Social media and is a fantastic way to get people to express themselves. Whether it it be via a Facebook status, writing on walls, Twitter updates, photos you share, these are all extensions of you and your personality. They help portray your interests, your views and help show people who you are. They offer a platform for you to be yourself, to be creative, to be who you want to be and most importantly, have an audience for all of this.
Unlike in the real world, where social etiquette and manners can sometimes seem restrictive and limiting , people feel they have a greater sense of freedom of expression and/or of speech when using online networks. Of course, content is monitored and can be removed, but with millions of users on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, even YouTube, not every single status, photo or comment can be watched, evaluated and completely controlled. This has arguably lead to a rise in expressions, feelings and ideas from people who may otherwise find it hard to portray themselves how they would like in person and face-to-face with others.
Essentially, social media has changed the way we are able to communicate and behave, not only in groups and society, but with each other.
What are the possible consequences of this new found, or at least newly perceived, freedom of expression?
This level of freedom does has its draw backs.
For Example, the man behind the recent attacks in Norway used Twitter to send out his views on the world before he carried out the attacks. Maybe more regulation is needed to help police more extreme views,
A Twitter account attributed to the suspect has also emerged but it only has one post, which is a quote from philosopher John Stuart Mill: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests."-Courtesy of BBC News Online
Maybe stricter online control and regulations would help alert the authorities in some cases? There is no way to know and it's a very grey area to cover. There may not even be a right or wrong answer to this question.
A Rock And A Hard Place
Social media is a gift. It can be used to make or break a business. It can also make or break a person. The truth is, the moral problems about freedom and expression in real life, can now be applied to the virtual world. Whether we like it or not, or even agree with it, it's liberal enough to be good for people to express themselves and find themselves. It's also liberal enough to provide a soap box for less appropriate beliefs.
Who Wrote This Article
I'm Nikki and I work as part of MarketMeSuite the social media marketing dashboard. And big news... we're now free! Please check it out and be sure to let me know what you think.
~Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freshconservative
~BBC News quote: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14259989