SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE TINY LINE BETWEEN OPPRESS AND BEING OPPRESSED BY WORDS
“Social media spark a revelation that we, the people, have a voice, and through the democratization of content and ideas we can once again unite around common passions, inspire movements, and ignite change.”
― Brian Solis
I have a twitter. Yes, you can find me on Facebook, no I am not active on Instagram but if you want, we can connect on LinkedIn. In the meantime, I will send you a you tube link on your e-mail and then you are able to put me in your Google+ contacts. About everything else, we can talk on Skype, because I am not so sure how my cell data could enable perfect connection for Viber or WhatsApp calls. Welcome to the new digital era, if you are not active on social channels and you do not effectively use Internet tools, I am sorry I have to inform you that, according to the new cruel informative age, you don’t exist.
The history of social media is longer than life of Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn.It has origin in famous AOL network (America online) which was the world within Internet world. The users of AOL have made their own social web communities, share interests and keep pushing cyber universe to become more personal. In the mid – 1990s,there were an army of potential social platforms, like Yahoo,Clasmates, SixDegrees and all of them offered some kind of social networking and connecting, based on personal or professional interests.
But, with 2002 has been started the modern age of social networking, first with Friendster, which was some kind of simple Facebook.After that, in 2003 LinkedIn has brought new way of understanding social networking through the sober and professional approaching.LinkedIn has had a goal to find and unite all professionals and to keep them in that digital union and enable them a good base for sharing business interests and possible cooperation. Somehow, LinkedIn became very popular and boasts more than 297 million users. In the same year, MySpace launched his social platform but it was interesting only to relatively young population with typical adolescent’s topic and never got even the similar popularity which has achieved Facebook, born in 2007.Facebook has everything what is requested on digital market and it is something between social connecting site with dating possibilities, potential to has a business side, borrowed from LinkedIn connections, and it upgrades it with permanent new products to hold users and to get more of them. Facebook obtained to be a personal brand of any individual, almost like an ID number. Encouraging people to participate in Facebook world, it enables them to play games, make quizzes, share photos or videos, discuss many issues and to change governments through the cuber revolution. Facebook was a response to all people. Easy for use, with big range. The success was expected. Twitter was created in the meantime, in 2006 and it was more like a “SMS of Internet” , echo of population and its voice on the current world’s problem.Google+ came out also in 2007 with plans to make up failures of Facebook and to bring new mobile friendly applications, but after a while the whole set of social media has the same goal and the same technical capability. The person is now divided among so many digital platforms that sometimes it seems like cyber life updated the real life.
Behind these plastic descriptions of new social spirit of Internet, there is something more serious. The psychological meaning of those media in the time of absolute global changes. I am not referring to the exposing of private life to the corporate misuse of interests and photos of people for selling social media space for further advertising but also to the manipulation through the social media and networking, orchestrated from one center with the purpose to shape the worldwide common sense, to increase it, reduce it or simply to eliminate it. The theories of psychological warfare through media are very well known and we cant deny that “there is something true about it”. Add to this the new unleashed, discovered world of cyber information and controlling how, where and for what they will be shared. The good thing about existence of social media is that they are free, available and opened.You can use them and share your views and you can discuss them. You can inform yourself or you can inform others. The old good standard media became outdated, especially now when we have thousands of possible channels, to feed our hunger for information. Someone said:“In the age of information, the ignorance is a choice.” Very well stated. You use social media, you must be informed and you are informed. The question is: How are you informed? When you have misinformation or semi-information it makes you looking more like learned fool than like an ignorant fool.In both cases, you are a fool. Where there are so many sources, there are also so many false facts. People who use information on social media have to take care of it, because they could be so easily trapped into serving wrong things in right times or right things in wrong times. On the social platforms, everyone can bring news and everyone can bring fake news without any responsibility. That is only one problem. The second problem finds itself in the constant tensions between governments and opponents. For governments, social media are still more useful than mischievously because they measure the relation of news pro and news against and they have methods of making that proportion works perfectly for them. It is enough to make some social media spin doctor to share what they want to be shared and in one or two days, the whole Internet universe will be signing the song the governments or the powerful centers want.Kevin Coleman writes about it:“With over 3 billion people now connected to the Internet worldwide, well-designed propaganda campaigns are being launched and waged to win the hearts and minds of millions. That fertile ground is what has attracted nation-states, virtual-states, activists, criminal organizations and terrorists to leverage social media and the Internet to further their causes. These groups have realized that this is not a ‘throw it up and see what sticks.’ No, they create well thought-out postings that result in psychological effects on its intended targets. The influence and impacts these campaigns have should not be underestimated.” Absolutely it shouldn’t be underestimated because this psychological way of control the global public is not a new one but it is adjusted now to the changes and the challenge of Internet. Business people, politicians, government workers, celebrities, human rights activists, sportsmen, journalists, despair housewives and nasty children….they are all there and they are all someone who has something to say to someone else, to the world. We count on them. But we also have to count on malign voices of social media, sexual predators, serial killers, terrorists. They also use social media heaven. Many of them misuse it for their own psycho pathological purposes. The Birmingham University criminologists made a study which shows that many killers use the social media to stalk the prey. They believe that so called “Facebook murders” happens very often and that 26 of 46 happened in the UK. Predators are very active on social media but they know how to deal with their dark fantasies so they easily realize their brutality, using the advantage of “exposed target”. Regarding the terrorism, it is a similar story. The global cyber world is trying to remove terrorist propaganda or at least to remove it in dark web, but the process is not so easy. Terrorists are skilled to use platforms, to announce themselves and to attract new supporters. For example, the Islamic State makes 100.000 per day from different accounts and no matter how fast Twitter suspend it or eliminate it, the tweet was sent and someone was got it.
Instead of chasing the real cyber monsters and destroying their voices in public, it seems that social media authorities are taking care more of political correctness among users. I agree that there must be a set of terms what should be accepted and respected by members but in the same time, expecting that everyone will follow the limitations in expression to not offend this or that, sound infantile and makes me think that social media burn themselves alive building such a policy. If they want to ensure security, they must reduce freedom, even freedom of speech because there is always an info capable to destroy the security we know. If they want to support freedom, they must count that freedom of speech will move security from the pedestal of concern. They cant favor the both of them without pushing one against another.The same is with people. They are divided for years and in digital world they are divided even more. Because aligning in social media is faster and stronger than anywhere else. Or you are with me or your are against me. No possibility to be in between. I don’t want opportunists . No one want them. Even social media benefits on those who divide themselves between being right when government is wrong and being wrong when government is right.
The worst category is one which consists of those who don’t have any attitude but they always attack others for having attitudes. They do not know what they want but they don’t want that you want what you want. Sounds complicated but it is a reality. I call them social media grey mouses. They are almost like some kind of political correctness police.They do not have anything to stand up for but they will stand up against you for tweeting that you like more beef than chicken. Then they will find the offense in your words because you chose what is the best for you. They teach you what you should say or shouldn’t say although they have nothing to say. Their social media purpose is to offend others because they feel offended, Typical reaction of people with inferior complex who mask it into concern for everything but nothing really.
Social media are the powerful tool of those who want to rule and also of those who want to resists being ruled. Great mouses are somewhere between oppress and being oppressed. Invisible but pretty much boring. Smart people always say:”The lion doesn’t lose a sleep over the opinion of sheep”. Stand up for what you have to say and be someone in social media universe because if you don’t shape your positions in life, no one else will do that for you but someone else will do that against you.