Social Media Sites Have a Fundamentally Awful Idea
In recent times, we have seen a lot of articles about the problems caused by social networking. It has been accused of distributing bogus news, it has been said to bolster extremism by herding people into echo chambers, and it has been assaulted on all fronts because of its supposed consequences in the Brexit referendum along with also the 2016 US election. Indeed, when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, it appears open season has started for everyone on the planet.
But while these are perhaps legitimate worries, I believe they’re not the most significant ones. Instead, I believe lots of the issues caused by social media come from a really simple truth that people have missed for a long time.
Notably, the concept does not work. It’s a busted, bad idea that goes entirely against the way that society should work.
And this comes down to three things such sites do otherwise to real life. Three simple ways that their processes screw up civilisation and make it tougher for folks to get together.
- They make it too easy to learn that different groups and communities exist.
- They prevent people with different identities for various crowds and sub groups.
- As well as force audiences and communities that simply can’t get along onto the exact same platform.
What exactly do I mean with this?
Well for the former, I think that the secret to realise here is that social networking sites haven’t increased the amount of lunatics in the world. There has been no jump in the numbers of facists or Neo Nazis or Communists or SJWs or whatever else because Twitter or whatever came to existence. To a lot of a degree, these groups are around since the beginning.
However, before these platforms, they had been much harder to find. I mean, try and find a much right organisation from the real world. You will have to really go out of your way to hunt down either market political parties or semi underground groups that are insanely paranoid about detectives and undercover police officers. Or be from an area/family/background that has lots of these types of individuals.
In any event, it indicates ‘normal’ people will not understand they exist, because they’re not too visible in the public world. And that’s exactly the same (on a certain level or another) for every interest group, market theme, fandom or perhaps fetish. It exists in the real world, but unless you intentionally seek it out and learn who to speak to, you’ll frequently be none the wiser for this.
The world wide web clearly changed this a bit (because hey, Google and other search engines let you look for content you’re interested in, and categories for whatever you may imagine sprung up online), but even then, there’s a key distinction between a forum and a social networking site.
You have to explicitly go looking for the forum. Cause anything around a market subject, will simply not fly onto the radar of an everyday Average Joe.
And that’s great for society. Cause in the end of the day, we do not all agree on anything, and we all have interests that will come across as strange, disturbing or just incorrect to the people around us. That’s how society stays sane and people may live and function in harmony. They simply don’t understand what other people do with their lives, and frequently don’t care.
Hell, you could even be in an area with a Neo Nazi along with an Antifa member right now, and would understand the other one’s ‘key’ (or political views). Obscurity keeps a varied world together.
However, social networking sites destroy this precious fabric. The groups and individuals you’re inclined to dislike are observable all over you, and one wrong move on Reddit or YouTube will drop you right into a neighborhood you didn’t know existed and don’t have any reason to wish to be part of. Hence why now we get all the complaints regarding Nazis and SJWs along with other fringe loons; the platforms we use are made them visible to those outside their peer groups and awarded them the look of being more prevalent than they’d be otherwise.
But that’s not the whole picture. No, the issues with social networking website do not only stem from prominence, they stem from which makes it too easy to learn about each aspect of a person’s personality.
Well again, think about how you treat people in real life. In 99.9 percent of cases, it’s not ‘the same’ in most situations. You interact with relatives, friends, your significant other, your colleagues, your boss and the government in very different ways to one another.
And that’s perfectly fine and normal. It usually means those who are okay with something but another do not have to be subjected to this latter, as well as your private and professional lives are kept entirely separate from one another.
But social media services do not do this. Nowadays you’ve got a single profile, which can be connected to almost everything you’re thinking about (unless you’re among the old school folks with many reports on Reddit). Problem is, that’s not a fantastic thing.
That’s because well, you’re never likely to agree or enjoy 100% of someone’s personality or thoughts. Or maybe more cynically, everyone has skeletons in the cupboard.
It’s kind of this logic behind the famous Cardinal Richelieu quotation actually:
If you give me six lines written by the hands of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
Everyone has dark secrets, and the ability to display various components of their personality keeps the world functioning regardless of them.
So by sites like Reddit giving everyone access to the full profile and background of anybody about the ceremony, well they have basically doomed society to a lifetime of witch hunts and personal strife. Jokes and comments that don’t work with a single crowd are displayed to them, personalities more complicated than a literary background personality are reduced to some of these and everyone now has sufficient evidence for the court of public comment to tar and feather them.
Which means when you include these factors to the last item on the list, well things get a bit heated…
Because there’s yet another problem social networking sites have.
One company or organisation owns the whole system and dictates what could be allowed there.
Yet because they’re so hot, they have become the only sensible choice for many individuals to communicate. Problem is, that these folks are frequently a part of groups/political sections/have opinions that make it impossible for them to get together in the exact same location.
And that causes a lot of the strife these communities possess. I suggest, look in the real world. What can people do if they do not get alongside a group/don’t talk about an interest/can’t be friends with someone?
Straightforward, they stop speaking to each individual on a private basis, find a company or organisation with similar values and wind up living with those they agree or get together. It’s why internet forums worked well in the early days of the world wide web. Because people could come across communities that they have together with, or set up their own if they had a falling out of other folks. They weren’t stuck with viewers that didn’t enjoy or appreciate their pursuits.
Reddit does not work such as this. Nowadays anyone can walk in to any 1 neighborhood, or see content that they believe should not exist/be legal/be ethical at any time. Same goes for Twitter, Tumblr along with other providers. They ‘bring communities together’, by bringing together communities who see each other since the problem with the world and humankind.
They’re really like college when you consider it. Everybody’s stuck there, nobody gets together that much because of differences in worldviews and opinions and what devolves in a bunch of cliques that fight and bully one another over their own disagreements. Like the scenario between conservatives and liberals on Twitter!
So that’s why social networking sites don’t get the job done. They eliminate the crucial aspects of genuine world socialising that keeps everyone together, and induce bands better off on individual forums onto a single platform.
Let us hope people realise that in time, and federated providers such as Mastodon and GNU Social take over here… Or internet forums as a whole shoot over their rightful place as discussion corners for the internet.