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Social Media - A Weapon of Self Destruction

(72 Posts)
Cunco Thu 10-Jun-21 08:25:03

Social Media might be termed unsocial media. It is a relatively new phenomenon and we need to understand more about what it does to human beings, including ourselves. From early years to old age, the alias and lack of physical contact can lead to views being expressed in ways that give rise to intended or unintended offence. It can create a permanent record. It can be a dangerous medium. Too often, it becomes a medium to debase rather than debate. Like wine, it can be sipped and enjoyed or taken in greater and greater quantity to relax, release an alter ego or become addicted. Of course, regulation and monitoring may help but, in its absence, it comes down to self control and, if necessary, taking a break.

What do you think?

GrauntyHelen Sun 13-Jun-21 13:54:52

Like all kinds of interaction it has good and bad sides I'm able to be in daily touch with school friends all over the world and also I'm lucky enough to have made a lot of new friends too

Daftbag1 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:11:44

Social media, and in particular messenger are a means of communication for me that I can use. I can't use phones, I don't have a mobile for texting, and emails and letters don't offer the same immediacy of messenger. I occasionally use Facebook and of course GN but otherwise I would be very isolated.

My daughter and son send me photographs, and things like my grandchildren school reports, I can be involved in their lives.

If I do go on to Facebook and I see something upsetting, I just block the people concerned and leave the conversation, I contact the individual(s) who are being affected and offer support privately.

At one point I was a bit obsessed with social media and used it up to 16hrs a day. Now it's rarely more than an hour a week.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:32:52

While OP has many valid points, I think we need to remember that most human inventions have been met with criticism.

Such criticism has often proved to be over-stated, but to contain some measure of truth.

However, it is the use we make of our inventions that usually determines whether they are good or bad, as already stated in this discussion.

People may not continue using social media to the extent they do now, where we are barely out of the "honeymoon period", but social media are undoubtably like the telephone and TV here to stay.

We need to educate each other regarding the social conduct expected when using these media.
It used to be considered wrong to send an unsigned communication of any kind - now, on social media it is the norm.

This must not, however, allow us to be offensive, lie or publilsh unverified statements - all of which we have seen happening on the "new" media.

If children are too young to understand the potentially harmful content of what the are posting, then they should not have access to social media.

After all, we don't let toddlers play with matches, do we?

It may be harder to prevent a 13 year old publishing something they shouldn't than prevent a 2 year old get hold of a matchbox, but parents and teachers have a responsiblity to ensure that these things don't happen.

Cyberspace is being policed, and actions can be brought against adults who are being offensive or committing crimes via social media.

lemsip Sun 13-Jun-21 14:43:00

Cunco is not a new poster. here is an april post re extinction rebellions 3 key steps

Cunco Fri 23-Apr-21 17:42:55

justme2 Sun 13-Jun-21 16:06:31

Children's bullying is overt/obvious but an adult will bully by teasing and sharp digs meant to be funny, cute or 'smart.' If called on it, they say they were joking.

Also, there is no way to convey true feelings through facial expressions. Sarcasm or humor is often interpreted as mean and hateful when it is only someone's idea of cute or smart. Many do not realize how much of our intent is transmitted by expression. Memes? Who studies a tiny meme to try to determine true meaning? We read the words and react.

TrendyNannie6 Sun 13-Jun-21 17:34:41

Totally agree Hellsbelles so many like her too, not just women either, really sad

nexus63 Sun 13-Jun-21 23:03:23

i only ever use facebook, it has my first and last name on so no hiding, only people on mine are family and a couple of charity groups, anyone going on to mine would find it very boring as most of my chat are you..yeah i am fine...okay talk

poshpaws Mon 14-Jun-21 00:10:36

Social Media has been an absolute lifeline for me for many years now. I've made long term friends whom I've never met, both in the UK and abroad, but regularly correspond/exchange gifts with; long term friends from distant parts of the UK and from Australia whom I HAVE met up with in person and found as delightful as they seemed online; and shared problems and triumphs with people with the same lifestyles as mine, with whom I share mutual support.

I've been able to share petitions and news about causes I consider vital, with a really large audience and have discovered points of view on things I'd really never stopped to consider much.

I've also been subject to some really vile comments, particularly on political groups where there are a lot of trolls and people with entrenched hatred of anyone who doesn't share their world vision. I've been in "Facebook Jail" for 3 days myself, when I got a little carried away with my language ....

I think it's worth the risk of receiving nasty comments from cowardly keyboard warriors and trolls. I'm a big girl - I can choose to ignore/block/scroll past or engage. So can anyone else! Nobody's forced to read a thread/post.

