Should We Trust What We See? The Cons of Social Media Awareness
In theory, spreading awareness on social media is extremely helpful to inform the public
about various topics, but in reality, it can create unnecessary tension in our lives and perpetuate misinformation. Have you ever looked at someone’s Instagram story and seen them post about one cause, but not the one you stand for? For example, they might post about racism and cultural appropriation but grow silent when an attack against Jews happens, and because of this you decide to cut them out of your life. These are the curses of social media awareness: assumptions, and baseless hatred against our own neighbors. That person didn’t post about the Jewish attack, but maybe they were volunteering at Jewish Relief Agency or praying at their synagogue for the better treatment of Jews. There’s no knowing with social media as it selectively shows one’s beliefs.
Social media can cloud our judgment and create more issues than it solves. In 2020, people were making more assumptions than ever based on social media apps, as “Cancel Culture” rang through communities and feeds. Individuals have become too prone to acting on their impulses and have driven a rift between “sides” of political and social movements. Additionally, there is a bias against someone who chooses to shy away from the activism of social media. Twitter and Snapchat seem to be the new courthouses, and public embarrassment is their one-size-fits-all sentence. Social media awareness is more divisive than it is uniting.
Furthermore, assumptions tear the world apart, and social media is a breeding ground for one’s worst assumptions about others. In French philosopher Rene Descartes’ book on logic, his first rule is to never assume, so we must take a step back from our “awareness” on social media and focus on our own views rather than other people’s. Legally, anyone has the right to post their words on social media if they follow app guidelines, but it is the morality aspect that people these days rarely seem to consider. “Cancel Culture” spawns from this “morality”, along with who is just and who is wrong. Spreading news on social media contributes nothing but impulsive hatred to the world in the form of public embarrassment that leaves America as a whole more divided than ever. We need more action and fewer reposts. It’s time to see the true face of social media awareness.
Photo Credit: The Northern Iowan