Social Media: A Positive Communication Tool or a Worldwide Threat?
As the popularity of any innovation that can simplify people’s life progressively increases around the world, it is important to discuss the growing tendency of social media usage. The debatable things that usually come to one’s mind are the way social media are used and the addiction they might provoke when one starts to spend a lot of time online. Nevertheless, it is also important to mention that there are more compelling reasons why the use of social media is a noteworthy thing to consider in a more serious way. People now use it as a permanent tool of interpersonal communication, promotion of their goods, and even as an online dating service. Social media became part of people’s life strong enough to change the nature of society as well as threaten the very fact of human existence.
First of all, it should be mentioned that every person learns how to act from observing everything around him or her. The youth tends to learn from images that the world around presents to them on the daily basis. The images that might appear on the screens of electronic devices might contain different information. That content might be based on the goods, services or ideas that someone wants to offer to a wider audience, but it also might capture violent scenes like a person hurting another man or woman. On the one hand, it is important to say that modern society is threatened by the way social media dictate the way people want to look. Women are affected by images of beauty that appear in social media and try to look like those images, resulting in a rise of anorexia which is a common thing to talk about in our “new” society. Women are trying to look attractive even though it might get dangerous to their health. Moreover, there is a danger of losing one’s identity provoked by the idea that everyone has to be the same and follow specific rules to become “cool” and “interesting”, while the uniqueness of the human body and soul is the most significant thing the one can offer to the society.
On the other hand, one should also mention the destructive impact that social media have on the society that might actually threaten human population. Unfortunately, the most significant thing that information can offer is its cognitive ability to teach someone how to act in specific circumstances. Hence, sometimes one might learn something good from the Internet. For example, he or she might find out the way to bake a cake or how to repair a chair. At the same time, the Internet might also teach how to hurt people. When one is talking about negative effects of social media, it is clear that the way the information spreads there might damage one’s life. Violent games and other similar multimedia content that is promoted by the means of social media, as well as the links to different external websites that might contain different inappropriate content which might be dangerous to people with an unstable or vulnerable mind. Those people might discover that information and learn that it is the way to act in specific situations; the following confusion might provoke aggression as well as violent intentions instead of positive emotions which were the primal goal of social media. Violent behavior might become epidemic as researchers report significant changes in people’s mental activity after the usage of social media for a significant amount of time. Hence, the current level of the problem’s gravity might be less extreme than it appears, but it is important to understand that the long-term process of the “social medialization” has begun, and it cannot be predicted what would happen to the society in a decade or so. Fortunately, for now, people experience only a modest negative effect on their brain activity, whereas that might develop into something much more dangerous in the near future.
Talking about the dangerous effect of violence and related information that might be presented on the Internet, it is important to mention the way people use social media to win wars and control the masses. Unfortunately, terrorists use social media to interact and proclaim their ideology. Hence, people are trying to resist the growing tendency of the terrorist threat, but sometimes the terrorists might spot weak individuals and recruit them to the force that might be dangerous to the whole world. The severity of the situation is evident as now people are trying to fight cybercrime in different ways, and the U.S. government tries to find a way to eliminate the current level of influence of terrorist organizations. The interesting fact is that the government violates people’s privacy in order to get the needed information because the threat became even more explicit than the problems that might appear when a person claims that his or her rights were violated. That is done due to the fact that the life and rights of a terrorist are as important as the lives of hundreds or even thousands of people that he or she is willing to take away. Therefore, it is chosen to declare the need for cyber spying to seek for potential candidates that might threaten the masses. However, those terrorists started to recruit people in social media and people are using these online platforms in order to proclaim death and suffering which is a potential threat to the humanity. This easy way to transfer information made terrorists more organized; so, more people are in danger nowadays. Moreover, people’s privacy is violated due to the fact that the threat became too dire and is spreading rapidly so that the government has to intervene and solve the issue. Furthermore, the growth of social media triggered that danger to the extent that it cannot be predicted what will happen in the years to come. The potential threat that might appear within social media is currently unmanageable; so, the society might be in an impending danger of death of millions of people. Terrorism might become a common thing considering the fact that people learn from social media and get more violent as it was mentioned previously. All these things combined might provoke worldwide violence as well as make violence an ordinary thing for everyone. That could be the end of the human race if that situation occurred in the long run.
Considering the possible disastrous outcome, tt is important to drive the public’s attention to the criminal cyber activity in order to keep track of everything the terrorist organizations do and influence the way people absorb the related information. That can be used in both negative and positive ways. People can learn something good from social media and discover interesting information from online classes or articles. At the same time, violence and the will to gain power are the traits typical of mankind. Therefore, terrorists use them as their weapon to recruit people, while the government officials and other organizations use that for propaganda. The strong influence of social media can be evident in its power to control the masses and provoke worldwide response. Some cases of the demonstrations which were triggered by specific social media posts and the way they impact the informational war between countries are presented in the article by T. Mayfield A Commander’s Strategy for Social Media where the author states that the only way to fight the opponent is to be equipped with the same tools as the opponent uses. It is very important to monitor the use of social media due to the fact that history attests to many times when one side lost to the other just because they did not pay attention to the means of information warfare. Governments failed as dictators regained power by simply using social media as a tool to control people’s way of thinking. Unfortunately, people are vulnerable to things they absorb on the Internet, and social media made it easier for people to deliver information to the masses, despite the fact that this information can be invalid and violent.
To summarize the issue, it should be mentioned that social media usage became a threat to the whole humanity due to the fact that people use it in a wrong way. Nowadays, people try to use social media to win wars, regain power, recruit terrorists, violate privacy, and teach innocent people wrong things. Unfortunately, a tool that was once created to help people, has become a worldwide threat that cannot be stopped in its growth. The only fact that is evident for people all around the world is that social media’s impact will grow, and it is impossible to predict the extent to which it will develop in the near future and the way humanity will be affected by that change. However, considering all the previously mentioned facts, it is possible to state that social media’s impact will get only worse, thus the misuse of this service has to be stopped at any cost.