A Look into Media’s Role
As technology advances, social media infiltrates into and integrates with our lives in an unprecedented fashion. The result is as mixed as the users of social media: some use social media to attract customers and expand market; some use it to spread false information and mislead public opinions. The nature of social media is double-edged: it is easy and simple to create content; as well as fast and simultaneous to share information. Anyone with internet access can create. This is something traditional bookmaking cannot compete with.
With information travelling at ever-so fast pace, it is impossible to set up a “standard” editorial rhetoric. Everyone can find people agreeing with them online, however absurd their point of view is. Traditional education that encourages students voice their thoughts, that believes everyone is entitled to their opinion backfired. The line between right and wrong became blurred: as long as there are proponents, the opinion is not wrong. Opinion is becoming the cheapest commodity.
This phenomenon reached its climax in last year’s election. Voters’ belief towards or against one candidate is amplified through social media, which, in order to attract more users, only shows the side you actually want to read and agree with. Furthermore, due to the ease of access of information, people no longer read news or listen to news, they simply watch news — passively receiving whatever media throws at them without critically thinking the credibility of it.
There is a popular saying in Silicon Valley: if you didn’t pay for the product, then you are the product. Unknowingly, we all become a product of the seemingly innocent Facebook or Twitter. It is high time for us to start thinking logically and learn to use media in our favor instead of being used by media.