Social Media Malfunction

2년 전

Social media is supposedly intended to allow AND encourage the free sharing of information, ideas, and opinions. Given the lack of willingness of people to engage on many topics, I had developed quite a few suspicions about the actual use of social media. Turns out I underestimated the size of the problem.

Spiral of Silence = People tend to keep opinions to themselves if they think they are in the minority.

A survey made by the Pew Research Center in conjunction with Rutgers University has found that social media doesn't encourage discussion on controversial subjects. It may, in fact, cause people to stay quiet.

There's a saying "Good fences make good neighbors," perhaps that should be expanded for the social world to say "Good boundaries make good friends." But then, how valid is the friendship if mature conversations about real issues cannot take place? When I get into a discussion using some sort of mediated communication channel, I try to imagine whoever it is in mind making the statements as though we were sitting around having a beer. That way, I tend not to throw into question the quality of the relationship.

It's perhaps human nature to project negative emotions on written statements we find disagreeable; thus making it a double-whammy. We have to remember that in-person communication is rich and everything else isn't. Therefore, I assume that everyone who wants to discuss something using Facebook, email, etc. does so respectfully, even when perceptions and understandings about an issue vary greatly.

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You're probably right about the silence when the person feels that they are in the minority. That makes sense to me. I like the suggestion of imagining yourself sitting with the person and having a drink with them and discussing the topic at hand because you're right about it being very easy to project negative emotions on a written statement. I've definitely noticed that in myself and even when people explain to me a text or email that they recieved. Sometimes I laugh to myself at how much of a negative tone the person uses when reading it and think to myself "I doubt that's how they actually meant their message to come across." Hahaha.

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Good subject friend, because it is supposed that in a world so interconnected and with so much content richness, it would be easier for the people of today to express their opinions and interact with others. I think it's not the only problem in this world today, very interconnected on one hand but disconnected on the other. Good subject for reflection. Thanks for sharing.

There is also a perception, by many, that there are few consequences for their commentary, so the loud often shout down others, giving an impression of what the majority opinion is. That can cause a group think and spiral into what you said above. Conversation stops and bubbles appear.

That in and of itself is also a problem.

I'm a big believer in the fact that social media has made the world more angry. People are not bigger assholes than years ago, nor is the world more divided on certain issues or politics. We just live in a world now where that "information" is available to you without ever really even going out of your way to find it. Also, since you cater the experience to your own already existing bias, it should come as no surprise that people's bias grows even stronger.

The arguments between people that were once real life friends that are in touch only because of platforms like FB are alarming and everyone knows they would not talk that way in person.

It's funny and sad at the same time :)

  ·  2년 전

I think the world was better before social media. There are so many people out there getting validation for their crazy ideas these days that I think people are too afraid to even try to have a reasonable conversation for fear of getting ganged up on. By either side quite honestly. I have a friend and his adult daughter that are just constantly going back and forth against each other on FB. It isn't healthy...

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