With no doubt, the Internet and particularly social networks have changed our lives and, often, they changed them improving them. Just think about how easy it is nowadays to keep in touch with people who live in the other side of the world, to advertise your company or startup, to learn, to read the latest news or to know other points of view about a certain event, perhaps with the help of a blog. They are just some of the priceless positive consequences of the arrival of the internet.
However there are also negative consequences. One of these, which is the one on which I want to focus more in this article, is that my generation is so immersed in this “social dimension” that the true human relationships are getting less and less important. And in addition to human relationships, even the relationship between ourselves and the present is getting less important.
1- HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships look easier with social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also with WhatsApp. It does not work as a talk in the pub or in the waiting room of the dentist. In fact, social networks are characterized by the possibility to reflect more. I mean that it is not required to reply immediately to a post, a comment or a message: you have all the time you need in order to reason about your answer. Nevertheless too many people reason less than they usually do in real life. What a paradox, isn’t it? It’s no surprise, in fact, that the Italian journalist Enrico Mentana named them “webeti”, connecting the words ‘web’ and ‘ebeti‘, which in Italian means ‘stupid‘. In other words “webeti” are those people who surf the net, especially using social networks, and write and comment even before thinking; those people who take the bait without asking themselves whether what they read is true or not; those people who are, at the same time, the victims but also the cause of junk-information.
1.1 – ‘FAST NEWS’
Many people argue what they support by saying: “It’s true: I read it on Facebook!“. What they don’t know is that Facebook is full of junk-information, which is a type of information that I want to name ‘Fast news’. Fast, like the junk food, that is the ‘fast food’. Fast News are extraordinarily able to extort likes and clicks because their targets are average Italian men’s emotions. Moreover the characteristic of being fast implicates a lack of in-depth analysis and also lack of verification of sources. To sum up, the common feature of all these ‘Fast news’ is that they are devoid of a detailed study, that is something which the average Italian guy doesn’t like very much. After all, isn’t it better to live on the surface of things than to make the effort to inspect and understand if things are truly as they seem to be?
2- AGE QUOD AGIS
Another negative consequence of social networks is the detachment from reality. We are losing the ability to look out the window without headphones, music and smartphones while traveling. We are becoming increasingly unable to do without constantly checking our Facebook wall. We are no longer able to stop for a minute and admire the beauty of a field of sunflowers, a painting or a touching photo. Well, maybe I’m wrong, because it is not true that we do not stop in front of a beautiful landscape. We stop just for few seconds in order to take a picture for our Snapchat. Snapchat: another interesting theme. In fact, we are so unable to live our present that we film and shoot it with our smartphone and publish it on the web instantly, instead of living it fully. It’s an incredible contradiction. Rather than appreciating the moment we are living, we share it on the internet! In short, we are exchanging our moments of life for some stupid ‘likes’ on Facebook. We should relearn how to live the present. Age quod Agis: do what you are doing, nothing else.