The more I look at and think about so-called ‘social media’ the more I come to some very different perspectives (in general – meaning exceptions excepted as you might expect).
1. Social media is more about prying on what other people are doing.
2. People comparing themselves with other people.
3. Living in separate worlds whilst gathering information on the latter two.
4. Pretty limited exchange of ideas and difference of opinions that cut to the big issues.
5. Essentially brings out a high degree of hypocrisy in human nature – even though individuals themselves claim not to be hypocrites.
6. It’s about ‘the news’ and gossip.
7. It carries a serious risk of stupid people coming to ill-founded conclusions and making them into ‘truths’ – people have died and have suffered serious psychological damage as a result of the latter. How social is that?
The above thoughts have led me to consider more, the meaning of ‘social’ – and have to wonder if it’s more than a bunch of people gathered in a common space.
I have no doubt that there are some gatherings of people on the internet where people do more and better than the above. But from my observations those gatherings are in the minority. The very few honest people I’ve met have said that they’re only in it to see what’s going on with others. And on occasion I have been called to view a Facebook page of somebody looking like a total fat cow, with others having a laugh – but on the same page you see all these comments such as: “You’re beautiful .. go girl” (followed by loads of thumbs ups). Say hello to hypocrisy!
Wikipedia says, “Social media has been broadly defined to refer to ‘the many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, or build relationships.” – they didn’t say who made that definition (i.e. use of the passive voice).
I can agree with all but ‘build relationships’. What’s a relationship? It could mean anything about people being together for common causes/purposes. Nobody (I know) actually knows how many true relationships have been built compared to how many have been destroyed by so-called social media.
Social media also includes blogs, forums and other places on the net where people exchange ideas or comments. Amazingly there are a bunch of nasty folk out there who are intent only on causing chaos by random pingbacks, spam and DDOS attacks.
The meaning of ‘social’ is actually extremely broad – it could mean anything from lovey-dovey between two individuals, to a bunch of hard-nosed business people or politicians working together.
Interestingly anti-social carries really dark and dirty images of axe-wielding psychopaths and aggressive distasteful people. And rather strangely, social-media is actually filled with these types; from mere bullies to terrorists. So when I first came to social media, it was with a bias and pre-conception that it was something ‘sociable’. Actually the more I go on the more I come to think that it’s about anti-social media. I too can find thousands of exceptions to all I say above – however, I am giving my perspective and observations – and you are certainly entitled to yours which may well differ.