Think before you post!

The ills of social media are many

Think before you post!

Christopher Doan, feature reporter

Fifty years ago, people were face to face with others. Fast forward to the present, we are face to face with glowing pixels from a shiny rectangular screen. In this new age of technology comes a new age of social interaction – social media. Platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram connect the entire world together, and our cultures develop right alongside it.

However, no matter how great social media is, it is still a double edged blade. In many ways, it is more harmful than good in today’s world. Social media has served as a catalyst for toxicity. These digital platforms have been populated by hundreds of millions of people all around the world. With the enormous amount of people, the one key thing that these platforms provide is anonymity. Anonymity provides a way to harm others without risk. For example, cyberbullying, fraud, and other forms of harm can be conducted safely by strangers all over the world.

As an effect, demoralized victims may suffer from depression and even be subject to an even worse fate. In the pandemic year 2020, cancel culture has been popularized throughout the world. This form of online shaming serves to expose the victim for their misdeeds publicly on the internet. Although this form of cleansing can root out the guilty or can even help the victim improve for the better, it has the potential to ruin someone’s life. Esports players in 2020, such as those in the Smash Bros. gaming community, have experienced this cancel culture. Many were cancelled over past Twitter messages, Facebook feed, Youtube videos, and from allegations from people they’ve known. As a result, these players were subject to losing sponsorships, their community, and effectively their job.

Social media’s anonymity and convenience only continues to spur on the digital cancel culture, effectively worsening the situation. Social media makes it easy for people to just click and shame people online, making the problem harder than it should be. I personally believe that cancel culture should not be used in this way to shun people; it should be used to get people to rise up from their errors instead of being used to completely throw them under the bus.

Many would argue that social media isn’t as bad as what I’m saying it is. They may argue that public media provides a platform for those who are shy or isolated to get to know others and help them improve socially. I personally agree with this to some extent. However, this does not outweigh the damaging effects. There is still a great risk, as people online can still take advantage of someone they do not have a personal connection to. Networking sites can also be prone to hacks, leading to stolen information. Therefore when exposing yourself on the internet, you should avoid revealing too much information and only disclose minor information.

Social media is by no means bad. It fulfills its primary purpose of sharing lives globally and connecting the world together. However, it can also have a negative impact on society because we, who dominate these platforms, are far from being angels. All it takes is one careless click to ruin your own or someone else’s life. In the end, social media is a good thing if handled properly. There is a very simple way to both avoid the traps of social media and continue enjoying the world of social networking: think before you post.