Social Media has intensified the knowledge and understanding of world issues and has amplified the ability and understanding to be heard. In the 20th century, Marshall McLuhan had the idea that is known as “Media is the Message” that the media influences our mindset and thought process about world issues.
During his main time of study during the middle 20th century, the media had a general message that was down the middle, and was a common agenda from the media that was pushed, and the media was trustworthy overall during that timeframe in informing the people.
What is worth noting is that McLuhan died 40 years ago, before the internet technology existed. But many of his principles are still intact.
McLuhan’s largest hinting to social media was his idea of the global village, that modern technology allows people to have more access to each other than ever before, which could lead to irritableness and/or conflict.
What I think McLuhan, no anyone else could predict is that with the extra access now of social media, it does not take much for someone to change the influence of a splintered portion of that global village, often leading to significant conflict between two parties. This arguably has helped influence our current standoff between the two political sides in two significant discussions.
There are two situations where the current media landscape is polarized. One is how to deal with COVID and the current civil rights movement.
The splintered parties are led by medical experts (which tend to land liberal followers) and economists (who tend to side with republicans). With most discussions, both sides have very valid points. We want to limit possible exposure to the virus, especially to the most vulnerable, and many people have lost their jobs due to shutdown, and they need financial support to have a decent livelihood.
It is so easy to make an offensive comment on social media to gain influence, or to straight up lie about statistics or stories to help your side in any situation.
Now look at today’s racial injustice climate. Social media, rightfully so, has been a great tool to bring awareness to the issue that minorities are still being oppressed in America, and that this needs to stop. This push has been brought up by people generally who are of liberal background, and many conservatives, from southern states, have doubled down on their racism and supported the confederate states history further since this has all occurred, and that is heartbreaking.
Political columnist David French mentioned recently that a fundamentalist movement is occurring, but it is not religious-based. There appears to be a tolerance in society growing to understand other people’s views. Take this opportunity to learn more about other peoples’ understanding so that we can learn from one another!