Is social media a revolution? Possibly. It makes things possible which were impossible only a few years ago cheaper, faster and better than ever before. But it also leads to new challenges.
I am not there to do the trial of social media, I use it myself like millions of people in the world, but I am preoccupied by how social media sometimes seems like a veil in a virtual world. Talking about this don’t make the positive points of social media any less positive but these are trends that a observed (and let say that social media is close to being terra incognita in term of academic studies)
This social media veil represents in a way what is wrong with social media. The first thing is that there is a whole sense of narcissism (which is a very human attribute) which makes social media like a popularity contest.
I don’t know a lot of people who would not like having the most »like », the most followers or being RT by the most people or »popular » people. I am myself quite pleased when somebody says positive things about me. Very few people hate this, it’s human nature.
But the problem is when this same narcissism become the antithesis of the same individuality (which is a very positive thing) of social media.
It makes people more shallow and lacking authenticity. I am not saying that everybody who is on social media is not authentic, but living in a society more and more based on »memes » is somewhat strange and somewhat Orwellian in scope.
The other thing about social media is that it makes people more connected but more alone in a sort of techno bubble. It’s sometimes a good thing being alone, but being on social media usually takes a lot of your time, and this while being less connected to the physical world.
Of course, networking and connecting with people online is a good thing and helps sometimes to foster better one-on-one relations, but this whole thing sometimes is too artificial while not being good for your own ego.
To give you an example, some hostels now only put their wi-fi in common rooms, because they found that people were in a cyber-bubble. Of course, one perk of travelling is talking and socializing with different people.
Or there is this famous situation where a family of 4 is at a table this when EVERYBODY is watching something or texting someone in their smartphone/tablet instead of talking when they are all together. This trend is not new however, because when I was younger, it was the TV who did the same thing.
The other problem with social media is that it brings a culture of short attention span Of course, it’s great having everything that you want in a few seconds, but sometimes patience is a very important virtue.
Even if I love like many people having access to a »buffet » of information and facts, sometimes, it’s must better to take a pause. In some cases, being patient leads to better things if you wait a little bit.
I find that this whole »insta-everything » meme culture quite common in our era, not only in social media but also in politics, in the media and in life in general. And yes, it’s very difficult to remember everything that you see or read.
And even if I am sometimes a fan of quantity, I am also a fan of quality.
In conclusion, possibly the best thing to do on social media is being yourself. Any individual have something that they do differently than others, and one positive thing with social media is that there are many fishes in the river to connect with.
But it’s not better when it’s becoming a thrill to be popular only for being popular and having your 30 seconds of fame.