Everything was going smoothly. Then came Facebook.
Can you imagine your life before social media? It is hard, I guess. For millennials and other latest generations, it is difficult to imagine how you went on with things before social media. The value of our lives has come to become a measure of ‘likes’ and ‘follows.’ The higher these counts are, the better is your (online) reputation. And for some people, that is everything that matters.
That was all from a personal context. Now, let’s turn to the business point of view.
Today, ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons decide which product needs to be purchased, which company needs to be supported, and which propaganda needs to be protected.
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt at the Atlantic says, “Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly.”
So the big question is – “Is this worth it?”
When social media started with sites like MySpace and SixDegrees, all that mattered was owning a space where you could create a digital album. It was a friendly arena where people were at their best behavior. Fast forward to today. People share almost everything that can attract the most likes, retweets, shares, and comments. Authenticity or meaning matters the least. So as long as something is drawing attention, people will stick to creating such content no matter how absurd it may look or sound.
But why does it matter?
Because kids are getting affected by it. Genuine accounts are not getting the right traction. And the world is wasting its time following contents or trends that barely have anything to do with anything.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons social media should be fixed, like right now.
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Spread of misinformation
Elon Musk speaks openly about this issue on behalf of Twitter. He has even proffered many suggestions to take down content that might spread due to fake accounts, faulty algorithms, and paid promotions. Hate speech travels openly in these mediums and even gets promoted by people with similar beliefs.
Lack of regulation
Countries around the world are at war with companies like Facebook and Twitter right now. Recently, India had developed its own Twitter-lookalike app named ‘Koo’ because of some disagreements. The US government has also had many interactions with Mark Zuckerberg over the constant claims of breaches in people’s profile data.
Decreasing level of trust
An increased participation often leads people to an over-exposed stance where trust gets the worst beating of all.
Teenagers are the latest victims
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls. Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.”
That’s a report documented by none other than Facebook itself. Although Facebook has constantly disowned releasing any such statements in their brief, the remarks couldn’t be contained, thanks to an inside whistleblower.
Teenagers and people who are exposed to social media accounts at a very early age have reported issues like insecurity, lack of confidence, virtual bullying, and more. This has led to a terrible mental health state that has been the highest cause of stress and depression in these last two years.
It’s going messier by the day
I think we can all agree with that. Mobile phones have become like that virtually inseparable organ of the human body. We barely go outside without our phones and clearly we don’t use them for calls much. Our lives move from watching other people’s reels on Instagram to creating your own videos on TikTok. Yes, some of them make it big and gain professional prominence, but many are left with the wrong influence.