Thursday, December 27, 2018

Struggling With Whether To Delete Your Social Media Account? Think About It.

As many of us struggle with what to do or not with respect to social media in general, or whether to delete Facebook in particular, Tokyo Rose comes to mind.

During WWII, radio was the medium which conveyed Tokyo Rose's message of disinformation. Radio was also the means of conveying messages of hope and support to those in occupied territories. In the case of Tokyo Rose, it wasn't the medium per se that would do the harm to the Allies, it was the message and the motive behind that message.

And so it is with social media today. Motive matters. As we struggle with which medium to use or not, which to delete or not, why we chose a certain medium and what we want to say or share are important. 

When we acknowledge the why and the what, we can make informed as opposed to knee-jerk decisions. We can think mindfully about our choices and in doing so take back the control that technology has in many cases been designed to take from us.

For some of us Facebook is the only practical means that we have found to keep in touch with our families overseas. And that's OK and not a need for constant mental self-flagellation. Like with radio, we can chose where we want to tune in and where to tune out. We can unfollow the people whose posts we no longer want to see and chose to have posts from friends and family first in our feed. 

Instead of a filter bubble determined by a profit-minded AI in an algorithm, we can create our own walled mental gardens of nature, music and puppies, or not. Both choices are valid for each of us. What is important is that we shine the light of independent thought into the darkness that social media can sometimes become. That we think and then we choose.