Essay

Tuesday 31 of march 2021

Asocialising Media

The relevance of technology in human development is undeniable. We are evolving towards a system governed by technological advances aimed at satisfying our needs and increasing the durability of our lives. But in this utopian dimension of the world we inhabit, the boundaries between the benign and the malignant blur in the face of our inability to stop and observe. A virus, imperceptible in the grandiosity of consumer anxiety, advances invisibly and stealthily, infecting every nook and cranny of our environment. That virus is the social networks, the end product of the great technological revolution of the 20th century, the Internet.

Lost in cyberspace, we are heading headlong towards the total industrialisation and commodification of human relations. We cannot underestimate the transcendence of technologies, but we must relativise their importance, remembering that they are nothing more than a support for carrying out the real actions that characterise our species.

Today, social networks are still the only tool we have to get in touch with another person or entity when our links are weak. However, any connection is now possible, and the market has taken over this instrument; therefore, we are facing a truly destabilising paradigm that scales from the personal to the global.

An infinite number of malign phantom factors govern this system. The statistics are clear and precise, and the reality is that we spend an average of 4 hours a day on our social networks (we understand by network any application that is included within the social spectrum; the classic ones + Twitch, Streammings, etc); if we add to this 8 hours of work and 8 hours of sleep... we are left with only 4 hours a day of effective life. On the other hand, if we add to this the fact that less than 15% of all users obtain a real benefit from the networks, we are talking about 3,000 million people wasting their time in this virtual universe.

However, with these data we are only swimming on the surface of the adverse effects of this system. The threshold of negativity of networks is really wide to any effect.

As a modus operandi, social networks are nourished by the content that users generate, which leads us directly to the maxim that networks exist solely and exclusively because of the content generated by users; in other words, even if this content is of low quality, thanks to it, the social network will continue to exist and extend its dimensions. And this sums up the huge problem that this entails. Given that social networks already cover the entire internet, this content, by extension, becomes knowledge for the population; mediocre knowledge that will spread globally as refuted; and this unfounded knowledge becomes culture, and finally, this culture made up of low-quality and unproven content, becomes society; a society in decline. And what is the vehicle that leads us to reproduce this axiom? Links with the community, your contacts; in short, your followers.

Let's understand this model with a practical example.

Subject A has many interesting qualities and characteristics, whose potential value for society is extremely high (let's imagine a scientist), but being isolated in their social networks, they become a useless resource for the generation of content and, by extension, culture. However, subject B, of lesser quality and characteristics, has thousands of established links, or followers, which makes him/her a contact of supposedly great value and usefulness, although his/her real value for society is 0 (imagine a reggaeton singer).

 

The potential of social networks to generate culture and quality knowledge is extremely high, but we are going in the wrong direction.

Finally, at the top of this complex system of relationships, we find the interest of companies, money, capitalism after all. Today, social networks cover the entire market (labour, business and commercial), and have become a mere marketing concept and showcase for thousands of companies. Through these tools, a global marketing war has been generated, the transmission medium of which is ourselves. This underlies the fact that the creators of social media focus their sole interest on making us dependent. All these factors are complemented by the unfounded ideologies of: "if we are not part of this universe, we are lost" and "the more people you see around you buying a product, the more you will want it". And where do you find billions of connected people just by unlocking your phone? On social media.

Human relations have already been industrialised and commodified, let's not let this happen to reasoning as well, let's remain people.

 

- Use social networks, but what for? Be honest with yourself, if it is of no real use to you, disconnect. Use your hand to generate a culture and a quality society. -

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