Born as platforms with high pervasive power (we cannot do without despite having lived very well without them for many years), social networks as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, despite their category of belonging, are a potential instrument of isolation par excellence.
This statement could appear paradoxical since, being “social” realities (even if virtual), they should have an aggregating function. However, the opposite is often frequent.
In the moment of a virtual interaction with the other, this “other” while actually existing and appearing real, in reality is merely illusory, being present only on the screen but absent in its authentic corporeality and effectiveness.
However, the power of social media is not limited only to the ability to unite or isolate. There is something more intimate and deeper. So let’s start with some questions: how many hours do we spend in the company of social media, how much do they influence and determine us? Are our behavior and our relating to others and to our person affected by them?
In 1994, the Austrian philosopher Karl Popper dealt with the ability and power of television to influence the individual with his essay entitled Bad Teacher Television. Popper was convinced that television could affect viewers’ ideas, thoughts, actions and behaviors, albeit unconsciously but still in an important way. Our philosopher, who had had the opportunity to work with the psychoanalyst Alfred Adler, was convinced that the pervasive power of television was so strong that it could profoundly affect the cognitive development of children and that its power should therefore be reduced.
Is it possible to apply Popper thinks also to the social networks? I really think so. Just think of the “virality” of some videos and the messages they convey, sometimes positive but sometimes also full of violence.
It would therefore be necessary to have a real education in the correct use of these realities that are now so essential in everyone’s life, regardless of age. And you, how do you relate to social medias? What use do you make of them? If you like want, share your thoughts in the comment space. Thank you.
Maria Domenica Depalo