During a recent visit to the UK, former President Obama was interviewed by Prince Harry. One of the nuggets of wisdom dropped by Obama was that leaders should take better care on how they use social media, which was probably a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump.
Trump uses social media in a dramatically different manner than his predecessors. Actually, society has changed with the advent of social media, and perhaps Trump is just riding the tide of the times. He is receiving a lot of criticism, though, because of his seemingly insatiable addiction to Twitter. President Trump is not alone, however, in his addiction to social media. (By the way, there are many other social media platforms, with some more prone to misuse than others, but the focus here is on Twitter and Facebook). Numerous citizens are as enthused by Twitter as Trump is, and there is a backlash of sorts to its use, or MISUSE.
On another note, cyber bullying was one of the first demons to arise via social media, and it has caused a great deal of distress among younger users of Facebook. It is easier for this kind of bullying to occur because of a quasi-anonymity that goes along with it. People can hide behind made-up names and avatars, which allows them to say whatever they want, to whomever they want, as long as there is a connection.
In addition to cyber-bullying, there is another malicious trend associated especially with Facebook, and that is identity theft. The perpetrators are not accessing financial information, per se, but they are doing damage to people nevertheless. Facebook accounts have been hacked by people assuming the identities of those who are already members. When this happens, it is possible for the fraudulent doubles to post items that are totally uncharacteristic of the original Facebook user, which can damage his or her reputation. Unfortunately, it has been said by some that most Facebook accounts have been hacked, which makes people leery about accepting new friendship requests.
Facebook in itself is not all bad, yet many folks are loath to use it because of the hiccups just mentioned. One of the most important factors about Facebook is that it is an indicator of who you are. In other words, you are connected with those on your same frequency. Your Facebook experience and Twitter to some extent, reflect back to you the people with whom you are connected.
A lot of teens have Facebook experiences that differ greatly from adults. And people who like to argue and “diss” others have a lot of that nonsense on their timelines and news feeds. Artists and political activists, on the other hand, experience a lot of cultural and political discourse on their news feeds. This is a direct result of their interests and their connections with users of like minds (sans the hackers). People who are religiously inclined have information posted about those concerns.
Basically, on Facebook, to a very great extent, you face yourself, and your experience is totally unique in this regard. Facebook enables you to connect with long-lost friends and acquaintances, and offers feel-good vibes via Facebook birthday greetings.
A blatant example of the misuse of Twitter media can be seen in the way that President Donald J. Trump uses it. Because of Twitter’s widespread usage and availability, people across all cultures, ages, socio-economic status, etc., can be impacted by “tweets.”
Trump’s use of this platform is unprecedented and dangerous in that those who believe in his ideas are prone to accept without much question anything that he tweets. In a sense, this is becoming “government by tweeting!” Social policy is playing out on a very public stage, with ideas immediately bandied about apparently without much forethought.
Trump has maligned North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, has blasted Hillary Clinton on a continuous basis to deflect attention from his own shortcomings, and some think he is attempting to obstruct justice in the ongoing investigations regarding his administration’s ties to Russia and its possible meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Most important, however, is the impact that presidential tweeting can have in dividing people. This is a very real threat, one that should cause us to be extremely vigilant if we are to avoid swallowing propaganda generated by emotional tweets from the holder of the highest office in America. A Luta Continua!