Friday, December 8, 2023

Social media: the good, the bad and the ugly

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Digital rocks can often leave literal scars, so be mindful of what you say in the social media spaces – there’s a human on the receiving end.
Like-minded people just don’t seem as far away as they used to and social media can either unite or divide when these people connect.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A colleague shared a funny but insightful video this morning that shows us a world where people face real consequences for their online utterances.

It certainly makes viewers stop and think about that saying – don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

WARNING: Before you click play, please note that this video promotes gambling and is no way affiliated with Farmers Weekly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with gambling addiction, visit the Problem Gambling Foundation website.

Farmers are big users of social media because it’s a way to overcome the challenge of distance.

Like-minded people just don’t seem as far away as they used to and these social media challenges also provide the opportunity to engage with those who may not be very well educated about what a life on the land is like.

But while there can be positive outcomes from embracing the online world, there are also drawbacks.

There will be those who are receptive to farming stories and engage constructively on the aspects they have trouble aligning with their own values.

But others will see the opportunity for an argument and the unfortunate thing is that the platforms themselves prioritise these users over the more thoughtful ones.

What we are left with is a number of tribes who seem to see the digital town square as a place to do battle, not as a place to build community.

It’s often not a nice place to be.

Which brings me back to the fictional Social Squad, from that funny video.

While violence will never be the answer, actions have consequences and while you might not be there to see those consequences in person, it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen. Think before you dunk.

More: Visit the Keep it Real Online website for more information on cyberbullying.

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