Bloody Students: Social media is ruining us

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I remember a time when social media was a place to share pictures of loved ones and great events happening in our lives. And the most dramatic thing would be when one of your friend’s relationship status went from “in a relationship” to “single”.

Those days are no more. Social media is ruining us. I can’t go onto my timeline without someone ranting about something or another airing their dirty laundry. Now some would say this it’s good for people to vent but shouldn’t there be a line drawn about how much you reveal? Not everyone filters who views their posts, which is why I know what people I barely knew in high school were doing at 2am on Saturday.

It’s not just how we interact with each other that’s an issue but our perspectives in general.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, the average Joe took it upon himself to stand up and speak out about the fight against terrorists! Metaphorically speaking though.

Yes, let’s discuss what is happening in the world but in a productive manner. All people are doing is ranting on their Facebook page about “how terrible it is” or “we should bomb them all”. It’s generally big speeches you would never expect from some individuals who say something should be done. Yes, I realise I myself am ranting but really, not to the point where I’m verbally bullying someone because they have a different opinion than me.

If you think something should be done, get out from behind the computer/phone screen and do something yourself. It’s all fine and dandy saying others should do something. I think that’s pretty obvious. But if you think something should be done, get on with it then. Otherwise, please stop spouting out generic thoughts with little to no real research.

This may be the start of my pedantic journalist side coming out but I did have a discussion with a friend who was posting random Tumblr posts about the Paris attacks. One in particular stated that ISIS had released a list of cities that would be attacked next. No official source, just people re-blogging a list put on Tumblr by a random person. Others were commenting how horrible and that we should be bombing them all. I slithered my way in and asked for the source. There wasn’t one.

What I’m trying to get at here is if there’s no official source, question what you see on Tumblr, or Facebook, or Twitter or any other social media outlets. Anyone can post something online and be the “citizen journalist”. But the official media outlets will only post/publish something that is legally sound and credibly sourced.

Honestly, if a list like that had been published by ISIS, the media would have jumped on it like a shark out of water. We need to be smart on social media. Use it to discuss like the adults we are. It’s a great platform for proper discussion, but like a computer, it’s only as smart as the person programming it.

Originally posted on the Evening Times website.

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