Social Media as a Tool

Social media has become such a big part of the lives of people of all ages. It is no secret that there are many times when social media users lack civility in their posts or comments. It is important for social media users to be aware of other people using these platforms and how their words can effect others. It is important when you see an unkind or disrespectful comment or post on social media to advocate for civility without adding to the problem. When reacting to posts it is important to take a second to think about what to say. Users can influence social media in a positive way by using it as a tool to advocate for change. When you see a disrespectful comment or post it is easy to attack the author of the post; however, to be productive and civil one must not try to fix hate with hate. It is important to be clear and concise and shut down any negativity towards a controversial issue or debate.

A simple way that social media users can advocate for increased civility is using their own platforms to demonstrate how to use social media in a positive way. Users can also use their voices on social media to stand up for what they believe in; however, it is important to be considerate and use the right tone when posting. It is vital for social media citizens when posed with a comment or post that is not civil to not feed the fire with comments that add to the problem. One must address the situation with respect for both parties and their opinions because if not they can anger people even more which can make the situation worse. It is just a rule of thumb to be respectful and make sure that your post or comments are civil. Social media users should not go straight to attacking each other for their beliefs or ideas. When this changes and people are more respectful and civil on social media the dynamic of the the platform with become more positive.


Do you tell the truth?

Imagine you play field hockey for your high school team. The team has had an undefeated season and are now going to the championships. Your team has worked so hard for this and every practice counts. As the game gets closer practices get more intense and the coaches start to say playing time with be dependent on how hard you work at practice. One afternoon before practice, your teammate walks up to you and she asks you to tell coach that she is sick and needs to go home. However, she is not sick and soon you see her post a picture of her and her friends on the beach. You walk over to practice and your coach and teammates look at you and ask where she is. Do you tell the white lie she told you to say or do you be honest and upfront with the rest of the team? What would you do?

This ethical dilemma can be hard to deal with for many people. It deals with the tensions between truth and loyalty. When making this decision many people would view it as your loyalty to that one person versus telling the truth. A good way to look at ethical dilemmas is the SAD model. It is an approach to critical thinking in moral reasoning and consists of the situation, analysis and decision. The situation consists of facts and background information. In the example above the facts would be that your friend and teammate wanted you to lie to the rest of the team to get out of practice. Practices are very serious to your team’s position in the season and it can determine play time. Is it ethical to lie for your friend so she does not get in trouble or is it ethical to tell the truth. The next step is the analysis of the situation. This consists of a pro-con discussion and talk about the stakeholders or the people who will be impacted by the consequences. The pros of telling the lie for your friend could be that she will not get in trouble by the coach and will get to come back to practice like nothing happened. However, your team will suffer in the long hall. The team is only as strong as the weakest link on the field and it is important for a team to play with each other as a team to get ready for a big game. Your teammate might also take this as an open invitation to act sick more often. Also what if after practice ends everyone sees the picture on her social media then it might come back on you for not telling the truth. Finally it’s decision time. All eyes are on you what are you going to say to the team?


Expressing Your Identity

Chapter three of Kidd’s Social Media Freaks talks about the pros and cons that social media has on the LGBT community. This has become a major topic in society today. Many people have opposing ideas and it can be difficult for many people to express themselves. In Chapter three Kidd explains the story of a Brendan Jordan. His social media rise to fame all started with him dancing behind a news reporter at an opening of a new mall. The video went viral and soon Brendan was on talk shows. He then used what seemed to be just 15 minutes of fame to his advantage by calling out Lady Gaga as his inspiration. Gaga then went on to shout him out and following that Brendan began a twitter, YouTube, Vine, Tumbler, and Facebook accounts. He then posted a video entitled BRENDAN JORDAN- ARE YOU GAY?  This video went viral and allowed Brendan to express himself and come out to the world.  He used his platform to give others the confidence to feel comfortable with being apologetically themselves. This was definitely a positive effect of social media and the LGBT community. It allows people to express themselves and support others who are going through the same thing on a mass scale.

However, this also allows for negative responses. Social allows people to express themselves positively or negatively. Many people choose to use social media as a way to tear people down and hide behind their screens while leaving negative and mean comments. Social media allows for harassment of others and their identity. This is very prominent on posts or videos that go viral because more people see it allowing for more hateful comments. This is a hug problem in the LGBT community on social media. In an article looked at this week in class the eye opening statistics of which groups were targeted the most for online harassment on social media were looked at. 63% of the LGBT community were targeted because of their identity. The next highest were Muslims at 35%. Why is the LGBT community targeted so much higher than any other group online?

This can also be related to the mindful listening that was discussed in class this past week. Many people do not use mindful listening when reacting to things on social media or in communication with others with opposing ideas. Many people do not respect the ideas of others and are quick to react to things and hide behind the screen so they are not able to have the repercussions of their actions. It is important for us as social media citizens to respect others online even if we do not agree with their actions or beliefs.

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