This week in uni we talked about the impact which the rise of social media has had on society. I decided that I wanted to share my thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks which the digital, dynamic world we live in now can have.
I am only 18, and so have grown up surrounded by the internet, I really don’t know a world where you can’t retweet, share posts and message anyone in the world. Though I do think that this is an amazing thing as it gives everyone in the world a voice, it can easily be abused by trolls who feel they can attack others. This impacts on the targets ‘self image’ and can cause tragedies to happen. The ‘self-image’ is modified over time through feedback from others, as it is human nature to desire to fit in. I believe that this is the sole reason to blame behind the recent death of Caroline Flack as she was labelled an abuser after a picture of her bed covered in blood was sold to The Sun. After this article her career was tarnished and self-image clearly affected as she would have begun to believe the messages she was seeing and sadly resort to taking her own life.
However, having said this I do believe that the free speech which we now have is also of a benefit to society. Whether it is used to condemn those who abuse it, speak about real issues in society and propose change or simply to spark discussion. An example of this can be seen in a recent viral video posted to Youtube by Josh Pieter’s in which flew Katie Hopkins to Prague to win a fake award. He did this in order to display that the freedom of speech which everyone now has can be abused by those like Katie who use it to spread messages of hatred. I think that the video is a perfect portrayal of the hypocrisy of those who spread hatred through social media, as the video shows her true thoughts which she shares from behind a keyboard but rarely in person. Here is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRIdtMlqwNA.
He has also made other interesting videos which expose Social Media Influencers, as he convinced many to promote a fake product to their millions of followers; clearly showing that the online world we live in is riddled with hypocrisy as it is so easy to hide behind a keyboard.
What do you think about social media, is it good or bad?