The Ethics of Innovation And Social Media: Keep It Real.

Kelly

It is immoral to use social media, or any kind of modern innovation without fully explaining its unintended side effects and debilitating consequences to the audience. We live in a global society where people are hungry for gadgets and touch screens aways wanting to connect, share and experience 24/7 self created content to as many people as one can possibly reach. Shouldn’t we, based on these former reasons listed, pay closer attention to what we write and how we act in social media? I think so.

What is right and what is wrong when it comes to using and posting content in social media? This should be a central question that we should answer prior to literally posting our shares on-line yet it isn’t always common practice. One thing is for sure. Folks aren’t creating and sharing content in social media the same way they share content interpersonally. I have major reservations about that as communication shouldn’t be diffent between mediums, at least not that drastically.

“Human behavior” in social platforms doesn’t always represent one’s belief system or moral codes, even though they should. In some cases, information shared on-line is so far off from reality that makes us question its veracity and accuracy of information. Perhaps, it is time for us, scholars of the media, to put more time and resources in “information forensics” to check and see what is fact and what is fantasy in social media. The former is way overdue in my opinion. I wish verifying information would solve all the unintended side effects and debilitating consequences of social media. The reality is that it won’t. 

Let me give you another example. Consider for a minute the possibility of social media being used by men and women in ways that we consider questionable in traditional american culture, like invading one’s privacy for its own sake or screaming at others on Facebook by using all cap letters. Perhaps —  even using body shaming in a public discussion. What is at stake can have significant consequences to a person’s life in the new age of information. Maybe social media won’t have that detrimental of an effect on people but caution and common sense should be used to discern between the alternatives.

Which best practices should we develop to ensure a more fair and ethical use of the collaboraly new media. It seems only logical that we evaluate a wide variety of thoughts and techniques to ensure reasonable practice. Maybe what we need to consider is to go back to basics and just tell the truth! It wouldn’t be a bad idea after all, in my opinion.  Anyways…

As I said early in this post, it is immoral to use social media, or any kind of modern innovation without fully explaining its unintended side effects and debilitating consequences to the audience. Technology is everywhere and we are going to continue to use it on a daily basis for a number of reasons listed in this article. We need to pay closer attention to what we write and how we act in social media because it is the right thing to do. I encourage you to do just that. If a small critical mass of individuals like you and I start witnessing negative/questionable behavior, then we must intervene. It is only fair and ethical. We can exponentially reduce immorality by being proactive and honest. We should strive for that as sons and daughters of God. 

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