Nowadays social media and social networks are a fantastic way to express to anyone anywhere round the world. Whether it is a Facebook status, writing on walls, sharing your photos, tweeting via Twitter, etc all are the extensions of you and your personality. They portray your interests, your views and show people of who you are. They give you a platform to be yourself, to be creative, or to be whomsoever you want to be and most importantly, having an audience for all of this.
It is absolutely not like the real world where manners and social etiquette are restrictive and limiting. People are now much very comfortable communicating via the social networks. They get a broader sense of freedom for expressing and speech when using online networks. Of course abusive language and morphed content should be avoided as it can hurt any one’s sentiments. Content uploaded can be monitored and can be removed but with million of users on websites such as Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube, it is not possible for every single status or photo that can be evaluated or controlled completely. This has arguably lead to a rise in expressions, feelings and ideas from people who otherwise find hard to portray themselves like how they would be in person or face to face with other people.
Social media has a great impact on us. It has changed the way we think, behave and present our selves not only in groups but also in society, and towards each other.
Let us have a look on the possible consequences of this new found, or rather newly perceived, freedom of speech and expression?
Internet gives a great way of communicating and expressing without having the feeling of self consciousness or nervousness for people who find it difficult to interact with others in person. Everyone has a right to say what they think and feel and so this is a good way for those who are less confident to take their stand. When someone feels happy and comfortable, they express themselves more passionately and may even gain a wide audience which otherwise might have been difficult to achieve. If you find hard to talk in front of hundreds of people, you are given the best option to be outspoken by simply sitting at your home behind a screen and write or talk about your topics and still get the audience.
Whether it is used for personal use or business, such as marketing, you can get your news and views out there. It is just as equal to conference room or even more effective than it. The power of the re-tweet or Like buttons should not be tempered. This means that the story or a view of a shy individual can reach a larger audience than it might would have happened if they were stood up in front of you making this type of media particularly effective.
Social media helps you to be yourself and also invokes confidence to those who need it. This is because you are not facing personal and intimate criticism or nerves because you do not have to see anyone who may be critical about you. Healthy comments can inspire healthy debate as you have time to compose yourself, whereas, people criticizing you in person can be difficult to be faced, causing you to panic and be defensive. Everyone should have some self confidence in themselves and their beliefs. Social networking can help you to interact, inspire and educate people in this.
This level of freedom definitely has its draw backs.
People with stronger fundamentals or morally more questionable views than your average can cause stirs and discomfort. As people have the right to believe and express whatever they want. At times there are people with more extreme views, as they attack other people (sexism, racism for example), that offense can be taken and problems begin.
Social media on a personal aspect can be used for internet bullying and victimizing. It gives people the opportunity to upset others and gossip for 24/7 nonstop. Online bullying is a serious problem and should not be over looked or ignored. For example the victims of being bullied at school, is likely to go home and escape and not sign into their computer to be faced with more endless hurtful words.
A Rock And A Hard Place
Social media is a boon. Your intentions in using the social media can be used to make or break a business or any relationship in person. It can also make or break a person’s self confidence. The truth is, the moral problems about freedom and expression in real life, is now applied to the virtual world. It’s liberal to be good for people to express and find themselves. It is also liberal enough to provide a soap box for less appropriate beliefs.