I do see that it's more complicated for children or for adults with shaky self esteem, but I found the school playground a much, much meaner place than the internet. Bullies will bully, haters will hate - but the power of social media to actually counteract those types of posters is really pretty huge.

Eloethan Mon 14-Jun-21 10:01:32

Much as I enjoy Gransnet and other resources available on the internet, if it all came crashing down tomorrow I wouldn't be upset. Of course, it is possible to use the media without insulting and hurting other people but it is so often used for that purpose, and it has affected the way people interact -or fail to interact - in real life.

Elegran Mon 14-Jun-21 10:35:21


i only ever use facebook, it has my first and last name on so no hiding, only people on mine are family and a couple of charity groups, anyone going on to mine would find it very boring as most of my chat are you..yeah i am fine...okay talk

Not quite true, nexus63 You use Gransnet, which has thousands of strangers reading whatever you post. Social media is not just Facebook! There are a lot of other online message boards, some for specific interests, some for general chat. The spammers and trolls and misleading trash-distributers get into all of them. Yes, even Gransnet.

Alegrias1 Mon 14-Jun-21 11:09:59

You use Gransnet, which has thousands of strangers reading whatever you post.

That's just not the case. Speaking for myself, my privacy settings are as high as they can be and nobody sees what I post except my Facebook friends, and they are all people that I know in real life. I've just had a little Public Information Campaign of my own telling my Facebook friends to stop posting personal information on spammer sites. wink Its the way people use Facebook that's at fault, not the mere existence of it.

Alegrias1 Mon 14-Jun-21 11:13:35

Oh no, got that wrong again....sorry Elegran, you're quite right. flowers

I really shouldn't try to use GN on my phone while cooking lunch...

Elegran Mon 14-Jun-21 11:25:52

Multitasking has its hazards, Alegrias.

Alegrias1 Mon 14-Jun-21 11:32:20

Another Social Media issue... blush

Sarnia Mon 14-Jun-21 11:38:58

Social media has come up trumps this morning by identifying one of the two mindless morons who deliberately destroyed a £2000 defibrillator at a non-league football club in East Sussex last night. They have helped the police with evidence as they filmed it on their phone! I hope it won't take long to arrest the other idiot.

Elegran Mon 14-Jun-21 19:49:49

He was definitely being mindless when he filmed it!

Cunco Tue 15-Jun-21 10:54:10

Alegrias1: I agree that normal standards that apply when people talk face-to-face do slip, even on Gransnet, especially in political discussions. Also, people forget that their comments are open to the world and that anything that is not absolutely clear is almost certain to be misinterpreted by somebody.

More widely, some people, notably, young people simply go out of their way to say outrageous things without realising that they are making a permanent record which may come back in later life to bite them.

I limit what I post on Facebook too but, even so, I get lists of 'people who I might know', many of whom I do but have never contacted directly on Facebook.

As with most things, there are pluses and minuses of Social Media. I just think the minuses have yet to have their full negative impact on many aspects of life.

Cunco Tue 15-Jun-21 11:13:44

Just to be clear, I am not a new poster. I have posted lots of times but, quite often, with significant breaks.

I have not posted my opening post elsewhere, nor have I copied my opening post from anywhere else. If there is an identical post 'word for word' elsewhere it is a miracle of modern science or perhaps equally unlikely, someone has found my post so interesting, they posted it elsewhere.

To clear up another possible confusion, when I checked this thread initially today, I mistakenly thought it ended on page 1 and hence, my reply directed to Alegrias1 from a comment on page 1. I may have been a little more befuddled since GN told me I must 'sign in' to post when I was already 'signed in'.

I hope that is now perfectly clear. 🙂

MrsBoot Tue 15-Jun-21 17:07:19

One of the main problems with social media is that the contributions are largely anonymous. So the cynical, socially inadequate and anyone with an axe to grind can air their less than polite views with impunity for the most part. Would they do so if they could be recognised by others I wonder? I'll probably be accused of being one/all of the above but have hopefully not offended anyone!

growstuff Tue 15-Jun-21 17:51:51

It's too late to shut the stable door on the social media saddos, unless they do something really dangerous. That's why people need to be hyper-aware of trolling and to check reliable sources. It's like traffic. It wouldn't be realistic to ban cars, but people can be trained to drive and cross the road safely.

Cunco Tue 15-Jun-21 22:12:41

I just skimmed a research report from 2016 which reckoned that Social Media was regarded as a burden by 32% of English respondents; and it made only 26% feel happier! It makes you wonder why those respondents persevered. Only 7% of English respondents were over 60 so clearly not reflective of GN.