The Good Side of Social Media

Today’s shower thought was how much I would have like to be back in college right now. I was thinking about how I read a William Gibson novel in college and how William Gibson is moderately active on Twitter. Imagine if I were in school and was assigned a book or story or poem or play written by a living writer. It would be so easy to go onto social media and ask them a question. Getting an answer is a whole other thing but asking the question is easy.

This one thought cascaded into several others and I started thinking about how much I would like to write a paper examining the influence of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series on NK Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy as filtered through Dragon Age. That isn’t important though. It is an interesting thought but not what I choose to make this post about. Not that that matters as a whole three people read last nights. Still I am on a mission and I will write this journal even if no one is reading and I am sure that is a goal I can accomplish.

Back to social media. It wasn’t always an outpost of hell. There was a time when I used social media regularly. It was a way to connect with old friends and to make new ones. Hardly anyone talked about politics. It was about where you were and what you were doing. In some ways FourSquare was the best social media app ever made as you had to actually go somewhere to use it. But I digress.

Here we are in the age of misinformation. People are dying in numbers hard to fathom because a few people thought it would be a lark to spread lies all over social media and the gullible and willfully ignorant choose to believe those lies and it is a choice. It is so easy to understand why and how mask work. If they wanted to test it for themselves they just need a bottle of Windex and two window panes and they’d be able to do their own research. Still here we are.

This is what social media has become, and it is why my thought made me both hopeful and sad. Social media levels the playing field. Misinformation is clearly the dark side of that where anyone can pretend to be an expert, but there is a bright side. That bright side is that anyone can connect with real experts and celebrates.

Imagine being assigned a paper for school and being able to ask the subject of that paper any question you want. The asking is the easy part because social media makes it easy. I can ask Max Scherzer how it feels to strikeout 3,000 human beings. It is unlikely he will answer but I can still ask. Before social media I would have to be a reporter in the stadium or someone with some connections to be able to ask him that question. Because of social media I can ask anyone anything and I just might get an answer.

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