Social media is it Toxic Bubble...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by halo_jones, Jun 26, 2016.

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  1. Social media for some it seems is becoming increasingly as vital and important as food and shelter, but is it nourishing and does it provide substance or, like the plentiful and free rabbits that the northern fur trappers of the 18th Century found to eat while hunting valuable but sparse large game, its free and easy volume lacked the proper balance to survive and thus killed them.

    No one can say that the availability and ease of use of social media is inherently good or bad, as with any device, it is how it is used and perceived. There can be no doubt that it has made for some an easy way for some to keep in touch with family and friends, it is also not easily censored or impeded by government, however instead its censor can be seen as both the platform provider with their own agendas and bias or increasingly the mob.

    The differing platforms also have differing constraint, these too are neither inherently good nor bad, although it could be said that is dependent on its intent. Is the message for confirmation bias in an echo chamber, or offering alternative analysis? Is it inviting or ask for dissenting views and comments that require, some effort and thoughtful consideration, before adding to any such debate. The 140 Character tweet is going to be used to communicate differently from pictorial or video mediums and the many sites that offer “news” content. Almost all are able to be accessed and used with differing degrees of anonymity. It has become in some cases more important to be in a “friends” that match me group rather than a circle where ideas and opinions will be questioned or challenged…

    Never before in mankind’s history has the availability of knowledge and the ability to communicate been so egalitarian or unconstrained by social or economic status, sadly though it would seem that despite this there is an increasing growing failure to be able to critically absorb and consider information, before wanting or feeling compelled to act. We have all been guilty at one time or another of rushing to the MT section to grab the Keys and Work Ticket for the Outrage Bus to perhaps try and notify or influence others to an event or issue of whatever kind…

    I am of the opinion that since the end of the “Cold War”, generation after generation across the wide sphere of a liberal western democratic and increasingly secular world, have lived in the main in a state of reasonable affluence, security and with levels of freedom that do not have an immediate individual or societal cost. Many are disconnected from a real struggle to survive, many don’t have a understanding of how todays societal models have evolved and really work, especially amongst those who are dependent on having artisan abilities, and skills, this cohort have the physical and mental resilience to work in difficult or challenging environments, and still be able to produce a tangible product to trade thus making ends meet. This is a cohort that do not need nebulous emotional rewards as much as practical and physical one.

    Insider trading is rightly illegal, because it serves those who wish to enrich themselves by unfair advantage at the expense of those, who I describe previously as being “dependent on having artisan abilities, and skills” this is a group who are broadly honest and play within the rule set that the wider society has agreed is fair and balanced, even if they dislike or disagree with some aspects of the rule set.

    This is a group that is engaged with the views and concerns of the wider world but work to maintain its own society, having a balanced view of the wider world that understands that good intentions do not always have good outcomes, and wishing something will not always make it so. This seems to me to be a faction that is decreasing amongst wider society, as learning practical skills that embraces critical thing are becoming replaced by the need to have emotional desires met regardless of its actual and practical use.

    My concerns is that there is a growth amongst those who seeks to use social media as a way manipulate markets and issues in much the way of "Cold War" classic agitprop for either personal financial or political gain, and is increasingly targeting those who lack despite having had a reasonable education, lack simple critical thinking skills. In many ways it’s the classic “Cake for all” paid for by… Anyone else rather than themselves, as they distribute the cake for their own benefit and reward. Crony capitalism is not capitalism.

    In the last 12 months there has been the much made of the power of social media to change political discourse from many with differing agendas, but all who would seek to propagate “Cake for all” at no cost, this is unsustainable and destructive theory. Some may have an ideology, some none at all, there are those who seek to want to change the world, some just want to see it burn.

    The feedback loop of pushing a button to gain some perceived reward is addictive and the any number of broad range of studies that have been undertaken in this field, has yet to discredit that theory. Likes are I believe just like rabbits that surrounded the 18th century trappers seeking there fortunes, the ease of gaining them, gives the feeling of substance, while having no long term sustenance, and eventually leading to death…

    TL ; DR… Would the use of social media for agitation and dissent be as large and as useful for those who want to push a narrative, if they had to write, on pen and paper and then post it via snail mail?
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  2. daz

    daz LE

    In most cases it's a self perpetuating circle jerk, whereby the "followers" buy into, and repeat whatever view they are currently buying into, facts, polite discourse, alternative points of view are to be ignored or ridiculed as only they are right.

