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Negative Effects of Social Media
Following up to my blog post last week about social media, I wanted to talk a little bit about the negatives effects of social media that I have encountered. Last week was my positive take on social media: how I learned to use it, how we integrated it into The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™, how it was basically a win-win in all ways.
But, I have also noticed some things that I do not like on social media.
People seem to become rude more easily when they are behind a keyboard, seem to be fearless about repercussions, many times limited in their thinking and positions.
We seem to have a lot of bullying, name calling, pointing and laughing, teaming up against others, and sometimes a complete lack of respect for others and their views on social media.
Whereas, I see, and I am sure that many others would agree that we need more critical thinking, introspection, and inner work to do before we go screaming from the roof tops about what we believe to be wrong with others, when we believe someone is out of line, or when we believe that we’ve been wronged (oh my, how many times have you gotten thrown off by an email as the result of a lack of context or tone?!).
One of the core tenants of The ZIPPER JUNCTION Project™ is that of promoting good citizenship. We are nothing if we do not support and help expand the communities we live in.
Critical thinking is an enormous part of that contribution. How can we all move forward in a positive way if good citizens don’t think critically for themselves. How we can we expect citizens to be of service to their community (be it online or off) if they don’t look at a problem from all sides and try to come to a peaceful understanding and resolution?
More of the negative effects of social media include people not thinking for themselves. There is less primary research done on an individual basis, and more reading a quote and believing it to be true, then forming a strong opinion on a given topic, where as in the past, we used to go to the library and research to find our answers. If it’s on the internet or social media “it must be true”.
This phenomenon of believing everything you see on Facebook is a huge problem. It stifles creativity, independent thought, even spilling over into lack of respect and civility. I cannot imagine some of the conversations that take place online happening in person, I simply cannot think we have devolved into a negative society in the way one might see it on a thread on Reddit or Facebook.
Or have we? To tell you the truth, I don’t want to find out.
I believe critical thinking is so important to our future that much of the effort within The Project is directed towards it. We have to make sure that future generations can think for themselves and come to logical conclusions, even about themselves and what they are truly happy doing, not what society tells them they need to do or should do.
Social media is certainly a great thing, but we have to be careful of the negative effects of social media, so that we do not lose touch with actually experiencing things – physical things – in the first person… In REAL LIFE! We intend to make that happen at ZIPPER JUNCTION™ and ask each of you to bring whatever it is that is special about you to our community to share and help others learn.
Please join our Facebook Group as a great way to start the conversation – one we can continue in person!