Two people holding cell phones with social media icons indicating social media use
Image by Freepik

Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives, sometimes to the point of controlling us completely. It once was a tool to bring us together, but recently it has turned into a tool that divides us.

Social media, as we know it, is very centralized. This means the platform’s operations, rules, and policies are determined and enforced by a central authority, such as the company or its owner. There are a few big names of centralized social media platforms that we are all familiar with: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube top the list.

Twitter has been the center of attention recently due to its takeover by Elon Musk. The $44 billion purchase has caused a lot of controversy due to Musk’s views on free speech and censorship on social media. “Mr. Musk’s open approach to speech on Twitter could exacerbate long-simmering issues of toxic content and misinformation, affecting political debates around the world.” (NY Times)

Many argue that Musk’s takeover ruined the platform. Many people boycotted the platform because they did not agree with the changes he was making. “The world of big tech was turned upside down when Elon Musk bought Twitter. And while his takeover has been a wild ride, no CEO of a major social media platform has taken such drastic measures to pull back the curtain as Musk with his “Twitter Files.” (Fox News)

Setting aside the controversies surrounding the buyout and Musk’s changes, it’s important to recognize that Twitter is still a highly centralized social media platform. Ownership and decision-making power still primarily reside with the owner, and user input is limited. The recent events prompted by Musk have, in a way, triggered a social awakening. While many directed their criticism towards Musk, the resulting movement compelled individuals to reevaluate their perceptions and trust in social media platforms and shed light on the extent of control these companies have over our online activities.

It is important that we, as users of social media, are aware of the control these companies have over us. Having centralized social media provides a lot of benefits, many of which are why social media use has grown so much in popularity. However, it’s important to consider the potential downsides and limitations of centralization, including concerns about data privacy, censorship, and the concentration of power.

How do I feel about this?

Honestly, I don’t have a strong opinion on this matter. I do not believe that the government should have control or authority over social media. How people communicate and what they share should be their own decision. As users, we should be able to access the information we need to educate ourselves and make the choices that suit us best.

Regarding my personal use, I don’t feel a strong desire to be very active on social media. I do have a few accounts, but I only interact with people I know in real life. The concerns about privacy and controversies related to social media have actually made me less inclined to use it, and I haven’t been motivated to seek out new platforms like some others have. Going forward, I imagine the social media environment will continue to evolve and change based on what users want instead of the centralized control that we have so willingly used up until recently.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *