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Is Social Media Ruining the World?

How Social Media Affects Our Lives

“Social Media Ruining The World” should be the headline in every newspaper around the world. How many times have your heard someone say “People are so divided, what in the world is going on?” The answer, quite often, is the effect of social media. Social media points us in directions we would never think of going on our own. Platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter use algorithms to take the things we do on the internet and point us in a direction they think we want to go. Even if there’s no hard evidence that the algorithm’s choice is true. Every time you search for something that search is logged and used at some point to direct you to a store, a cause, or to take an action. After all, we use the internet to get answers, even if they are wrong.

Here’s Something That Will Scare The Hell Out Of You

It did me! Netflix recently released a documentary called The Social Dilemma. I watched this show and was stunned at the information that is exposed. I use the internet a lot and consider myself to be fairly up to date on data capture and the likes. I guess what stunned me is the way that information is used to point you in directions that you might not otherwise consider. Because of the way these platforms work, information that is gathered on you is not always recognizable by its true meaning. So, your suggested destinations might have nothing to do with what you are looking for. The consequence is that human curiosity can lure you into spaces that you should not go to. Most importantly, places that your children and grandchildren should not go to. If anyone is easily influenced you can imagine how catastrophic the results can be.

What Can You Do?

First, I highly recommend that you watch the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma. This link will take you to the Netflix trailer.

Second, discuss what you learned and what concerns you with the person or persons who will help you digest this information

Third, take the time to speak to your family and close friends about the results and impress on them the harm in these tactics. Encourage children to speak about what they are seeing and what concerns them. There are apps that you can download to prevent them from seeing some of the bad information out there.

The Big Picture Cure

False information and fake news are driving our world into destruction. It’s time that social media platforms be throttled by Congress and made to adhere to the same regulations any other company follows regarding the sharing of our personal information. They need to have clear, concise policies regarding the sharing of information and be held accountable for the damage that is being caused. Social media companies also need to be held accountable for “truth”.

Write to your representatives in The Senate and The House and let them know what you expect of them. Not sure how to connect with your elected representatives? Here is a link for the Senate and another for the House.

It’s time that all elected representatives understand that they work for  “We The People”.

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