In times of social distancing social media is growing faster than ever. Simply because physical distancing is not social distancing. And more people feel a need of deep social connection. So that shall be an easy equation, more social media should naturally go into more social connection.
Now what is the main issue here?
The way people are seeing, using, and trusting what comes on and from social media.
In an era of available, easy to access and free information there is not more discipline of research, people want to have answers fast and therefore they go on Google for anything. And while I am so grateful for Google to make available tons of information, there is an issue with the quality of information available. The problem is not that the information that there is not accurate exists, the problem is that we are not trained nor patient enough to check and pick what may be relevant.
One of the most beautiful and needed profession is dying nowadays. I refer to journalism; journalism is technically a way of presenting facts in an objective way so people can have access to information. Journalism nowadays becomes personal opinions, scandal sells, and whatever a celebrity eats seems much more relevant than real society issues. A journalist nowadays shows the side of the story he/she believes in, in the best of the case, or the one that sells in most of the cases. A journalist nowadays will come fast with a story, without taking months and months of documentation and research and inquiry on a topic. That’s one of the saddest things today. And of course, this is not for every journalist, yet those high professional ones tend to be more the exception than the norm.
We are or technically can be social medial all of us. Each of us can be his own television, his own editing company, his own radio station, his own newspaper.
- I can publish my own book on amazon, no matter how relevant that content is or not (editing house)
- I can do my own podcast, and say whatever I want no matter how relevant it is or not (radio station)
- I can do my own youtube channel no matter how relevant it is or not (television station)
- I can write and publish articles on my own blog in whatever topics no matter the knowledge I have or not (newspaper)
And that can be accessed by anyone. Anyone can see my tv station, listen to my radio station, read my newspaper, and my books. Anyone, no matter where they are in the world. That gives so much power when we think about it. All it takes is the right level of marketing, and knowledge on how to make people click on it.
Now while that is amazing and in so many ways, a treasure in itself, it is also one of the most dangerous things in the current context:
- It is enough to know how to do it and it can be used in a very dangerous way
- Even when it starts with a good heart and good intention, the information could not only be absolutely wrong but also having a very bad influence on people
- Most people not only don’t take time to assess but they don’t even know how to do it. Because we no longer teach kids ethics or philosophy or debates, or rhetoric etc etc. We no longer help people developing their own thinking ability. Questioning, doubting, looking for more information before reaching a conclusion or an opinion. And evolve those opinions after.
- Most people think that if they have a sad story and they manage to overcome it, it will be the same for anyone who will copy paste their experience. Which is far for being the truth.
- Most people think that applying a solution which has somehow provided a level of results for themselves will provide the same for others. Which is obviously not working.
- Most people will just be led by their own ego and showing off, versus taking a step back and ask what is the relevance of what am I saying and for whom.
How do I know all these? Is because I spend my life talking with people who want to grow and succeed. And who have read a lot and who have tried a lot, and they are still not there. Why, because if it was working, we all would have been happy and wealthy and successful. And the majority of people are not.
Social media today is not necessary having the role it could have. And we are all responsible for it.