Social media has developed with advancement in technology. There are millions of user across the world. It was invented to connect people with each other from far distances. Many things are propagating through social media. Even the political campaigns are run on social media. For instance, President Trump used tweeter intensively to help his campaign for the presidential race. It is a battleground for the ideological warfare. But, is social media harming us in any way? Answering this question will require us to know what people do on social media.
There is both good and bad side about social media, but I think the bad outperforms the good side. Social media is harming us in a way we can not see. I think social media steals the ability of a person to think correctly. Many people would argue that writing on social media helps people to become better writers. I think believing that equals to we cheat ourselves and language. There is a significant difference between the writing on social media and academic writing. The language used on social media demotes the sense of proper and appropriate language. People in the comment section abuse each other; on the social media we are surrounded by the inappropriate language, and this shows us how it does not help in becoming a writer.
There is much more than just the language issues on social media. Social media has become a vast hub of Propaganda and exaggeration also. People on social media often fall prey to fake news. That is because they assume everything to be authentic and do not try to research the topic or try to get the news from a reliable source. Very seldom they realize before sharing it. For example, take the incident described by Jesse Singal in his article in NY Times. People criticized the Harvard professor for ‘supporting the alt-right group.’
There are groups of people who would distort any news or story from the mainstream media. They make up an event or edit an event to fit in a pre-existing viewpoint. Their main purpose is to mislead people and gain support by exploiting the inability of people to do research. Suddenly that event goes viral, and people start expressing their outrage online without realizing it was misleading. This is why social media is making us dumber.
Other than propaganda and exaggeration there can be sometimes people show their dumbness using social media. Recently among the teens, the ‘Tide Pod'(detergent) challenge had become quite popular. In this challenge, you must simply eat the Tide Pod. This takes social media to a new height of dumbness. Videos are circulating on social media of teens doing the tide pod challenge. There are 37 cases of eating tide pods reported in 2018. (The Washington Post). But why people do this? When asked one of the patients replied: “He was dared to.” Is it reasonable to eat tide pod over a stupid challenge? Or he was more concerned about his image among his friends rather think about his health.
Social media is making us less physical and more on a smart phone. It is about how many friends or followers you have and how good you look in your photos. We must realize that why we probably do not know more than half of those friends or followers? Why looking decent in real life is better than in photos?