Some thoughts that rumbled through my head after watching the movie “Social Network.” The premise of the movie is an incredibly “viral” phenomenon (Facebook), created out of boredom, jealousy, and a juvenile prank by an incredibly talented individual. His creation has turned even the most invisible church mouse into an unabashed performer…take Shane for example: Singing in 5 Octaves. Now the cacophony ringing throughout the globe is so loud…how do you hear the REALLY IMPORTANT ideas? Syndicated television news has their “breaking news!” alerts, YouTube turns EVERYBODY into an affiliate “Eye Witness Reporter.” Just because a video or blog entry goes viral doesn’t necessarily mean that the information you’re consuming has substantial value in the grand scheme of the major topics desperately needing serious thought and action towards them: health care, the deficit, Social Security, an aging population, the public education system, identity theft, welfare, unemployment…shall I go on?
What has happened to the pedigree of “significant voices/ideas/original thought” with the onset of social media? If you reflect back even 20 years ago, good ideas and the great thinkers easily rose to notoriety and the value of their contributions were obvious. Their stories were told in newspapers, published in journals, reported on television and the talk around the water cooler. The myriad of opinions on every topic is dizzying. Are social media tools “REALLY” helping people make better informed choices, or is it a megaphone attached to the herd mentality? Does social media truly churn the wisdom of crowds or reward mediocrity?
Just like guns, and cars, social media is just another “tool” that meets a need. In the hands of the sincere and purposed, it can bring critical help to those who need assistance, companionship to the loners, and ideas to the mentally blocked. Left to the devices of the bored, the angry, the bent who choose not to take responsibility, it can bring embarrassment, shame, loss, and isolation.
With all tools, understanding how, when, and where best to employ them in our society, and for what purposes is key. I’m very interested in hearing from anyone who sees both sides of the social media debate and can provide food for thought.
Can I get a Retweet? 🙂 Cheers everyone! Good night!