Is Social Media Making The World More Untruthful?
Social media are networks (web based) or virtual communities based sites where human beings interact with each other and can share a lot of information about their wellbeing as well as ideas using a mix of multimedia forms like words, audios, pictures as well as videos (Ellison, 2007). In these sites, people are able to create and exchange information, as well as take part in personal conversations. Social media come in different forms, for instance, blogs, social networks, podcasts , and wikis to mention a few; they appear in familiar sites like Linkeldn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook among others. The innovation of social media has introduced pervasive and substantial changes to the passage of information between organizations, individuals as well as communities, which is widely attributed to the changes in the digital era.
The application of social media in the modern world has faced a lot of challenges. The challenges range from criticisms based on the ease of using certain specific platforms as well as their capabilities, information reliability as presented in certain sites, issues dealing with trusts and consumers having doubts on numerous information, information incongruence, ownership of the content being presented, as well as concentration issues. Though a number of social media policies present users the chance to cross-post concurrently, several social network sites have been condemned for appalling deals, which forms information segregated pockets of facts held in the social media (Ellison, 2007). However, despite the aforementioned challenges, social media is being credited to have brought truthfulness and democratization through the internet while also providing a good forum for individual advertisement as well as being a platform for making friendship.
Social media has been used by people to achieve various objectives, which forms the basis of argument of whether it is untruthful and this is mostly based on the two highly used social media sites, Facebook and twitter. An array of studies conducted earlier than 2011 imply that Facebook and twitter are the most widespread social networks across the globe (Bergman, Fearrington, Davenport, & Bergman, 2011). These networks are mostly popular among the youths, the elites as well as millennials compeers or those schooling in colleges from early 2000s to late 2010s being seen as the generation regularly interested in social networks.
According to Bergman et al. (2011), people have been using social media for self- presentation to achieve certain goals and this helps to control how one is being perceived by other people so a person would rather concentrate on the positive attributes that will give him/her a positive image. According to a study by Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007), self-presentation makes others accept images that are posed by others, hence, in order to achieve this, people must show their positively evaluated attributes and be truthful thus making them to accentuate the most vital aspects of themselves as well as defining images. For example, celebrities create a fan base as people move to self-branding with emphasis on identity construction as consumer products practices move people further from self-presentation to self-branding phenomena mostly common on interaction like cam girls, and celebrity practitioners.
Nevertheless, the aspect of online self-presentation has led to deception among social media users; a person may claim to be religious minded to attract attention of a certain cohort which he or she has desired. For example, a Muslim who desires a Christian person for a relationship may claim to be a Christian on his or her Facebook or twitter profile in order to attract the Christian but in real sense he or she is not, and this has led to consequences like family or relationship breakups due to different religious backgrounds. Social media users should also learn that not all information on these sites are real as a study by Ellison et al. (2007) revealed that cross-cultural deception is too common in social networks as people tend to hide their true identity as opposed to face-to-face communication.
Studies propose that more masculine individuals have high incidences of deception as opposed to the feminine ones as there is high need for success in relation to masculinity thus leading to the fact that deception varies according to national cultural orientation. According to Marwick (2011), deception behavior can also be attributed to individuals who desire the celeb status, and this has resulted in blurring cultural boundaries between the real and virtual worlds. People tend to associate or communicate with multiple frames of allusion thus subscribing to third party or virtual blend of identities that are themselves driven.
Entrepreneurs in the business world have also been using the social media to advertise their goods and services and this at times concentrates on the best product they offer but aspects of deception often crops in order to attract more customers as they display at times very attractive goods which on physical visits portrays totally different things. Consumers thus have been deceived into buying goods and services of poor quality not worth their investment (Bergman et al., 2011).
In conclusion, it is evident that social media has created virtual communities anchored sites where human beings interrelate with each other and can distribute a lot of information. Some of the users of social media do it with decorum and uphold honesty leading to the argument that social media makes the world more truthful. Nevertheless, the application of social media in the present world has faced a lot of difficulties, which range from condemnations rooted in the ease of using a number of platforms and perpetration of untruthfulness.
Bergman, S. M., Fearrington, M. E., Davenport, S. W., & Bergman, J. Z. (2011). Millennials, narcissism, and social networking: What narcissists do on social networking sites and why. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(5), 706-711.
Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends:” Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143-1168.
Marwick, A. (2011). To see and be seen: Celebrity practice on Twitter. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 17(2), 139-158.