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Earlier this century, when social media entered our lives more prominently, hardly were we aware of its enormous ability to impact them. Multiple platforms available for expressing views have democratised the very process of opinion-making. Nothing, literally nothing, prevents you from airing your views on anything under the Sun. The monopoly of mainstream media has now completely ended. Initially, social media used to reflect what appeared in mainstream media, but now it is mostly the other way round. Also significant is the fact that right or wrong, people now have opinions and also the courage to express them. This is important for any democratic society.
However, the negative aspects of social media too are coming to the fore. Tristan Harris’s documentary The Social Dilemma is making waves. Understandably, since trolling became a favourite pastime, the original element of extempore expression of thoughts and ideas has taken a backseat. Needless one-upmanship and the lure of earning brownie points are replacing logical and coherent argumentation. Besides, too much social media has also contributed to deterioration in the quality of discourse in general. Also, with limitless freedom of expression, there also comes some responsibility. One has to be mindful of the damage …
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