My google news feed notified me that Mark Hamill has deleted his Facebook account over the fact that Facebook has refused to remove false or misleading news. That’s the context I found myself in as I pondered the social media problem. And to be clear it is a problem, and that’s not the solid condemnation that you might think it is on it’s face (heh).
Or maybe my soft condemnation of social media doesn’t come as a surprise to you if you found this post through twitter or Facebook. But writers with a far more solid critique of social media still use those websites–and the reasons really couldn’t be clearer, if you are a writer, you need Facebook and twitter to get your name out into the world. Ask the New York Times, or the Washington Post. Facebook and Twitter IS THE MEDIA.
And that really is the problem, social media has become the primary distributor of information. One of the reasons I started this blog was to move away from social media without fully rejecting it. Simple one liners and status updates simplify complex moments and ideologies. And reading the article attached to it is optional.
But time can be like a river, in that it usually doesn’t flow backwards–usually. All that is to say I don’t think social media is going away, and I’m not sure it should. I have made friends that I don’t think I would have made, and kept friends I think I would have lost without social media. And that really is a problem, we need social media, and it’s okay to admit that. And it’s okay to acknowledge that Facebook is not handling it’s power well without making like Mark Hamill and deleting your account.
But then what do we do about this? Well I don’t have any solutions for this right now. But I’m going to keep thinking about this and I’ll let you know if I come up with anything, but this post has already gotten longer then I thought it would.
Until we meet again.