I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about social media, how we use it and how we feel about it.
We talked about how much misinformation and harmful content we are exposed to and how necessary it is to filter out rubbish. We discussed how difficult it can be to be exposed to toxic views held by those we know personally.
We observed, that in our everyday lives we categorise friends and family. For example, there are those we choose to share intimate moments with, those we reserve for good times and acquaintances we’re simply cordial with in public settings.
We separate the public from the private and social media seems to have blurred these lines and it can sometimes complicate these relationships. In real life, we tend to place necessary boundaries in order to maintain some degree of harmony.
My friend then stumbled across a talk from The Top Talk where Chamath Palihapitiya (former Facebook executive) expanded upon and articulated our observations.
In his talk, he says, “we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works…no civil discourse, no cooperation…”
What Palihapitiya talks about is exactly what we were attempted to express in our conversation. Do you ever think how amazing it is that the internet has the power to simultaneously make you feel hypervisible and invisible?
Allow me to logically leap and say that, social media seems to be a space where soundbites and dogma are passports to momentary fame. The truth no longer holds value. It’s all about memes, retweets and likes and we just can’t get enough of it!
We have normalised abnormal behaviours such as stalking your partner, monitoring his or her interactions and looking at patterns within those.
In everyday life, it’s socially unacceptable to follow where your partner goes but on the internet, it’s completely normal.
I love social media for bringing amazing people into my life, creating opportunities for fellow artists to collaborate and for giving us the freedom to tell the news the ‘liberal” press won’t but I am cautious about how I use social media.
I try to control what I consume because I’m conscious of the effects social media consumption has on me. For example when I’m confronted with images of lifeless black bodies and the reality that this is someone like me hits me or when people minding their own business are ridiculed. I know that seeing these images wears me down and that I need to take frequent breaks.
We know video killed the radio star but is social media killing human connections? Are we becoming desensitised to certain things?
I didn’t want to write an essay on this topic I just wanted you to watch the video so go and watch it.