Social media has brought about profound changes to our public lives — for better and for worse.
It has toppled governments, improved efficiency of disaster management, spread news with a reach and speed that was unthinkable just half a decade ago, and even reconnect long-lost friends. It is unfortunate then to see that it has also been used to promote ideas and conclusions without due consideration of the merits of such ideas and conclusions.
Thus every worthy piece of news is reduced to a one-liner, often sarcastic but clear, simplistic interpretation. Social media has thus become a gallery of this-picture-and-therefore-that-conclusion type of content. In many cases these have built up sufficiently to form a court of public opinion. What’s worse is that the conclusions drawn are almost always absolutely detached from any context or careful analysis of the issue at hand. (more…)