Social media is a useful service that does lots of good with a parallel money machine. - the social dilemma (Netflix documentary , 2020).
Today , out of the 7.8 billion population of the world there are 3.81 billion people actively using social media .
While social media today is being used for a lot of beneficial purposes. It's almost scary how it monitors user data to build models that Predict User's Action breaching their privacy and opening a Window for companies to manipulate and direct their attention to maximize profits from advertisements.
Almost all the products that we see around us is out of a trend from social media which raises another question . Are we the consumers of our own choice or others' ?
The social media Trends have another effect on teenagers promoting unrealistic beauty standards and in worst case scenarios life threatening activities for the sake of the online bandwagon effect of trends evident mostly through online short video Community. Another threatening factor is that all our activities are being watched , tracked , measured , monitored and recorded by companies through social media and then use this human generated capital to increase engagement , growth and Advertising revenue of their own. Even globalisation has entered an online Phase.
According to World Health Organisation globally, there were 11.8 deaths per 100,000 adolescents due to suicide That's up from 2000, when there were eight deaths per 100,000 .
However on the Bright Side , social media serves a positive purpose besides interaction with people. Like,
• The Trends directed towards Goodwill of people.
• Insecure teenagers with mental problems seeking help online.
• emerging artists , singers , dancers and other related talents getting recognised.
• small companies and businesses getting Boom through social media.
• it helps individuals to look for a job or earn money through showcasing their talents online.
• It connects people enabling us to know about each other's cultures and helps in removing any misconceptions and stereotypes about cultures we did not know about.
• creators are able to step into Lime Light through social media.
• awareness about current affairs and views of different people from different areas through online "stories".
The last point brings us to another important phenomenon of social media - Fake news. According to Tristan Harris fake news is described as disinformation for profit business models. In simpler terms which means that companies make more money by allowing unregulated messages to reach anyone for the best price.
It is easy to point out how fake news affects the world around us triggering civil violence and protests for an Unproven reason having lives at stake.
Meanwhile, Social media is also an interesting place for communities to find members. A recent Revolutionary change supports this statement that is - members of lgbtqa+ society coming out of their closet vouching for their rights.
A number of movements like black lives matters also started from a single #. This proves that social media moulds the very world we live in through a variety of ways both positive and negative.
So how do we prevent social media from being a necessary evil ?
• turn off your mobile notifications or reduce the number of notifications you receive. • try to use a search engine that doesn't store search history.
• fact check before sharing anything.
• do not accept recommended YouTube videos
• avoid clickbait material.
• uninstall any social media app that is taking up more time and space in your life than anything else.
• avoid following content of people that spread violence and hatred.
• select the contents you would like to receive on your social.
• make use of I do not like this news option on Google's news cards.
This article has been written by Shreyashi Bohre and Siddhesh Patil for The Paradigm
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