Years ago, a book called; “Talking Back to Facebook” suggested the social media platform was spiraling out of control. I agreed, but noted that the phenomenon was otherwise a relatively harmless way to transfer anecdotes and perpetuate images of pets. Alarmingly, Facebook has transformed far beyond delicious laughing stock and smiling grandchildren.
That was 2012. Since then, a lot has happened to justify the prophetic book by James Styer (professor at Stanford), and it’s not pretty. All kinds of misinformation, from wacky ways to fight COVID, to predators masquerading as politicians, to governance by tweet, to pave the way for January 6.
These “platforms” have become practical mechanisms for the self-celebrating elite to display their privileged, sparkling and free lifestyles for “followers” to worship and envy. Or to feel less about themselves, especially impressionable teenage girls. Choosing a moisturizer for the face is one thing. Choosing to end his own life is another. Do you think Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care?
Facebook, once a smart communication tool, has become a formidable weapon allowing advertisers to follow trends, promote purchases, capture capital, master mindsets, defraud and collect customers and weaken the market. well-being of society. It is said that today, 30% of Americans get their “news and information” from what they read – and believe – on social media. Absurd. Walter Cronkites, why are you? Will the truth, integrity and intelligence please stand up and be counted?
I don’t know when or if the social media conundrum will end. But in the meantime, it’s still not pretty. Not at all.
Letter to the editor: criticism of the climate efforts of the students of the misguided UMaine