Social Media around 8/9 years back meant that I would sit online and interact with my friends on topics that weren’t discussable in school. It was a entity of personal gossip and keeping in touch with people. The makers also intended to use social media as a means of connecting people and as a means to show a non existential high life.
As far as I remember life was pretty much simple when orkut existed there was no verification and stuff like that and there were pranks that were being played around with people with fake accounts. Social media that time didn’t revolve around the camera phone and phones weren’t so smart.
Now I see almost everyone carries a smartphone and uses social media which kind of killed it for many people. I used to enjoy the exclusivity of social media to young people as it didn’t bring about serious issues to the table. If it was a kid in conservative societies all that they tried to do on social media was to try and engage in a conversation with a member of opposite sex and get their attention. While in liberal societies (read western world) teenagers and young people used it as a platform to show their colorful plumes to get laid.
Now in 2018 when I write this article Facebook has gone from social networking site to a site that is primarily used for propaganda with data of people. There exist IT cells of political parties that just spreads propaganda and we have people (adults) sharing it without verification. It has now become the playground of gossip but when the problems you focus are higher the content that gets shared and meant as information becomes more vile.
There exist social media celebrities varying from bodybuilders, comedy content creators and also some people with half baked knowledge spreading propaganda on the internet paranoid about everything. Then we also have the trolls who are basically normal people in real life but with psychological problem taking out their anger in pseudonyms.
In the absence of Social media these trolls kept things to themselves because the medium of publishing had editor at the seats who could wish away these trolls. But now there is more censorship on content and no censorship on these trolls.
There are people wasting away hours on social media platforms and the news now carries items from social media to debates. The real issues have died a slow death now. With extreme polarisation over issues, having a non popular opinion makes you more vulnerable to the trolls and other opinioned people to ridicule your opinion. The society of today demands a stand from the common man on any issue be it informed or uninformed.
Taking sides is important in an issue. But to make issue of smaller things that don’t matter in the real world is another. So take an informed decision on what issues to take side on instead of each issue that you find.
While information is a powerful thing to have, misinformation is bad which travels faster and causes a lot of problems. So let us vow to verify each piece of information that you take from social media or stop consuming news and opinions from social media and take news from reliable sources.