I could write ten different blog posts after watching the Frontline episode “Generation Like” by PBS. Therefore, I will try to stay on track with one takeaway…
Is everyone winning?
Do you remember when only one team in your soccer league got a trophy? Most likely it was the team who came in first place. If you were lucky, you were a member of that team! If you were like me, your league or coach got you a ribbon or a certificate, but the kids on the first place team got the trophies. Sure, there were some seasons where my team came in first place and we got trophies. But we had to work hard if we wanted that trophy at the end of the year!
How Things Have Changed…
Now, most leagues give out participation trophies to everyone in the league. Whether you came in first place or last place, you get the same trophy at the end of the year. You may not agree with me, but I don’t like this. What is this teaching our youth? That you can put in less effort but still be treated as the top performer? This is not how the real world works.
Flashback to 1854
In Henry Thoreau’s book Walden, he pretty much wrote about social media before it even existed. In his Chapter titled Solitude, he wrote “Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other…We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness” (Walden, 1854).
This brings me to “Netiquette.” Most people understand what this term means, but they choose to ignore it. Netiquette can be defined as the acceptable way of communicating on the internet (Education.com). For example, have you seen a cousin post an announcement of a baby on social media before the parents have even had a chance to announce it to their family? If you haven’t experienced this exact scenario, I am sure you have seen something similar!
Is Everyone Winning Online?
Don’t get me wrong…I love social media! It is basically a big online competition. How many more likes, followers, retweets, etc. can you get than your friends? Advertisers are winning by collecting data and creating demographic profiles, but are we winning?
I could go on, but I will leave you at that for now. If this topic interests you, I encourage you to check out The Netflix Original Black Mirror. Please join in on the conversation below!
Walden, Henry (1854). Solitude. Available online: http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden05.html