What is that one thing that keeps you awake when stuck in traffic jams? How do you update yourself about the new cafes or events in the town from the comfort of your bed? Where do you rush to share glimpses and happenings of your personal life? If your answer to all the above questions is a form of social media, then we have something more fun to tell you!
The Journey So Far…
Social media, as defined by Oxford, refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. Its inception dates back to 1997 and the journey since then has been amazing. From MySpace and LinkedIn in the early 2000s to Rizzle and Sharechat in recent years, the growth of social media and its infiltration into the lives of billions of content consumers has been staggering. Be it trying a new dish or dancing to a new tune, hearing a new song or polling about a dress to wear, mocking a statement, or spreading awareness about the different causes; life without social media seems incomplete. Besides, with numerous targeted apps springing up daily, better creator relationship management, and the ability of cross-posting with a single click, the growth of social media platforms seems unstoppable.
But, just like every coin has 2 faces, social media too has a flip side. It is an aspect that is much darker, gloomier, and often neglected. It encompasses several aspects that people seldom talk about. But today, fret not; we are here to deep dive into them and analyze them to know more in detail.
Social media is a platter overflowing with different types and genres of content. It strives to present relatable content to all those who are into the habit of scrolling and consuming content. From the basics of Excel to creating a perfect vlog, with the ever-increasing pool of people choosing to be creators, the process of retrieving information and learning seems to pace up greatly. But what if the information presented was wrong? What if the methods presented were too old? What if the videos presented incorporate misread data and stats?
One of the major problems or flaws in social media is the lack of content quality checks. For example, most of the time we drop a comment in the thread on a video without seeing it completely or forward a message without reading it in its entirety. Not only this, but social media is also full of people going head over heels with praises to simply get their work done or to drive traffic to their profiles or website. All this and more contribute to what is known as Toxic Positivity. It i – a term coined to denote the lack of constructive criticism necessary for improvement and growth.
Creepy Comments & Vulgar DMs
In recent years, as social media spread its wings, it gave shelter to all kinds of people under it. From small-scale businesswomen to top-notch celebrities, from beauty pageants to travel bloggers, from gym fanatics to stand-up comedians, it made a variety of content available and accessible with a single click. But, in due course, it also nurtured another stratum of people too – the stalkers.
As a creator on any social media platform, it is quite common to encounter one of the cheap and vulgar comments on one of your posts or have random people sliding into the DMs, talking inappropriately and uncomfortably. People, nowadays, have blurred the line of professional, social, and personal life, resulting in crossing the boundaries set. Be it professional networking sites like LinkedIn being used as Tinder or short video apps like Trell being used as a platform to ask for explicit images, the filth across social media seems to be on the rise. Not only this, there have also been several cases of threats and hacking of user profiles owing to the refusal or blocking of such lewd people upon being approached by them
Social media platforms like Orkut (in the yesteryears), Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are excellent mediums to reach out to wider audiences. They are spaces open to the global audience which, if rightly used, can help in gaining support for a cause, raising voice against injustices, or being vocal about one’s opinions; it is indeed a great mob drawer. But, is it always directed positively? There have been several instances in the recent past wherein social media has been used to misguide and blindfold people to instigate a social mob.
From half-baked news or viral rumors, social media has been extensively used by the shallow stakeholders of society to fulfill personal motives, misleading people into fights, abuse, and exploitation. Be it demeaning a person or defaming a community, with the power of expressing opinions, it has also been used periodically to make stray comments, manipulate and present incorrect facts-figures, and voice baseless arguments
Susceptible to Attacks
Social media has infiltrated the lives of billions. From rural communities to urban hustlers, it has now become a constant companion of most. Be it buying a phone on Amazon or creating a reel on Instagram, making a podcast on StroyTel or posting on Twitter, watching Netflix, or enjoying the short videos of Rizzle, the intake of content through social media has increased in leaps and bounds, especially in the recent years. But, does it affect detrimentally?
On one hand, the success of social media has brought sea changes in the way content is presented, accepted, and consumed. While on the other hand, it has also brought in major privacy issues. From browsing history to card details, everything is on the radar of those who wish to track it. Not only this, with many people blurring the lines of personal and social space, their entire life seems like an open book put on sale on various social media sites, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
Thus, with all this and more, it has become imperative to devise ways and means to protect the community of creators on social media from social media itself. And so, addressing the same, many of the social media applications have come up or are in the process of coming up with newer and better ways to ensure a safer space for everyone in general.
Founded in 2019, Rizzle is a trending video maker app with in-built video editing tools, face filters & effects. With Rizzle, one can easily create videos for Instagram, reels, and YouTube in no time! Besides, it can also be used to develop short clips, films, originals, and web series, thus making it quite versatile.
However, amidst all that it has to offer, one feature that stands out is Rizzle not having a comment section. This particular feature was developed keeping in mind the kind of comments one encounters on a daily basis. Besides, it was also helpful in preventing the misuse of comment screenshots to drive selfish motives. Over the years, with the steady growth of the organization, this feature has been well-appreciated.
Social media apps do not cater to entertainment soully, they also include professional networking sites like LinkedIn. But, it is indeed unfortunate that even such sites/apps fall prey to the heinous mentality of a few surfing the net. From sharing explicit content to manipulating users to give their numbers and blackmailing them thereafter, the number of such cases on LinkedIn has seen a rise in the recent past.
However, the LinkedIn community and the brains behind have been constantly working on tackling this issue. From educative sponsored posts about LinkedIn etiquettes and periodic DMs about user safety to tracking user behavior and content consumption pattern, LinkedIn has been taking quick actions against the reported profiles. Also, their per-day capping limit on the number of DMs and connection requests sent by a user is a measure that compliments controlling the spam inflow and unknown user requests
The rise of social media platforms has also led to the rise of online dating apps across the years. From Tinder to Omegle, the internet today is bumbling with people meeting through these apps and making love. But, few of the most inherent problems of such platforms are safety concerns, genuineness of the profiles, and in-app exploitations. There have been numerous cases of fraud, vulgar treatment, and profile hacking centering on the same. And so, these apps have upgraded themselves to assure protection to the community thriving on it.
Apps like Bumble have collaborated with public safety platforms like Safecity, to introduce the Stand for Safety feature. This feature allows women to make the first contact with the matched male user. Not only this, but some apps have also mandated the profile verification process to nurture genuine profiles across the platform.
In a world where the bitter and sweet coexists simultaneously, it is very important for us to probe in well. The growth of social media has transformed the content landscape. It has brought in fresh perspectives too, but, has also paved the way to new vulnerabilities. However, with the evolution of cyber security and in-app user-friendly services, the extent of exploitation has seen a dip. Hence, social media can be a boon only if we remember that with great power comes great responsibilities; and in this case, we are the stakeholders for the same.
So go download, explore and enjoy social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Rizzle, etc… but do not forget to handle them with care!