I have often commented on how people squander the usefulness offered by social media platforms. Time and again all I see are the same bragging self-centered posts with no value (except to stalkers) to whoever is looking at them. Vacations, selfies and a by-the-numbers account of how you’re operating the flushing mechanism of the toilet while typing your status update are all interesting when done occasionally. But that kind of practice and trend are, unfortunately, the normal state of things in those platforms.
As a member of Generation X, I was one of the last batches of people who witnessed the world’s transformation to the interconnected mobile reality we currently have. There was a time when all the means we had for electronic communication was the average telephone and, in cyberspace, the steady gaining popularity of the legendary MIRC chat rooms and the iconic (but now-defunct) Friendster. Somewhere along that forward momentum up until Facebook’s inception, people just got more self-centered and too dependent on their hand-held devices.
Suddenly practices you won’t dare to do in an actual interaction with other people (like showing a photo of what you ate) for fear of being ridiculed behind your back was now the norm in the virtual space you now inhabit. Where the most infinitesimal and useless activity (“I’m eating a burger while picking my nose.”) is now shared to the rest of the world with the air of a self-congratulatory pat on the back and pride for doing so. Even grovelling (“Please follow back”, “Please like the crap I posted”.) is normal.
Buried underneath all these self-centered and narcissistic activities is the squandered opportunity to use these social media platforms as tools to make significant leaps in society in terms of sharing relatively useful information and as safeguards that call erring individuals (like public officials) out. And by “relatively useful information” that does not mean posting serious scientific, philosophical or political materials with no sense of humor. Anything that does not concern the poster will be a good alternative; between knowing what you had for breakfast or seeing the trailer you posted, one can quickly deduce which information is more useful to whoever who sees the posts.
Adding to that type of injury is the relative apathy of people to events that do not concern them. Or so they think. More than the narcissism, the most debilitating and annoying aspect of peolpe’s behavior in cyberspace is the dimissive stance they take on relatively important issues that could at least inform others had they taken the time to ‘share’ or RT-ing (retweeting) it. Maybe instead of ‘liking’, people ought to be doing more ‘sharing’. That way ideas or news that others can’t readily come across with finds another audience that will share it to their own audiences. It’s a bit frustrating when new insights, ideas, and news don’t reach new audiences despite the exponential capacity of the platform to propagate it.
If you liked it enough to ‘like’ it, then share it with others.