Is social media dictating our ‘feels’?
This video from the BBC’s “Ideas” project caught our attention this week. The ‘IMHO’ film challenges us to consider how social media influences our response to the world around us – requiring us to flick from happy to sad at the swipe of a finger as we scroll through news feeds and streams, without having the time to properly absorb and appreciate the impact of that emotional pendulum.
A lot has been written about the impact of social media on our wellbeing, and features exhorting us to delete the apps or switch off the alerts that have come to dominate our lives are common. As an industry, Communications is complicit in their proliferation, and the promotion of an idea that life is somehow diminished without them.
Has nuance been outflanked by absolutes? Are the binary positions of social media discourse, that assume that if you don’t love something then you must be a hater (a dynamic as applicable to Bieber fans as it is to Corbyn or Trump die-hards), a result of an online emotional reductionism that limits the range of human emotional response to ‘thumbs up’ or ‘angry face’ emoji?
It’s an issue that as a society we are only starting to recognise and grapple with, but it got us thinking, which can only be good.