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Social Media Zoo

Maybe my dislike of social media is linked to my dislike of zoos where poor animals who should be free in the wild are instead locked in cages for the benefit of human viewing. Either way, social media, to me, is becoming increasingly distasteful. And it is becoming a lot like a zoo, where people perform (hashtag get ready with me / hashtag a day in my life) and are gawked at by millions of people around the world (which on its own is very concerning). Viewers are forever chasing the next gist, the next gossip, the next story to feed on, the next trend to hop on, the next "animal" to watch.

The pandemic was insufferable

If you were on Earth in 2020, your government probably threw you into some kind of lockdown and it was then that the madness of social media truly emerged; we were out of work and school, could go nowhere, and all we had were our phones 24/7. Do you remember the #dontrushchallenge on TikTok and Instagram? How about the #dontleaveme challenge? Everyone and their neighbour hopped on them. Even boomers who don't know how to switch the camera direction during a video call were don't rushing me and don't leaving me. The pandemic made everyone crazy. (And I think there's something to be said about the conflation of the lockdowns with social media - especially TikTok - but we can visit that another time.) One more thing: do you remember those multimillionaire celebrities who gave us a rendition of We are the World that nobody asked them for?

A type of mania

We have normalized the invasion of privacy; everyone who follows you on social media knows what city or state/province you live in, how many children you have, your children's names, what type of car you drive, what type of house in live in, what your living room looks like, when and where you go on holiday, when you return etc. This is creepy and it is abnormal. It is a sort of mania and I would say it is linked to living in an increasingly isolating society where actual, real-life relationships are breaking down and people are instead forming online connections with people (or personas) who might not actually exist. Don't get me wrong - people do find the love of their life on the internet, but people have also met their end through the internet. Caution must be exercised.

Leave children out of it

Take your kids off the internet. There are predators out there. And: your newborn does not need a social media profile dedicated to his/her cute smiles and adorable outfits. What is wrong with people? These are vulnerable children. And, this is just my opinion, but there is no amount of "awareness" that you will raise by putting your special needs child on the internet that will justify the exposure you give to this child from people who don't have anything kind to say and people who really don't need to be seeing your child's meltdown or developmental challenges. Why does this need to be said? Because it is 2024 and the world has gone nuts. It is also very convenient that some of these "influencer parents" have bagged collabs and endorsement deals with major brands at the expense of the privacy of their vulnerable children. It is sad and despicable that we even have to make a case for the safety and sanctity of children. How are we as a human race making astronomical strides in technology and health care while simultaneously throwing children under the bus?

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