Social Media: Blessing Or Curse?

Love it or hate it there is no doubt that social media plays a major role in modern society.

First off, let me be clear; I am of the opinion that social media does more harm than good, but then, I am of the older generation with a more traditional and some might say old-fashioned point of view. All my 15 grandchildren love social media, sharing photos and details of events in their lives among family and friends.

In this regard, from a pure communication viewpoint, social media has been a boon to society, overcoming geographical impediments and helping separated loved ones keep in touch on a broader scale than was ever previously possible. Unfortunately, that original innocent concept has become polluted by trolls and miscreants.

(image credit: Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik)

Stop Bullying

Much of the bullying that is rife today, particularly among younger folk, is conducted behind the veil of anonymity afforded by social media. I seriously doubt that too many of these heartless bullies would be brave enough to vocalize their diatribes in a face-to-face situation.

TikTok & Facebook Tracking Overreach

Then, of course, there is tracking and advertising which has increased exponentially with the growing popularity of social media. I’m pretty sure that most people who live on social media do not realize just how much information they are carelessly divulging, either that or they simply don’t care.

If you’ve any doubts over the sheer extent of social media tracking, I suggest you read the following article from Malwarebytes blog which explains how both Facebook and TikTok track users even when not logged in and those who don’t even have an account: TikTok’s Secret Operation Tracks You Even If You Don’t Use It.

Social Media Not So Social

Social media has been responsible for creating several powerful online moguls and it’s ironic to me that the forces behind social media are not in the least socially minded, caring more about raking in the almighty dollars than the safety and welfare of their users. And, to top it off, these wealthy and powerful organizations did away with the last semblance of anything remotely “social” when they decided to replace human contact with an inflexible and impersonal AI.

In my day, a “tweet” was the sound made by a bird, and “tick-tock” was the sound made by a clock (after you wound it up, of course). All that said, if I was a teenager again in today’s society, I have little doubt I would be all over social media like a rash. I guess the old saying – you can’t put an old head on young shoulders – is as true today as it ever has been.

What’s your take on social media?

8 thoughts on “Social Media: Blessing Or Curse?”

  1. Jim, I hear you and my thoughts are the same. I experience that look from my family (get with it) as the youth (and some seniors) find comfort in this “social” circle. Many if not all are totally unaware of the pitfalls which are just awaiting them. Believe 100% they did not read those consent forms and very few have some safe guards installed.
    A few months ago, I used an alias to register for a FB account, to have access to links sent my way. Every week I received reminders that there are groups waiting for me to join (which get deleted). So definitely not an online social media person, Mindblower!

  2. We have had a steady internet connection for 25 years. I do not own a smart phone (don’t want one) and have never had a social media account (not interested). I have even blocked many (if not all) social media sites from our internet connections. I am a Baptist pastor and one particular facebook page that was specifically for preachers and churches was hacked and a hardcore porn video was posted to that page. I will never visit facebook again! Oh, and by the way, I am 63 years old. I am so old fashion that I still think a phone is only to be used for holding real phone conversations with friends and family.

    1. Hello Steve. Though I also am old fashioned (fart), allow me to play the devils advocate (pardon the pun). Having the account hacked was caused by poor or accidental security measures, IMHO. There are many parishes who use social media as a way of communicating with their parishioners. As a pastor, did you ask your flock for their assistance? One bad deed should not be judged so harshly, Mindblower!

      1. I had no control over the situation. The facebook page belonged to another preacher. I emailed him and told him about the problem but I did not get any response from him. I would rather play it safe than sorry.

  3. I was a slow adopter of social media, and even now my scope is very limited. One thing I find disappointing in today’s world is that people no longer talk to each other. In one of my social (not media) circles, it has become the norm for news to be dissipated either directly through WhatsApp groups, or indirectly through WhatsApp status updates.

    So if perchance I’m not part of the specific group where information was posted, I miss out on the announcement. And if I don’t have as large and varied a list of contacts as some other people, I don’t see some status updates that others see. Of course, these updates disappear after 24 hours and I’m not in the habit of checking them all day long, so some are gone before I see them.

    Just yesterday my wife had a conversation with a friend who was surprised we were unaware of certain information. That’s because we’re less connected than some of our “friends”. Ongoing incidents like these are basically forcing us to get with it or get left out.

  4. Shobha Mathur

    As expected all the replies are in the negative zone by old geezers.
    I am one myself, and agree to most sentiments.
    Yet I belong to most social sites because they are free and i am constitutionally unable to pass anything free.
    having said that i only check them rarely though i am considered net savvy.
    they do provide good connection , especially WhatsApp which is used by individuals and groups extensively. its good that one post can reach so many, but i feel its also losing any personal touch. plus the new vocabulary is quite a new language.
    HBD ( happy Birthday) GM ( Good morning) D (the) ….
    i always wonder how much extra time is saved and work is accomplished by such inane short cuts.
    on most social groups one person greets and the whole group will follow! Sometimes messages get mixed up of happy birthday , and RIP.
    I don’t go to Facebook or twitter at all, linked in sometimes I have no desire to broadcast my details or follow someone else’s.
    They do provide an avenue for lonely people, but are also a minefield for data theft, unwanted tracking and of course cyber bullying as well as cyber unsuitable romances!
    I do think we should not boycott these, as these are the trends of times. To understand modern youth and times follow them with caution and discretion.

  5. 10+ yrs ago when social media started become common place, I said to my wife, “no good will come of this”. Of course, that is not entirely true but nothing has happened to essentially change my mind. In fact the way that it has developed only re-enforces my opinion. I don’t doubt my grandkids think that I am some kind of old fuddy duddy, but they lack our life experience and how things can hurt you. Youthful naivety will always be the case regardless of what time we are from. Social media has only served to magnify it and make it more dangerous. BTW I am quite computer savvy. So it isn’t ignorance of how to take part. I simply choose not to.

  6. I deleted my FB account several months ago, really have not missed it, thing is , none of my so called FB friends, have bothered, to phone, or email and say, hello how or you or anything.

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