Obviously the question in the title above is what this post is all about. Here is the definition of social media from Wikipedia. The biggies are obviouslly Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, with many other a little further down the line.
Obviously these companies want us to believe that we need them to do almost everything essential to life itself. We HAVE to plug into their product to keep control of our lives.
- Make friends
- Build relationships
- Be actively related to politics
- To hail a cab
- To catch a bus
- To shop
- To understand the world.
But is any of that really true? It wasn’t but a few years ago that we had other methods of doing all those things. I know I am going to sound like an old person here but I think many of the older ways were better than using social media. Getting down to the root of this matter, maybe the more important question is do we need what these founders of social media are doing to our lives.
We don’t need:
- to make increased corporate or government surveillance of our lives easier.
- to make unanswerable harassment possible without consequences of the harasser.
- to make stalking easier.
- to pollute our democratic processes with lies and distortions found on these sites.
- to be exposed to all the false anti-science garbage.
- to make the “Us vs Them” divide any wider.
Maybe we need to look back at the days before these social media giants controlled so much of our lives and maybe take a step back to change things.
If we simply didn’t use the current social media outlets I’m sure others would sprout up that would change many of the con’s above. I know all these guys are currently multi-billion dollar companies who have a stranglehold on how we interact with each other in the 21st century, but that doesn’t necessarily have to the the case.
I am generally not an advocate of burning things down in order to make improvements but that seems to be about the only method that will eliminate the problems above. The $5 billion fine on Google is a start but it needs to be backed up by a strong consumer boycott to affect change in this area.
What do you think?