Social Media is Not A Conversation, It is A Shouting Match
“Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.”
— Zygmont Bauman
Digital tools and social media have changed our lives. Not all the change has been for good. In theory we have more opportunities to discuss with various people, but actually we are surrounding ourselves with homogenous group of people who have similar background and similar opinions as we have. Because we can select what we read, majority of people settle for narrow worldview and just plain lies. Unfortunately nowadays it is ok to be ignorant and thanks to social media, you can surround yourself with other ignorant people.
We would have the opportunity to listen to opposite views, but instead we block them. We overreact to tweets, blog posts and snapchats if they do not conform to our worldview. You cannot be sarcastic anymore, because someone will not understand your humor. If you have to explain it is humor, the game is already lost. Especially the problem is obvious with millennials:
“My huge generalities touch on their over-sensitivity, their insistence that they are right despite the overwhelming proof that suggests they are not, their lack of placing things within context, the overreacting, the passive-aggressive positivity, and, of course, all of this exacerbated by the meds they’ve been fed since childhood by over-protective “helicopter” parents mapping their every move.”
— Brett Easton Ellis (Generation Wuss about millennials)
Essentially social media has just made us bunch of weak crybabies without any sense of humor. Or maybe we have always been them, but now it is just socially acceptable.
Originally published at standupstrategy.org on January 28, 2016.