Social media is, without a doubt, useful and exciting. It offers us so much information, so much fun content, and such easy ways to communicate. However, it is not all good. It also has a darker, more insidious side. It can be a platform for bullying, deceit, and manipulation. Yet, there is still hope. Because when asked whether users can change social media for the better, we firmly and loudly answered ‘YES!’.
We are what drives social media
While not entirely up to the users, social media is the very first example of entire platforms wholly dedicated to their users’ whims. The content we see posted online, the content that litters the internet, is massively produced by the users. Of course, there are still plenty of things published by companies and social media platforms themselves. However, when compared to the mass of content actually produced by amateurs, by everyday people who are simply enjoying social media, the two cannot be compared. This means that if we want social media to change, then we need to produce content that reflects that change. And this is possible! Many creators, ‘influencers’ and other public ‘social media figures’ have all taken a stance towards this goal. We already shape social media. We just need to turn it towards better causes.
Social media depends on its consumers
One of the main reasons why we agree that users can change social media for the better is the fact that our interests dictate its content. Just like all other forms of media, the ultimate goal of social media is to be engaging and enjoyable. If it stops being that, then it will slowly start to lose its popularity and importance. To prevent that, it has to follow the trends and desires of its users. In conclusion, as long as the users want social media to change for the better, then it would have to. The alternative would be allowing itself to slowly atrophy over time as people lose interest and turn towards new modes of interacting with the internet, whatever that might come to look like.
Companies are starting to depend on it
Beyond just the desire to keep social media popular and influential, there is another good reason for it to bend to the wishes of its users. That is, companies have started heavily depending on it. They use it to bolster sales, gather data, interact with the consumers and learn what they want out of the future potential products. All of these opportunities would be lost to them if large numbers of social media users became reluctant to engage because of its state. To that end, companies are likely to try their best to make social media even more attractive to its users. Therefore molding it even further into what the users want to see. This, again, means that as long as users genuinely desire to see a positive change take over social media, it is very likely to happen. Quite rapidly, at that.
Attempts to control social media are failing
Another reason why we believe that users can change social media for the better is that attempts to manipulate and control it are starting to fail. While it is much easier to censor printed books, newspapers, movies, TV shows, and similar, once something is on the internet, it’s there to stay. It has become nearly impossible to take something out of the limelight once it has been revealed. And more and more users are starting to see the current state of social media, the depression and loneliness it seems to be causing, and how negative it has become. More and more people are starting to speak out, as well as act. To ask for change. To try and drive it. Which makes it all the more likely to eventually happen.
Users have come to wield enormous influence
‘Influencers’, whatever our opinion of them and what their actual effect might be, are absolute proof of the power users now possess. Streamers, online models, even popular public figures have taken the internet by storm. And each and every one of them commands a massive following of fans bent on ensuring things are exactly the way they want them to be. If such a force of personality can be turned towards good, it would be very easy to make social media better. Even disregarding that, we all have some sort of control over social media and can use it to benefit us. For example, we have found ways to force it to work to our advantage when looking for a job. Companies can share information about job offers on social media, and we can even use it to look for new housing, financial help, investment opportunities, etc. And that is most certainly a turn for the better.
Awareness of bad social media influence has increased
The privacy concerns social media brings with it are still widely discussed and examined. More importantly, such concerns are starting to be addressed. Do we have absolute safety from having our privacy violated? No. Are the current initiatives enough to stop such violations from happening? Also no. Is it even possible to entirely stomp the issues out? Unfortunately, again, no. And this is only one of the negative influences of social media. Personality cults, for example, do bring with them their own host of issues and problems. However, the fact that we are aware of them, the fact that we are trying to change things for the better, is important. It lends further credence to our answer on whether users can change social media for the better.
We now have a better understanding of it
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have a good understanding of social media. When it first appeared, social media was almost a magic of its own. Unfettered access to information, easy communication, tons of content in the form of books, pictures, articles, and more for us to peruse. It took the world by storm and kept growing to the point it severely suppressed the things we used to enjoy before social media. However, with our fascination cooling into understanding and acceptance, we have a chance to be more objective. To really see it for what it is and how it affects us. And through that, to enact the necessary changes to it using the power we wield over it.
When we were asked whether users can change social media for the better, we gave our answer. And though it may have been surprising to hear, we believe they can, and we hope that this article and its message have helped you understand why we remain optimistic. If you do your part, too, then we will surely be able to build a better version of social media together!