Social networks were supposed to bring us closer to each other. But are there some bad things about social networking? On the contrary, they divide our society and they change our thinking. Created with good intention, today these social networks become more and more harmful that it is essential for us to tame their monster.
We are all deeply affected by new technologies. Many of you have a Facebook page, as well as a Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat account or more. We take computers and social networks for granted as if they had always existed. Our world has changed in 30 years!
The Internet is an encyclopedia in which information is easily accessible. Ask a question to your smartphone and a synthetic voice will answer you a few seconds later. The children can now give orders to Alexa and Cortana: “Alexa, clean my room” or “Cortana, turn on the light. “
The benefits of these new technologies, gadgets, and software are obvious, but are there any gaps in our digital world? Some authorities think yes and they sound the alarm. For example, there are concerns about privacy. How much is our private life sold and to whom? Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others are we spying on? Who could hack the alarm of our house? But fears go further. What is the impact of this new world on ourselves and where are we headed? Internet, social networks and electronic devices that make this possible change the way we spend our time, our communication and our relationships with others.
Take for example “voice assistants” like Alexa. Some public officials fear that young children will find it hard to tell the difference between real and imagined people. They have fears about their communication skills. Who teaches them to say please and thank you? Who controls the tone of voice and attitude? Are we training our children to become tyrannical – “aggressive users” of “friendly” devices? Will they behave the same way with other people?
Moreover, will Alexa or Cortana replace God in their life? Imagine: “Alexa asks Meditation Studio to broadcast a meditation. Your child will hear this kind of response: “Slow breathing is a yoga practice that increases the level of oxygen in your brain and eliminates toxins, reduces stress, boosts the immune system, and strengthens the lungs. the heart. It may seem innocent, but is it really? Is it just relaxing or does it open the door to Hindu practices and ideas about meditation?
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The Impact of Social Networks on Everday Life from a Psychological and a Sociological Approach
By (author) Marc S Busch
Bad Things About Social Networking: Unexpected Consequences
These fears may seem too reactionary to you, but some of the biggest names in the digital industry are now expressing their concern about the direction in which they have taken us. Since everything happened so quickly, we should think about the following truth: it has had unintended consequences. While some social media entrepreneurs continue to raise money, others are worried about the monsters they personally helped create. Their fears concern society in general and children in particular.
Perhaps it is time to ask yourself the following questions: What is the impact of social networks and new technologies on my family and myself? The road is beautiful, but where does it lead me?
In a recent Russia Today article entitled “Studies show that cell phone addiction can damage brain chemistry“, we read that “scientists from Korea University discovered that teenagers who use their mobile devices obsessively had higher scores on standardized tests for detecting mental disorders. This study measured the impact of the Internet and smartphones on daily routine, social life, productivity, sleep patterns, and emotions. The same source reports that “46% of Americans [say] cannot live without their smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center study. Scientists are increasingly looking into the disruption of the glutamate / GABA-glutamine cycle because of the variety of conditions and neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism “(RT.com, December 14, 2017).
Of course, it is hyperbole to say “cannot live without their smartphone”, but it shows the dependence generated by these devices and their importance in the lives of far too many people. To call them “addictive” is not an exaggeration. Some creators and leaders of social networks admit it now. Significant players in Silicon Valley send warning signals. Sean Parker may not be as famous as Mark Zuckerberg, but his influence affects every Facebook user.
Bad Things About Social Networking: Living with Regrets
Parker is a “giant” of social networks. According to his report written on Biography.com, “a darling of the technological world. After a hacker debut as a teenager, Parker showed his early genius as a co-founder of the Napster file-sharing service. Later, he was the first director of Facebook. He has a fortune estimated at over $ 2 billion. “
Parker recently alerted about the dangers and damage to culture and individuals from platforms like Facebook and Twitter. At the end of 2017, he explained how Facebook was deliberately designed to provoke an addiction among its users: “The idea behind the creation of these mechanisms, Facebook in mind […] was:” How can we capture as much of your time as possible? and your attention? “This means that we must regularly give you a bit of dopamine, such as when a user likes or comments on one of your photos, or a message, or anything else […] That’s a loop of validation and social recognition […] exactly what I was looking for as a hacker, because you exploit a vulnerability of human psychology. The inventors, the creators – it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Keven Systrom with Instagram, these are all those people – we were aware of all that and we did it anyway ” (Axios.com, November 9, 2017).
Earlier in the interview, Parker also admitted, “I do not know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying [by promoting social networks], because of the unexpected consequences of a network when it grows to one or two billion people and […] literally changes your relationship with society, with others […] It probably interferes with productivity in a strange way. Only God knows how it affects the brains of our children “(ibid.).
