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Social Media: The Good, The Bad, The Very Ugly

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

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

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

Social Media The 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.

BOTTOM LINE:

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.

About The Author

11 thoughts on “Social Media: The Good, The Bad, The Very Ugly”

  1. I wouldn’t be so quick in discarding social media outright. Yes, social media is bad, on the whole, but I use social media for what I want, and nothing more. Ie., I use social media; social media does not use me. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would never have reconnected with classmates from 50 years ago or interacted with people who love my type of music. It is a Genie that only you, but nobody else, can control. As a result, I love the interaction and am never bored in my retirement. I also ignore the ads quite splendidly. After all, it is like watching TV in North America – since we don’t pay for licenses, as in Britain, someone has to pay for our entertainment. So, we tolerate the ads. Same thing here. I ha e noise for Snapchat, Tiktok, instagram, etc., But Facebook is in my good books, and maybe, Twitter.

  2. I detest Facebook and I don’t use it often except when necessary because some things I am involved in are hosted there. I’m pretty computer literate but it is a nightmare trying to accomplish stuff on Facebook. Even people I know who consider themselves knowlegable in using it are often unable to aassist me when I have long since given up trying to do something that should be simple and straightforward.
    And personally speaking, the last thing I want is people coming out of the woodwork from my schooldays wanting to be my “friend”. I probably disliked you at school too ! The stupid illogic of many Facebook comments only serves to reinforce that we should raise the voting age limit as well as test all citizens before they be allowed to vote.
    If I want news (especially US news) and whenever I feel the need to poke fun at loony, radical Leftists I go to “X” (formerly Twitter). If you sift through stuff carefully on that platform you can quickly sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    1. It is not rocket science. I find it a piece of cake on my desktop machine and mobile devices.

      Well, I guess if one was popular back in school, finding friends is a blessing. Those who were not might find it irritating. I have had great luck with every friends I found from the old days. If you don’t want to be found, your wish is usually granted. πŸ™‚ Different strokes for different folks. I find it gratifying discussing music with many folks on music groups. Again, it is all perspective.

  3. Robert Hagedorn

    Jim, I agree with everything you say in your post. Everything. The closest I come to social media is right now when I’m responding to you. I also occasionally make comments on YouTube and news sites. So I’m sort of “social.” It’s so very sad to see young couples on dates focusing on their phones instead of each other. Granted, it’s probably not as bad as it looks, because I’m not with them 24 hours a day.

  4. Hi Dave, I appreciate your knowledge and always learn something from your posts. I have retired early so am in your generation. πŸ™‚ … old school emoji there! Haha! I do like FB for keeping in contact with family in other states and my daughters. Everyone is so busy that it’s hard to catch up by phone. I also like that we can share photos. Speaking of photos. I am getting ready to embark on Instagram where I can post a series of photos and won’t bore all of my friends and family on FB. I want to use it for mini-photo albums. Still trying to figure out what social media to use for my family research, including photos and documents. Thinking about a private website with password for family. Do you have any thoughts on this or other suggestion? Thank you!

    1. I use Dropbox and Box.net. You can either specify email addresses that should get access, send them the link, or simply give them the password.

    2. Hello Jackie,

      You said “Everyone is so busy that it’s hard to catch up by phone”.

      That’s the bit that gets me annoyed. No one actually talks to anyone now. We post stuff on status, or type messages and send. My son was absolutely dumbfounded when a family friend called to invite us to their house.

      And my son wasn’t even joking. He genuinely couldn’t understand why somebody used the phone to literally TALK to us. I guess we’re old or something.

      1. Tony. I am someone, not everyone. Furthermore, I and many others still use the phone for conversations. Texting is and should be reserved for short messages.

        Thank you for your understanding, Mindblower!

        1. Exactly my thought, Mindblower. And I’m glad that guy phoned me and had a human conversation. But my son just couldn’t understand why.

  5. I agree totally with this article.
    I find WhatsApp outperforms Facebook on everything that matters to me with family and real friends – Video meeting, talking, and texting round the world with individuals or groups, sharing photos … And all encrypted, free, and without advertisements. And I get my news from reputable sources which I am willing to pay for, rather than algorithm-generated stuff posted for commercial reasons.

    1. Absolutely. Did you mention no ads. You did. πŸ™‚ And, only people you want to talk to are in the list as they need your mobile number. Plus, you can save a lot on your international calling.

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