Many topics that are widely discussed in modern society have both supporters and those who have an opposing view. It is vital to be able to assess the opinions of both sides in order to create a cohesive viewpoint on a subject. The use of social media and its impact on society has been one of such topics because many believe that it affects society negatively. Others, however, point out the fact that information exchange and communication have advanced significantly due to the application of these online platforms. This paper aims to review the arguments presented by those stating that people are adversely affected by social media and evaluate them using Elbow’s approach.
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My position on the issue in question is that social media are an inseparable part of the technological advancement that helps people connect with each other and receive valuable information in short periods of time. The Believing Game introduced by Elbow encourages one to review information from an opposing side with a specific set of questions to determine its accuracy (2). Thus, one argument against this claim is that false information can be easily spread through these websites. The exciting component of this viewpoint is the statistics of prevalence and speed with which erroneous information spreads through social media (1). For instance, several studies confirmed that people are more likely to retweet incorrect information when compared to actual facts. If I believed this view, I would dedicate more attention towards thoroughly checking information from social media. This would lead me to see the really false data and news that can be read on these websites. Based on the fact that this argument cites relevant research, one can conclude that under these conditions, this idea is correct.
Due to the specifics of online messaging and other forms of interactions, face-to-face communication became less prevalent. The helpful aspect of this opinion regarding social media is that it points out to lack of interpersonal communication in modern society. I would notice people around me using their phones to text or message someone instead of reaching out to them in person more if I believed this worldview. This idea is accurate in the sense that social media transformed contemporary approaches to communication. Nowadays, it is easier to write a message to someone instead of calling or meeting that individual.
Social media can serve as a platform for bullying, which affects the mental well-being of individuals, especially kids. This information is valuable because prior to reading this argument, I was unaware of the cyberbullying statistics. Therefore, through this argument, one can conclude that while social media facilitates interpersonal communication, it also enables bullies to insult people more easily. I would be able to notice more negative comments or messages on the platforms that I use if I believed this view. This argument is valid in the sense that social media makes all types of communication, including negative ones, more accessible.
Overall, Elbow’s approach allows one to view the arguments of an opposing side from a different perspective. This provides an important implication for a better understanding of people who oppose the widespread use of social media. The review of the various arguments provided an understanding of the fact that social media does pose potential dangers such as the spread of false information.
Elbow, Peter. 2006. The Believing Game and How to Make Conflicting Opinions More Fruitful. Web.
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