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Not so social media

Opinions regarding social media differ greatly. Many people are really excited about it but there are also a lot of people who are skeptical when it comes to social media. They might have fears, worries or just a general sense of mistrust when it comes to social media. Sometimes this skepticism is definitely not unwarranted if we look at some of the things social media do.

One of the biggest issues people talk about when it comes to social media is of course privacy. A breach of privacy is a worry on many people’s minds, even if they don’t have that much to hide. This is something we’re all very quick to say: “I have nothing to hide”. I like to think I have nothing to hide as well but in the end, there’s always stuff we’d rather not have out there for the world to see.

A lot of this can also be attributed to ourselves, of course. This doesn’t go for everybody but quite a lot of people share so much information with the digital world, sometimes deeply personal. Those who find social media extremely important tend to do this more than others. We wrote an article about this before and it isn’t always a bad thing. Transparency can actually be very beneficial. People who get real personal on the web do risk having this information used against them though. As bad as that may be.

Social media can actually be great and it doesn’t always deserve as much shit as it getting. It can be a great way to connect to people who you haven’t seen in a long time or people that live on the other side of the world for example. Social media can be very innocent and we don’t always have to worry about what the corporations behind the social media are doing. Besides, should we really be worried about corporate evil when grandma just wants to see pictures of her grandchild?

Social media companies, especially Facebook, aren’t always the most ethical. They’re businesses that are aimed at making money. Zuckerberg, for those of you that don’t know: he’s Facebook’s CEO, royally messed up recently by censoring a historical picture from the Vietnam war. He abused his power by deciding the photo should be censored, ignoring the darkness of that chapter in history.

It’s a problem with Facebook and other social media. They’re heavily invested in the western world, mainly the US, that they can’t afford any bad publicity regarding the country and it’s government. Also because Facebook and other social media works together with said government. So they choose to censor the truth rather than show it to the public. I bet you anybody would disagree that this is the right thing to do.

This is just one example but it shows how social media works. Social media have certain responsibilities due to the special position it has taken in the world. It does however not fulfill all of these responsibilities in the way it should which is worrying. It’s a matter of integrity. Censorship on social media should only be used to block those who harass on social media or try to use is for any other malicious purposes.

I think Facebook can be pretty cool, that doesn’t mean I like the company or its founder behind it. I found it can be quite difficult to always take the moral high ground when consuming your daily products or services. I try to boycott Nestle as much as possible but then the opportunity of a delicious Kit Kat presents itself and I’d be lying if I said I never took that opportunity. A lot of big corporations aren’t exactly ethical and we’re all using their unethical products and services more than we’d like to know. It’s harder to avoid than one might think. A big part is also attributed to the fact that these products and services have become such a big part of our daily lives. That isn’t always an excuse but a lot of the time it is a reason.

I won’t be deleting my social media accounts anytime soon. I haven’t experienced any privacy breaches or any other nasty things on Facebook so for now things are OK. I don’t use Facebook and other social media too often, I only use it to connect with people I don’t really get the opportunity to connect with personally too often or when I want to talk to somebody that’s not around. E-mail is dying, unless used for formal purposes, and sending letters, though it can be fun, is just too much of a hassle.

Depending on how you use it, social media creates a simulation of intimacy. Some people live on social media and spend, what I think is too much time on it. There’s a difference between talking with a friend on the other side of the world or being glued to your screen, becoming a screen zombie.

If we focus on the good social media has brought us, we don’t really need to focus on the bad. There are definitely issues surrounding social media that should never be ignored but I doubt deleting your social media accounts is going to solve those problems. After all, they’re not problems that exclusively pertain to social media.

Socially yours,

A-Typical

 

 

 

 

 

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