Social Media is slowly taking over our lives bit by bit. And I expect more of the same in 2019. But will it be for the better?
Many who lived before the explosion of social media remembered a time where people would interact with each other in real life instead of on the phone. A time where people had to each other with respect. A time where relationships were real and authentic. A time where people overcame adversity. A time where people worked hard to earn their wealth. A time where humans were actually humans. The older generations lament our youth. They often asked themselves how did we go astray from the principals that made the world worth living in. Well I have some bad news...
They never existed. We have never changed who we are. Not then, not now, not ever. Social media is a tool, not a cancer. What made it cancerous are the people who abuse it. It has given people a platform to exploit others for personal gain. The ability to deliver judgement autonomously. The ability to type what ever you want without fear of retaliation. It is almost like living a double life.
"If you want to test a man's character, give him power" - Abraham Lincoln
Social media is power. When that power is put in the hands of individuals, the results have been disastrous; Over inflated egos, extreme narcissism, closeted racism, sexism, stalking, bullying etc. Hundreds if not thousands of people have had their lives ruined and/or lost.
But it wasn't social media that did this. It was people. Those same people that you probably greeted down the street, always smiling and being respectful of others. Those same people whose company you treasured so much. They have to act that way towards you because they do not have much of a choice if they want to survive in the real world. Social media removes the burden of being a decent human being. Some guys do not have to have manners and are free to stalk and ogle women to their heart's desire. Women do not have to be submissive and chaste as advertising her body increases potential suitors, and bring more money from advertisers. News outlets do not have to tell the truth, just the one they want you to see. Influencers can pay for followers, and sell people terrible products.
No way they would say or do these things in real life.
My view on social media is the same as other "dangerous" things in our society.
Guns do not hurt people
Knives do not hurt people
Cars do not hurt people
People hurt other people. Social media is no different from guns, knives, or other dangerous weapons. Social Media gave us power. It gave us a choice; to bring us closer together or tear us apart. Our choice is clear and it doesn't look like it was the right one. Social media doesn't need to better, WE must be better.
Thanks for reading!