Evan Williams is another “giant” of social networks. He is the co-creator of Blogger and one of the founders of Twitter, of which he is the main shareholder – these are not small references. An article in the New York Times described him as “a man who opened Pandora’s box” saying, “Before him, people had few places to express their overflowing emotions and their wildest opinions, unless to write a letter to a newspaper or to harangue one’s neighbors. To the question of where this leads us, he replied, “I think the Internet is out of whack.” That’s his opinion for several years now, but the situation is getting worse. “And more and more people are realizing it’s out of order” “(NYTimes.com, May 20, 2017).
The article goes on to say that “people are using Facebook to stage suicides, beatings, and murders, in real time. Twitter is a landmark of trolls [controversies created voluntarily] and abuse that seem impossible to stop. The fake news is everywhere, whether they are launched by ideology or profit. “
Evan has been there. He is considered a successful person, but is he really happy? “After glory and fortune come regrets. Mr. Williams is trying to fix what he can. Just like Google, Facebook and even Twitter in some ways. It’s time for patches and promises. As Mr. Williams says, the problem with the Internet is that it rewards extremes. For example, if you are driving and you see an accident, it is obvious that you are going to watch. Everyone will watch. The Internet interprets this behavior by saying that everyone asks to see car accidents and tries to provide them with it. Evan Williams also acknowledges, “I thought that once everyone could talk freely, exchange information and ideas, the world would automatically be more enjoyable. I was wrong “(ibid.).
The Loss of Freedom of Expression
Internet in general and social networks, in particular, are reputed to be a space of free speech. But it’s a myth because of bad things on social networking. The leaders of Silicon Valley are known to be among the most liberal people and they change the world according to their vision, by means of politically correct. Young millennials repeat the ideas launched by liberal professors at the university. This provoked a brutal reaction from those who see their country lose its identity and its historical values. This backlash can take the form of neo-Nazi or supremacist hate speech. And this “justifies” attempts to suppress any idea that could be a call to hatred.
Incitement to hatred actually exists and should be condemned by anyone with common sense, but there is another problem: exactly how to define incitement to hatred? It’s not as easy as it sounds, because not everyone has the same definition. Sometimes, what the intolerant left calls incitement to hatred is nothing more than a politically incorrect difference of opinion.
Opponents of abortion, who sincerely believe it is murder and who defend the most vulnerable humans, are portrayed as fascists spreading hatred. However, those who boast of being pro-abortion, supporting the dismemberment of small children and sucking them out of their mothers’ womb, are never equated with a “hate propaganda group”. If anyone does not like this description of abortion, you must do it! Open your eyes because that’s exactly how it happens in the majority of cases. Why is telling the truth “hate”?
However, because of genuine hate speech that tries to exacerbate violence between people, as well as fake news and vulgar talk, it is understandable that there is a general demand to monitor and erase such messages on social networks and the Internet in general. In 2017, Google employed 10,000 people just for that.
Twitter has just followed suit: “The changes announced last month [November 2017] have expanded Twitter’s” hate-driving policy “to permanently suspend an account […] that would broadcast” violent threats, racist and sexist insults, labels and clichés, fear-provoking behavior, or any other degrading content. “[…] Hateful imagery is now governed by the” Twitter Content Policy “, which includes” logos, symbols or images the purpose of which is to encourage hostility and malice against others on the basis of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin/nationality “. These policies apply “on and off the platform” “(FoxNews.com, December 18, 2017;” Rules and Policies “, Twitter.com).
Do you see the danger? How will they define “sexist clichés”, incitement to fear or “degrading a person” content? How will they determine what would encourage hostility to a religion or sexual orientation? Given the political correctness, the micro-aggression and the ease with which liberal university professors convince their students that they should feel offended, do not we see where all this leads us?
If you have doubts about this intolerant trend and the growing censorship of legitimate content, read the following PragerU example (informative videos from conservative media “Prager University”) on YouTube. This channel has had so many videos stuck on this platform that it sued Google (the owner of YouTube) in 2017. Those who know PragerU know that they do not violate the bans put in place by Google. Their videos do not contain dangerous words, nudity or sexual content. They do not use violent or explicit content. They respect copyrights, avoid spam, misleading metadata and fraud, and do nothing to put children at risk.
In PragerU’s press release announcing the lawsuit filed against Google and YouTube, they quoted former California governor Pete Wilson as saying: “It is pure and simple an infringement of freedom of expression, a censorship entirely based on vague ideological objections to the message or the perceived identity and political point of view of the speaker “(PragerU.com, November 2017).
