Panel discusses social media ethics during Social Justice Week
On April 7, Jonathan Miles, Ph.D, Nora Baldner, and Ralph Oakley all joined together on a panel to discuss the ethics of social media in today’s society. The conversation was two hours long and there was a lot that was said in that span of time.
In the beginning of a new globalized sensation, the internet has provided the human species an outlet to communicate with each other almost instantly. Before this, communication was either done face to face or through written letters or phone calls. But as time progressed, technology became more accessible to common people and computer scientists viewed this as an opportunity to further advance society as a whole through the creation of the internet.
Communication via the internet was the greatest advancement that social media provided. This being the reason social platforms have skyrocketed in success because of the many different additions to the platform that allow someone to communicate with someone else quickly.
“It’s a way to get information to thousands of people at any given time,” Oakley said. “The pandemic might be the greatest example. As long as the information was correct we could get information out to people about the pandemic within a matter of minutes.”
Interaction through the internet became the new norm for society. No matter where one may be, there is now always a way to contact a loved one that lives either in a different city, state, or country. But eventually social media turned to something more than just a means of communication. It became a place where individuals could express themselves openly without a face to face judgment.
There is a certain ethical standard that has to be followed. But that standard becomes skewed when it comes to social media. The right of free speech plays a big role in what is allowed to be said via social media and there has been an ongoing debate about censorship and what others are allowed to post in the last decade.
But where is the line drawn between freedom of speech and censorship? Throughout the growth of social media this line has been drawn by the people who indulge in this new world.
However, it is difficult to define ethics within this world. Ethics are more based on the perception of the term rather than the true definition. In reality, opinions cloud the judgment of ethical reasoning and social media has become the storm.
In a place where there are too many opinions, it’s hard to find the truth within the fog of words. But where is that humbling moment where both parties gain understanding and knowledge of differing ideologies? Not on social media.
“Some conversations will be more meaningful in the living room or at dinner tables rather than in the middle of Main street,” Miles said.
I completely agree with that statement. The issue with social media is that everyone wants to be right and no one wants to be proven wrong. But if we take a step away from social media and have a heart to heart conversation and get more personable with people, we’ll be better off.