I’ve just seen a video called ‘Look Up’ which gave me a “powerful message” about social media, essentially saying we get lost in social media. It said we miss important moments, as well as being anti social. But isn’t that obvious? It’s not the social media itself, it’s us and the way we use it. But it’s not so black and white. We can have social media and use it to our advantage. We’re not all robots. The people like that are mostly awkward teenagers. Plus, of course it’s easier for us to communicate when the person you want to talk to isn’t in the room. It’s our social anxieties that make Facebook, Twitter etc. so useful. But that doesn’t mean we’re all going to turn into robots.
Yes, the video was well made. But that doesn’t mean it’s “powerful”. Ironically, the people that will think it is are probably the same as the ones the video targets. Ironically it’s doing the thinking for people, completing exactly the opposite function it set out to achieve. Also, without social media, this video wouldn’t have been able to be viewed by so many. Perhaps it is trying to make the same point I am. But I think this irony will be lost on most. Social media as a tool has been anything but pervasive to society in my opinion. People still know how to interact. We’re not all hooked up to the mainframe, we don’t all run away and hide from those we find attractive. Those who do rely on social media to meet people are missing out. That is one opinion from the video I do agree with.
But that doesn’t happen to us all so I think the video has missed the point. The creators either know nothing about it or a lot and made the video because it appeals to people’s better nature. We don’t want to become robots—it’s a legitimate fear—but like (almost) everything in the media, it’s fear mongering designed to make people scared and keep them in their place. And people are so unaware! THIS is the problem. So many people are blind. They see things and don’t actually assess them themselves. Thou shalt always think for yourself, not just blindly follow the crowd. Analyse things in an intelligent way, don’t just share things that are “powerful” because it says in the title that they are.
Use social media in a powerful way yourself. It gives people a voice. It means less than some people think but at least it’s out there. If you’ve got 100k followers, don’t use it as an ego boost, use it to deconstruct society’s failures. You’ve almost got a duty. Your voice can be used to attack homophobia, sexism, racism, violence. It might not seem like much but it can break down taboos. If homophobes are ridiculed then it becomes less socially acceptable ton be one. Ridiculing is a powerful too. The video utilises this well. But as far as I’m concerned, it is attacking the wrong things. It uses it to get hits and generate income.
If the recognition of the video gains them respect and THEN they use it to criminalise other things then fair enough. But, overriding point: Think for yourselves. Disagree with people. Debate. Use your intelligence to analyse things and don’t blindly consume. But also use social media in a POSITIVE way. I agree, real life is much better but that is so obvious. Plus, this is my personal opinion. Others might prefer it online. Maybe this is just the way society is developing. Or maybe these people have the same crippling social anxiety that affects us all. But good luck to them. If that’s what makes them happy then so be it.
Look at things in a positive way; don’t just let the media scare you into conformity. Use the tools we have developed in a positive way. The internet is the best invention so far. Our generation is the first to use it. We have the chance to set the standard for the next generation and the next and so on. Let’s make it our legacy.