Your alarm goes off in the morning, you toss and turn in your bed, and immediately reach for your cell phone. You open your social media app of choice and scroll for what seems like an eternity. Hundreds of different posts from all over the world galloping into your mind. You might even come across words in languages that you do not understand. You read so many different things and your day has barely even started.
The day is over, every item in your to-do list is done, you took a shower, and now you find yourself in bed again. Your phone is in your hand while you find your favorite position and once again proceed to scroll through social media before your eyes get heavy. Hundreds of new posts blend with the ones you read in the morning and new information is stored in your brain. You go to sleep with different worldwide events echoing in your head.
This is how easy the spread of information is thanks to social media. Something happens at the other end of the world and you will find out because someone was there to record it on their phone or write about it on their account. Millions of people have access to social media–whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr, among the many existent platforms–where they post and share anything and everything they see. Nowadays, many of us use these different apps as our newspaper. We read it to find out what is going on around the world.
Accessing information this quickly is great for everyone to stay informed. However, we need to beware of what kind of news we are reading. Who is sharing this information? What are their sources? Do they have any evidence? These are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself before deciding your source is reliable. Many take advantage of this accessibility and begin sharing lies to misinform. As everything, social media comes with its disadvantages, its cons.
Is this sort of globalization good or bad for us? Should the spread of the news be more controlled? Should everyone be allowed to share anything they see or believe? The truth is freedom of expression will always overthrow any other beliefs. We have a right to say and share what we want. But many have forgotten how to do this without being harmful and hateful. Many have utilized globalization to harm other individuals who are not like them. This is where we need to be careful. We need to disregard these sorts of sources and hold them accountable for the damage they are causing.
Social media is a great tool. It allows us to stay connected with people who live far away–or close to us but a pandemic does not allow us to see–and know what we are going through. It gives us the opportunity to share our thoughts and give voice to those groups who may have not been heard before. It is a platform for expression and justice. But these details are only real if we pay attention to the information we are consuming. It is important to know what you are reading and who you are reading it from.
If like most of us you read the news and stay informed through social media apps, you need to be careful who you follow and who you read. Yes, it is important to read many versions of an event, but you need to find reliable sources to get accurate information. We need to hold each other accountable for everything we decide to post and share on our accounts.
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