Social media: influence and regulation
Should social media be regulated? I Inside Story
Bruce Daisley: &# 171; The amount of time we spend staring at the screen certainly affects us. But I don’t think it’s necessarily for the worse&# 187;
How does social media affect our lives? How to balance their negative impact? Should social media be regulated?
Bruce Daisley, former VP of Twitter, bestselling author of Eat Sleep Work Repeat.
Margot Gontard: Do you think social media is good or bad?
Bruce Daisley: It’s so incredibly difficult. I remember a few years ago there was a generation of people who often discussed the differences between real life and virtual reality. Time passed, and children born in the era of the public Internet no longer feel the difference..
It’s a very turbulent time in the United States right now – in the United States and around the world. One of the reasons for this is that people are armed with smartphones with cameras, and new social networks allow them to spread the truth about what is happening around. Social networks are a tool for telling about what is happening, it is a means of truthful information.
Thanks to social media, people pay attention to something, be it the Black Life Matters movement or Greta Thunberg. I don’t think Thunberg would have become famous 17 years ago in a world without social media. So I’m on the side of the optimists …
M.G .: And on the side of digital vacation advocates?
B.D .: Now that much of the world is under quarantine, the line between work and weekends is blurring. Many of us try to separate them somehow. A friend of mine has a strange way of making this distinction. You know, many people walk around the apartment in socks. So this is his way – to put on shoes when he is ready to work in order to psychologically tune in, mentally transfer himself to another place. I don’t do this, but I feel that it’s useful to somehow remind yourself when you go into work mode and when you get out of it..
An interesting book, Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, came out last year. He came to the conclusion that there is no reason to give up social media – you just need to know what you are using it for. For me, social media is basically a way of having fun. I am not subscribed to people who talk about their life all the time. I’ve learned that comparing your life with the lives of others makes you unhappy. “Instagram” is a social network where most of all people compare themselves with others, so I don’t follow my friends on Instagram. It may seem very rude to them, but this is what makes me unhappy..
Therefore, I only subscribe to accounts that publish news about architecture, music, graffiti – these kinds of things make me incredibly happy. So, in my opinion, the main thing is to consciously approach social networks. If used correctly, you will find that social media informs, entertains, inspires … You just need to find the right balance.
Technology will continue to evolve, and there will definitely be something new to distract us. The amount of time we spend staring at the screen certainly affects us. But I don’t think it’s necessarily for the worse.
M.G .: Should social media check the accuracy of user-posted information??
B.D .: This is extremely difficult. With half a billion tweets posted every day in the region, it becomes incredibly difficult to verify them. Can you check absolutely everything when there is so much information? – No you can not. It is very difficult to verify even just what our political leaders say. The Washington Post, for example, employs four people whose only job is to check everything President Donald Trump says. Really hard-to-understand publications are hardest to assess, and claims that radiation from 5G towers cause coronavirus are the easiest..
But even if there is no way to check absolutely everything, we must prevent the use of these platforms as information weapons. This is the lesson 2016 taught us. I don’t think anyone on social media takes this lightly. Because during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, social media played a big role in spreading misinformation. Social media is very reluctant to play the same role in this year’s election..
M.G .: How do you feel about the idea of social media regulation?
B.D .: To some extent, this already exists in a number of countries. For example, in Indonesia, you cannot insult the king. When you lead an organization that is present in 200 countries of the world, you need to work in each of these countries, observing these specific rules. A great sign of freedom is that you can publish something and be responsible for it yourself. It will be a shame if this changes.
However, I don’t believe that there should be no rules on social media. I think almost everyone, from Mark Zuckerberg to the rest of those who run such companies, would be positive about the prospect of some regulation. One of the challenges we face is the lack of clear rules. Companies are supposed to find solutions themselves, and they would like someone else to do it. The main question, of course, is who will set the rules and how often it will be done..
Politicians often say, “You need to do something.” I always ask: “Explain how to do this?” Because people often come with a request for the end result, but without explaining how to achieve it. Making even simple rules often leads to serious, unexpected consequences..