Letter to the Editor: Social Media Reinforces Unverified Opinions

I don’t use social media beyond posting jokes and photos for my friends on Facebook.

When I first used Facebook, I was curious that some people I thought I knew well started acting outside of their persona by posting trivial details about their day-to-day lives. What struck me was that people weren’t talking about this stuff before the introduction of Facebook. Why the change? I can only speculate, but one theory is that their narcissistic side came out on Facebook even though they mostly deleted it in their pre-Facebook lives.

I read many different articles online every morning, admittedly mainly from a conservative perspective, which I share. I have noticed that more and more of these articles are sharing Instagram and Facebook tweets and posts verbatim as the sources of their articles. I find this disturbing, because these posts aren’t necessarily factual – they’re usually someone’s opinion.

The end result is that an ideologue’s beliefs become cemented and unverified more by opinion and less by fact. When you couple this with the aforementioned narcissistic tendencies unleashed by the example of Facebook, the user becomes obsessed with complacency.

I find this situation untenable and dangerous for the future of our country. I see in real time the deterioration of civility, mutual respect and tolerance. Hosting opinions and beliefs outside of social media rather than the objective definition of truth and acceptability of a company is unlikely to lead to a positive outcome.

Geoffroy Emmanuel

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