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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Social Media Empowerment Abuse Is Dangerous


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The effective dissemination of information also lies greatly on how our target audience discern and interpret. Many would be biased and closed-minded because their minds are already set to accept only what they believe. It is very rare for people to research for more facts because we can see a lot that are intensely reacting immediately from click-bait headlines alone and not even reading the entire article itself.

Many news outfits would deliberately put out highly controversial or sensational angles to their stories to attract a bigger audience gullible enough to be lured easily and fall victim to a provocation of either hate or dismay towards the main elements of the stories.

I know it is quite hard to avoid looking into tempting write-ups that seem to directly target our emotions and sensitivities. This is why we should delay to give our opinions or reactions so we could wait for further developments to get nearly absolute conclusions, or better yet just hold giving out our final say to the issues. Because if we are not able enough to do our own research to seek the truth among all concerned parties, we might as well postpone sharing our own thoughts, especially those that would be damaging or irreparable.

#FakeNews spread because we easily give in to our emotions. I must admit that I am guilty of it for so many times already, because most people would interpret silence as guilt. I felt the need to defend myself by freely speaking out because I have nothing to hide. But it would often get me into further trouble because my accusers would often try to bombard me with character assassination attempts. That is, they'll try to tarnish my reputation instead if they couldn't get me with the original issue. They will either dig up past mistakes, intentionally fabricate false news, or just harass me with degrading and insulting words that has nothing to do with the issues.

I'm slowly learning to work on this weakness which is something equally prominent among many. Sadly, we may have been empowered by social media and the Internet to freely speak out, but we may be abusing that freedom. People are beginning to be horribly obnoxious to the point that they are becoming senseless just to irk people. They are no longer in search of the truth and are just trying to destroy your day mainly because they just don't like you, or are more allied with their equally obnoxious friends.

Thus media, whether traditional or online, have the immense power to influence the thoughts of many. It is therefore a huge responsibility for thought leaders, influencers, story-tellers, etc., to be accurate, appropriate and complete with their content.

There's just no way to prevent ill-mannered people to get in front of the computer or their smartphones and start posting hurtful words. But it is up to many of us to discern carefully who is really on the side of truth and fairness. Honestly, when you see people ganging up and bullying someone online, you'll realize that many are just too damn excessively aggressive online, but you won't see them do that in person.

Social media has indeed empowered us but could also have made us into monsters who prey on whom they consider as not within their standards.

Again before casting the first stone, look at ourselves in the mirror and see how our devilish horns and tails have grown out of control.



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