    Twitter and facebook are prime examples of this, a small number of people, mainly of the left wing chattering classes spend endless hours rebroadcasting each others group think, creating endless groups & pages and then linking to and from each others pages in an effort to be seen to be right in their view - any form of challenge to the group view is howled down and the poster banned forthwith, thus the endless circle jerk continues until real life events intrude, whereby they go into collective shock wondering why the mere mortals don't share their outlook, after all, in their minds, they are right, and you've have to be a stupid bigot to disagree with them.

    You've only got to witness the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the referendum to see that.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
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  3. You mean just like arrse?
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  4. Indeed my concerns are not just the societal costs that such circle influences can cause but as i have just posted in the EU results are in thread..

    There are plenty of groups that have open agendas, they are not the ones that are directly dangerous its those who are less identifiable... That cost us all.
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  5. No Arrse merely mocks those it disagrees with - social media blocks and removes content it doesn't like - which further reinforces the idea everyone agrees with me ergo I'm right - or worse I'm the good side of the debate.
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  6. @theoriginalphantom Arrse like some of the new social media is I would say predominately read for differing reasons to say face book... and twitter.

    Its also a broad demographic of those who are still serving, and the “old and Bold”, spread across a range of ranks and experience, also it has a wide demographic of those who have no service or no connection with the forces.

    It fulfils differing needs also from informing too simple and clean (sic) shlts and giggles, for trolls and the tinfoil hatted, which is seen by most on here as sporting, and legitimate entertainment unlike some of the other mainstream social media outlets.
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  7. All pisstaking aside

    I've actually found 'social' media to be anything buy social lately. The worst coming from those who are constantly banging on about human rights, freedom of speech, how we should be more open/forgiving and such like.
    These are the people who are being utterly disgusting about the EU voting. One person who was describing exiters as '****** retards' is now threatening to remove people from her friends list if they are aggressive or rude.
    Very few have been openly responded to, which is 'proof' that the exit voters are cowards and wrong, while anyone who does dare to say anything is, of course, a racist thug.
    Social media doesn't encourage debate, it seems to currently encourage the very opposite.
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  8. @theoriginalphantom You have hit the nail on the head there, the growing imbalance between simple facts, like em or lump em, that are then displaced by feelings... ironically there is little real feeling being shown to anyone with a contrary voice or opinion...
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  9. I would like to say, also that while the present mindfcuk across social media is predominately regarding the referendum this thread is not about such a narrow subjects, more so look at the way academia has been kicked around both here in the UK and in the US, by feelings being promulgated as more important than substance or practical realities...
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  10. Certainly it can be threatening.

    If it functions as a "echo chamber" where dangerous views are normalised, deepened and not critically challenged thenot it can be a powerfullyear dangerous force.

    It can become a "virtual baying mob" where the virtual world can cause real harm in the real world, enabling stalking or bullying.

    Data accumulation via social media can be a powerful exercise in marketing (or soft surveillance).

    But it can spread ideas, empower marginalised and preserve knowledge.

    It is a wonderful human achievement, flawed in our own image.
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  11. I dont do social media (unless arrse is social media?) - I find I'm happier
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  12. In her case, I would identify myself as a ****** retard, and request removal..
    Perhaps the most incisive thing I have read of late.
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  13. Agree. Social media is surely not truly social per se: it creates a false sense of intimacy (and even a spurious feeling of privacy within the involved gaggle) which the naive are encouraged to believe automatically converts into face to face friendship. In practice it can't, being a different medium of relationship, like penpals V colleagues. Few 'get' that even after prolonged exchanges, any face to face meeting requires a restart and change of tempo to the relationship. That mistaken view of what actually constitutes social contacts / acquaintances / friends, just feeds the vacuous meeping that passes in many cases for interaction.
    Mind you, it is interesting watching the present useful reversion as some encourage a little calm, patience and sense instead of panic and viral whiffle.
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  14. Indeed I hope that my opening thoughts express its not the means its how it is used and that there should always be the encouragement of some dissenting views, to ensure that it is not an echo chamber...
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  15. *scratches head, picks nose, scratches arse, nods and goes back to building blocks*
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