How Social Media Has Created Problems Vs. Solved Them


Section 1: Social Media is Toxic

We have been here before, of course, but with a very different approach to technology. Before the internet and smartphones and all the rest, it was easy to single out just a handful of communities and individuals as the cause of all of humanity's problems. The nation, maybe, the city, maybe just one neighborhood. What is different about today is that our filter bubbles have expanded enormously, and our beliefs about everyone's relative morality have expanded dramatically, as well. But how bad is it? I'm going to review six articles that answer that question. The first of these is actually the title of this article, but because it has appeared as a feature on The Atlantic, it will stand on its own.

Social Media is Killing Us

The Summer of 2017 has been an unforgettable one in which I have woken up every day to see new things happening around me. Let me highlight just a few of these things:

I saw a massive protest called #ResistTrumpTuesdays (obviously it's a no-brainer that I think is great). I also saw celebrities and fans band together to protest about racism. People are making the case that it is too easy to create parody accounts online, which is another thing that seems to be going awry online. A lot of us are more exposed than ever to the stories of people all around the world. We're actually seeing some sort of global growth of tourism in 2017. Honestly, I think that is something I have never thought could actually happen.

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Why I'm Done with Social Media

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Users can't distinguish between fake and real people. You've created a social media echo chamber that does not foster civic discussion.

Remember the adage that one person's "fake news" is another person's opinion or fact. That's still true in 2018. But we've seen social media disrupt more than just traditional media: It's helped to poison discourse.

Of all the social platforms, Twitter is the one where my focus has been. I have roughly 3,200 tweets and have changed my username a bunch of times (I'm a bit paranoid) to avoid having to add more personal information each time.

Along the way, I discovered a few surprising things about Twitter. Among them:

The greatest number of people — by far — is for Trump.


When I first started going to stores, I wasn't sure what to expect. What is a digital conference? What is it about? I figured it would be a bunch of old people talking about the heyday of the Internet. However, when I first met the Chamonix crew at my first event, I was impressed. I didn't expect to see that many young people in that environment.

This was a group of journalists, filmmakers, and photographers with a clear vision and a high motivation to help change the world, as they saw it. They met and bonded over talking about our shared passion, and it's almost like they've adopted me as a younger sibling or someone who's got an important message to share. And through that group, I've been able to share this message, as we've attended conferences and events all over the world.

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