22 Mar Social media: pros, cons and controversy
Before we get into the pros, cons and controversy of social media, let’s define it:
Social media are computer mediated tools used to create, share and/or exchange information, images and ideas in virtual communities or networks.
Didn’t ever think much about that definition did you? That’s natural because for most of you reading this post, social media has just always been “there” so you kind of know what it is like you know what vegetables are. But exploring the topic of social media is like helping you to understand which foods you like, which ones you don’t want to eat and which ones are the most nutritious. All that knowledge allows you to make mindful choices.
DID YOU KNOW? Tomatoes are a fruit. But you wouldn’t want to put them in a fruit salad. Likewise, many social media tools exist but you may not want all of them on your phone.
So now let’s start with the pros: Social media allows us to do amazing things like share photos, compose music, listen to podcasts, organize meetings, explore different opinions, play games, connect with people across the globe, document experiences… in fact, the list is pretty much endless. Social media really does allow us to do incredible things that increase our knowledge, our creativity and our connections. #SocialMediaRocks
Cons: Social media can also create a ripe environment for addiction, procrastination, bullying, foolish choices, deceit, lies, disconnection… in fact the list is pretty much endless. Wait! Stop the hashtag—didn’t you just say the same thing in the pro department? That the list was endless AND, of note, that is was great for connecting people and now you are saying it disconnects people? What? That doesn’t make any sense!!! #ConfusingMe
Well, that’s how we arrive at the controversy: the world of social media is complex. It can do both great good and evil, so the controversy is around how people believe we can optimize the good and minimize the bad. On one end of the debate you have people who think “Social media is dangerous and we should all stay away from it because it is ruining people’s lives.” At the other end of the debate you have people who think, “Social media is the greatest human invention since the wheel—the more we engage the better!” The rest of the opinions lie somewhere between these two points of view. The following posts aim to help you figure out what you believe and how you can make choices that optimize (meaning, make the most of) the good and limit the bad. #IHaveChoices
Create a hashtag about how you feel about social media in general.
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