What social media giants don’t tell you about?

The recent 6 hours long outage of social media services like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has made the world realize that how dependent we are on these platforms and the internet. This is a live example of how mere six hours can change a lot. People become anxious at this because they were cut off from the world that they consider is “more real” than the world we actually live in.
After these apps started functioning normally, most people posted comments such as, “talked with my family after a long time”,  ” called a friend that I wanted to talk to since a long time ago, but couldn’t due to my busy schedule” etc. So in short, we need an outage to connect with the real world and make meaningful connections.

Well, technology is great, but there should be a balance in its use. Dopamine is a ‘pleasure hormone‘ or a ‘feel-good‘ hormone that is released whenever we get a notification or buzz from these apps. The exact same chemical is released when we drink alcohol or indulge in gambling. We all know that a little amount of alcohol is not bad and actually good for health but its overdose can cause major risks. Similarly, the little time we spend on these apps is great, but sticking with it all day long is not a good idea and can gradually destroy our lives.

My main purpose to write this blog is to talk about the recent leakage of Facebook’s internal documents that reveals the bitter truth many few know about, because again, we’re busy flaunting our beauties, wealth, and achievements on social media and are more interested in lives of celebrities than in our own!

A whistleblower named Frances Haugen who was the former product manager at Facebook leaked internal documents of the Facebook. The leaked documents have the following 3 major findings:
1) Facebook has been studying how Instagram affected teenagers for 3 years now.
2) Instagram makes body image issues worse for 1 in 3 girls.
3) 13℅ British users and 6% of American users traced their suicidal thoughts back to the app.

So now, what do you think Facebook has done to act on these findings? Did Mark Zuckerberg make it public or tried to change its algorithms so that these problems can be solved? The answer is ‘NO’, instead, what it did was to hide it from its users.

Frances Haugen said two remarkable things on this issue and I quote:

“Facebook chooses profit over safety.”

“FB exploits children with its addictive tricks that will haunt the entire generations.”

A similar kind of leak came about in 2013 by Edward Snowden that took our attention to the conflict between national security and individual privacy. Although that was a different case But that too was mainly centered on the privacy of an individual citizen. despite this, we’re still continuing to believe more and more in these internet giants. In earlier case, NSA was spying on citizens, and now we’re allowing these social media apps to spy on us and more so, to make us suicidal, depressed, and anxious.

What can be done?

It would be nonsense to say that we should go back to the age when smartphones or these apps were not prevailing because it would be like saying that ‘let’s start traveling by bullock cart because cars or buses make a lot of pollution.’

We should understand that the change that we need to bring should start from ourselves and our children. Covid era has made smartphones so essential that even 8 year old has his own cellphone. But instead of using it for educational or learning purposes, she uses it for gaining approval from social media. Earlier that was not the case, we used to get phones only after completing graduation or at least after completing our high school studies. Until that, We used to be unaware of the world that that makes competition this toxic. So now, it’s the sole responsibility of the parent to put restrictions on her child on how and when her child should use the phone. It’s the responsibility of parents to make their child realize the importance of real and meaningful connections in real life because when your child will be in trouble the real friends will stand beside her against all odds and not the virtual friends from whom your child seeks attention.

And in the end, we should also engage ourselves in meaningful conversations about such issues. we ourselves should try to gradually reduce its use. It will indeed take time, but it’s better to be late than never because the sole purpose of these giants is to make a profit by exploiting our emotions, time, and energy but they will never tell us this bitter truth, as it will devastate their empire that is built on our ruins.

4 thoughts on “What social media giants don’t tell you about?

  1. You are totally on point that small changes makes big difference. Cutting time on social media and utilizing it to improve yourself is what we all can work upon

    Liked by 1 person

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