Most users would have an opinion about social media, whether it’s good or bad, and I’m pretty certain those diverse opinions would come down to a generational thing.
I am old school and as far as I am concerned, social media is a curse on society. I do have a Facebook account but I rarely post anything myself and it is primarily used to keep up with family and friends. I have never flirted with Twitter or any other social media platform.
Social Media: The Good
I don’t doubt that social media began with noble intentions and, even to this day, represents a great medium for sharing special events, photos, and keeping up with family and friends in general. Unfortunately, those humble beginnings have since been polluted by greed, scammers, and the inevitable trolls.
Social Media: The Bad
Here in Australia at the moment, we are experiencing a youth crime plague. Part of the problem has been the gradual disintegration of discipline but social media also plays an integral role. These kids are breaking into homes, stealing whatever they can get their hands on, including car keys and family cars. They then video themselves speeding through suburbs in the stolen car, laughing and displaying their stolen goods, with police in hot pursuit, and all for a few minutes fame on social media.
Then we have the incessant tracking and advertising. When I first opened my Facebook account, ads were a rarity. Now, every second post on my feed is an ad. It’s fast approaching the stage where the ads will outnumber genuine posts. Social media has become the premier medium for advertisers.
Scammers abound on social media, to the extent where one has to wonder if the people in control even care. And the scams are not always obvious, enticing users to answer silly questions is just one simple method of collecting personal data.
Social Media: The Very Ugly
Unfortunately, social media is not only a great platform for keeping in touch with family and friends, but it’s also a great medium for trolls to vent their ugly comments. Abuse, bullying, and downright offensive comments are all rife on social media. Whatever happened to civility? As a kid I was always taught… if you have nothing positive to say, say nothing.
However, as far as I am concerned, the ugliest aspect of social media is that, somewhat perversely, its very popularity has created these behemoth, all-powerful, and highly influential entities that are a law unto themselves – seemingly answerable to no one.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I am not a fan of social media 😉. I truly believe it’s something that society would be far better off without. At least, in the form into which it has now morphed.
What do you think? Do you use social media? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Let us know in the comments.