The Internet has made the world very small, in a good way, exposing us to information, cultures, and ideas we might not get in our neighborhoods and circles of friends.
It is also very stupid. Like almost all human endeavors, the lowest common denominator tends to grow a loud voice, clamoring to be heard even when it has little productive to say. Nowhere is that more apparent than on social media.
Below are the top seven worst things about social media. There are of course seven great things, but today we’re going to talk about what we probably all agree is really terrible.
7. Every lunatic and his mother has a soap box.
One of the nice things about the pre-social era was that crazy people tended to be confined to their IRC chat rooms or the Letters to the Editor section of the local
newspaper. Now they not only have 47,000 followers on Twitter, they get all up in your mentions. Sometimes they even get asked to give their opinion on cable news.
6. In that vein, everybody with a smartphone has an opportunity to humiliate themselves everyday.
Tired tweeting, drunk posting, not fact checking yourself…the temptation to just blurt whatever is on one’s mind is so great, and nearly irresistible in the post-talk show era. We all used to keep our thoughts to ourselves or our closest confidants. Then Oprah and Donahue came along, ushering in Dr. Phil, and now everybody feels the need to air their grievances and feelings. Social media makes that so much easier.
In the early days of social media, the main culprits of overshare were teenaged girls. This is understandable; Twitter was billed as a microblogging service and MySpace felt almost like a diary. Now your 67-year-old surgeon is up at 1 A.M. sharing her inability to sleep and love of mangoes.
5. Potential employers use it to screen you.
Your resume, CV, Linked In and winning smile are not enough. Now every time you look for a new job, you can be googled, followed on Twitter, and friended on Facebook.
You’d think this would make people more aware of what they say on social media, and treat people they interact with more civilly. That is generally not the case. It’s true that many employers do not have the time to scour every photo of you drunk at a club, every argument you’ve had about pineapple on pizza or which politician is in fact the anti-Christ, but that doesn’t mean they can’t — or won’t if they’re stuck between choosing you and somebody equally qualified.