The Nuances of Social Media Use

“Social media rewards not morality or veracity, but virality.”

Social media has been a boon and can be utilized positively to an unimaginable extent, but at this juncture of the social media craze, the harms far supersede its farcical benefits. When we take a look at the preposterous information and misinformation spread via social media, it’s important to take into note that Social media rewards not morality or veracity, but virality.

When we take a look into social media and the varying nuances and complexities concerning it, interest prevails over importance and intelligence.

A big part of the problem with misinformation seems to be in scale: companies like Twitter and Facebook simply can’t keep running these platforms from a prejudiced realm that clearly breaks the rules, they’re putting their blind faith in machine learning, which as we all are aware, DOES have room for errors, grave ones.

With regard to misinformation, if the first wars were fought with sticks and stones, modern warfare is a high-tech battlefield where social media has emerged as a surprising — and effective weapon. From Russian hacking to influence the American election to online recruitment for terror groups such as ISIS, an array of players is using false news and bogus accounts to stoke fear, incite violence, and manipulate outcomes.

It is not an unknown phenomenon that, Social media invites us to compare ourselves with others. For people with self-esteem issues and insecurities, hearing about other people’s happiness and successes can deepen feelings of inferiority. It’s easy to forget that social media posts, photos of air-brushed models in magazines present an idealized, heavily edited version of what’s actually going on. In addition, some determine their self-worth based on their number of Facebook friends or how many likes, shares, or other interactions they receive.

Social media is detrimental to face-to-face interaction. It’s hard not to be concerned when you see a group of people sitting together, each engrossed in his or her own smartphone or iPad constantly scrolling through their news feed. And studies indicate that irresponsible use of social media can have that effect which is consequently intellectually numbing.

Social media is no doubt here to stay, so the discussion isn’t what it holds for the community as a whole in the future, but what it holds for our individual users. Use it judiciously, and it’s limitless; don’t, and it’s limiting.

So start today! Use it to find opportunities, spread positive thoughts, make long-lasting connections (even meet them face-to-face), but make sure to think of the scarring consequences of overconsumption.

Ishaan is a passionate speaker and orator for the past 7 years, alongside great interests and efforts in innovation and pitching. He has been the Times of India Student of the Year awardee, won the Best Speaker Award at the Rotary International Asian Parliamentary Debate, been on one of the top 10 speakers at a TEDx initiative, and taken a keen interest in Model United Nations, with involvement in 50+ conferences. Additionally, while innovating and representing his work on multiple platforms, Ishaan has been really lucky to have become a Finalist, amongst the Top 36 of 20,000+ entries at the IIT Kharagpur Young Innovators Program, and received the Best Innovation in Gurgaon City by the National Innovation Foundation, Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India, under the Make in India initiative. With the purpose of enhancing his interests in problem-solving and representing his views on International and Societal affairs, he has made way to be the Youngest member amongst a great group of Law Graduates and Ph.D. students at the Wall of Justice Team, as a Content Writer and Research Intern!

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