A while ago I read an article that completely condemned technology as well as people who love to use it. I can’t remember much of what was written but it had a very negative (cherry-picked) stance on the modern age of social media. It implied that the current preoccupation with technology meant that nobody cared about what was going on in reality. I was thinking today about how much I personally disagree with that.
There are so many things I would not know without social media. I probably would not be as politically active and interested in current affairs if it were not for Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. I don’t use them extensively but they have proved wonderful over the years. It’s unlikely I would have discovered the published pieces of Owen Jones had it not been for Youtube and Facebook. And now I love basically everything he has to say. I’ve learned so much from reading his books Chavs and The Establishment, as well as watching his videos online. I think he’s such an important voice in modern politics and his presence on the web is wonderful.
I also want to mention the Artist Taxi Driver (or Mark McGowan). He’s an amazing performance artist everybody should check out. In his videos he goes about his day-to-day profession as a taxi driver, but in between his fares he passionately effuses about the news of the day. It can be so inspiring to watch somebody discuss current affairs with genuine emotion and compassion. He has plenty of other art pieces available online as well.
Also, there are hundreds of great websites that provide news and opinion articles etc. I, myself, am part of a blogging team that aims to tackle gender and racial injustices. It’s called Spark Movement (in co-operation with Powered by Girl). To me, it’s such an amazing concept and I’m so glad to be a part of it. The girls create such empowering pieces, I’m always visiting the site for a new read.
I’m not saying social media is perfect. I know for a fact that it has a myriad of shortcomings. For example, Instagram and Facebook are well-known for promoting unhealthy ideals regarding body image and Twitter can often feel like a breeding ground for bullying and harassment. However, to say that our preoccupation with technology means we’re less interested in what’s going on in the world is simply not accurate. Social media may be flawed but it’s not completely negative. Without it, I definitely would not be as interested in politics as I am today. It has opened the door to so many new ideas for me.