Social media is an amplification device

I’m sure what I am about to say has been said before, it’s obviously just taking a while to filter through the noise in my brain meats. It’s probably been said more eloquently, and definitely more concisely but still that’s never stopped me before…

I had a realisation about the biggest blessing and curse of all forms of social media and it is simply this; all forms of social media are purely amplification devices.

Be it for good or ill social media amplifies a message, a thought, an event, a movement allowing it to spread further, wider, faster but all the while removing diversity, discussion, and debate.

Social media has created the perfect breeding grounds for group-think and echo-chambers. We slip into cliques where all who dare raise questions are the enemy and are obviously wrong despite evidence. We have created tribes and divisions on the same system that creates unity and an interconnected world.

If we like a particular thing, group, ideology, theology, or even breed of iguana, we can find our niche on social media but too quickly it becomes a clique as we feed off the similar and familiar.

Many, myself included, try to claim we don’t do this, that we listen and engage with opposing or differing viewpoints. To an extent this is probably true for many but really we don’t, we really only interact with those “slightly” different, those “mildly” opposite our clique. Why? Because the perfect amplification of social media has created extremists out of so many varied niches that debate and diversity, that so precious moderate middle ground is lost in the noise of social media to the point of irrelevance. It’s not gone, it’s moved away to quieter more controllable spaces where we can discover our similarities while embracing our differences.

This is not to say social media is evil, just that I think it’s being used incorrectly. If we accept it’s phenomenal ability to amplify messages we use it as a tool correctly. If we use it otherwise we only amplify the negative side and abuse the tool to the point it had become a monster amplifying only negativity and breeding extremism in all its forms.