratives.
    I learnt to avoid SM in the early 90’s when it was just p2p chatrooms and message boards. Even then it was obvious that they were the playgrounds for nasty people.
    I don’t bother with the ‘popular’ ones, as these blogs can be considered SM.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. SM usage is a personal choice.
        At best I would look to alternatives to the big tech, popular ones and utilise some of the smaller ones that do not censor.
        They all monitor and track so cannot escape that.
        Regardless jerks and scumbags are everywhere online so there is no escape for all those whose lives need or want this sort of connection.

        Liked by 1 person

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