Thursday, September 26, 2013

Social media is useless and dangerous?

Social media detractors focus on the negatives. They remind me of newspapers printing stories about car crashes.

And keep this in mind, 32,000 people died in the US in car crashes in 2011. So car crash deaths are serious, ongoing and devastating, and at about that level since the early 1930's.

But social media isn't as dangerous as that, is it?

No, not yet! But there are lesser dangers about cars, which remind me of stories about social media.

Stories about the amount of time being wasted driving around in cars, and the danger of sexual adventures in the back seats and the people who die after being kidnapped hitch-hiking.

You don't often see stories about how useful cars are, do you?

Similarly, social media could be attacked as being useless, because of the amount of time being wasted on it (billions of hours a day), the lack of real return on this investment in most cases and the dangers of meeting psychopaths.

And social media murders are becoming common. Women get murdered by people they meet online. Not often, but it's increasing. That's scary. And you can't say it would have happened anyway, because that's simply not true. The online world provides opportunity for predators.

Does this mean we are going to stop driving cars and using social media? Yeah, right!

But it does mean that you'll see more stories about its dangers. And someone will start tracking the deaths due to social media soon, I am sure.

And I don't expect people who are against social media to change, nor should you. The people who wanted us to go back to the horse and buggy didn't change their minds, they simply retired, got fired or died off. There's no holding this wave of change back. The dangers and the lack or practical benefits for many are simply swept away in the billions of conversations, the redrawing of relationships and the laughter at funny cats.

We are human. We are social. We are social media.

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