Waldorf School in Silicon Valley
In 2011, the New York Times published an article about a private school in Los Altos, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley: “The technical director of eBay sends his children [to this school]. Just like employees of Silicon Valley giants, such as Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard “(October 22, 2011). With tuition fees of more than $ 17,000 a year per student in elementary school, it makes sense to expect the children of this pay elite to receive a particularly solid education. On the other hand, the surprising thing is that this Waldorf School, part of a network of 160 institutions across the United States, is staying away from new technologies – to the point that computers, tablets, and smartphones are forbidden in class!
“The main teaching aids of the school are not high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and sometimes mud. There is no computer. No screen. These are forbidden in class and the school also discourages their use at home. Across the country, schools are rushing to provide computers in every classroom and many officials say it would be foolish not to do so. But the opposite view is right at the epicenter of the digital economy, where some parents and teachers have a message to share: computers and school do not mix well “(ibid.).
As Adam Alter, a professor at New York University, explains: “It is striking to note that 75% of the children [at this Waldorf School] have high-tech executives in Silicon Valley as parents. These people who publicly extol the virtues of the products they make decisions at the same time, taking into account what they know, not to send their children to a school that uses the same technology “(BusinessInsider.com, 23). March 2017).
Toni Hassan, editor for the Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, has titled one of his articles “Facebook Rips Society, and Other Reasons Why Give Up Social Networks”. He writes, “When Chamath Palihapitiya joined Facebook in 2007, there were 50 million users. When he left four years later, there were 800 million. He was vice president for growth in the number of users. From now on, he feels immense guilt. Hassan adds: “Even though we pretended to say that there would be no bad consequences, I think we all knew, somewhere in the depths of ourselves … I think we were aware that some something bad could happen […] The validation loop, activated by dopamine, that we created is destroying the functioning of society. The absence of civilized discourse and cooperation, misinformation, false news, and this is not an American problem – it has nothing to do with the [fake] Russian commercials – it is a global problem “( SMH.com.au, December 15, 2017).
It is interesting to note that Mark Zuckerberg was studying both psychology and computer science at Harvard, but nothing in this article is intended to speak ill of him or the others. Initially, they were all very smart young people who tried to succeed in business. Some thought they could shape a better world – but there are always unintended consequences. Some are now acting out of contrition and they are trying to repair what they can. It takes courage to dare to speak as some have done. However, the Bible mentions a spiritual being whom she calls “the prince of the power of the air” who directs “the train of this world” (Ephesians 2: 2). He seduces the whole world (Revelation 12: 9).
Count the Multi-Headed Monster
Other bad things about social networking are addictions. The biggest obstacle to any change is to refuse to admit that you yourself should change. Just as alcoholic lives in denial, a person addicted to one or more social networks will generally refuse to accept his addiction. Others readily admit that they have developed an addiction, but they do not see anything wrong with it. As we have shown in this article, some individuals who have contributed to the creation of these technologies and platforms think that they represent a big problem. As Sean Parker said, “Only God knows how it affects the brains of our children. “
Social networks have become a multi-headed monster that cannot be tamed in our world. There is the head of addiction, the head of misinformation through fake news, the head destroying the communication viva voce, the head of physical inactivity, as well as the heads of violence, vulgarity and hate speech. At the same time, we have our heads censoring legitimate thoughts. This article will not stop the crazy race of these media, but we want to encourage you to tame this monster in your home.
The first step is to face the reality of the problem. We want to be in touch with our children, our grandchildren, our parents, our uncles, and our aunts. We like to see pictures of them and find out what they did last week, but we have to control this usage, as was the case for television before social networks. We must remember that this technology was created with the aim of “capturing as much of our time and attention as possible … This means that we must regularly give you a little dopamine […] It’s a loop validation and social recognition. Maybe you do not understand exactly how it works, but more than one social platform creator recognizes that this was their main goal from the beginning. We would be better off accepting their confession!
Once you have identified the problem, you will have to agree to admit that you may have fallen into the trap. Only then can you control the problem. Once you admit it, you will be able to act. Set rules for yourself and your family to tame this monster. Here are some suggestions on how to avoid bad things regarding social networking:
– “Unhook” social networks and devices connected during meals – put them in another room!
– Set daily time limits and stick to them.
– Rate every minute you spend on social networks.
– Never send text messages and never visit social networks when you are in the company of someone – it’s rude!
– Ban the touch screens and never send text messages while driving!
– Disconnect one day a week.
– Disconnect when playing a sport or a hobby.
The Bible also gives a wise counsel: “All is permitted, but all is not useful; all things are permitted, but not everything is built up “(1 Corinthians 10:23), and again:” All things are permitted unto me, but I will not be subdued by anything “(1 Corinthians 6:12). Take things in hand! Beat this monster!
Note: Source – This article is from an article written by Gerald Weston in a journal published in May-June 2018.