As we go deeper to the discussions on various aspects of social media, more and more “dark” sides are unpacked. For a long time, I believe that there are two fascinating things about social media that hold people together: first, people overcome the barriers of time, space, languages and cultural background to share and collaborate; secondly, individuals with various kinds of values have a state or platform to freely express themselves and form, develop and expand their own organizations.
Basically speaking, we are not only exposed to a world of information and data, but also are exposed to a world of values. After reading the article “Girls Around Me”, I cannot help asking who is going to be the one who is responsible for filter this information? And more important, who is going to be the one who set up a “value guide” for us?
These two questions are actually one because without a value judgement, a filter of information may not be accomplished. And at the same time, the information one filtered always manifested one’s value. When we are facing the “net generation”, are we going to stick to the traditional values frameworks, or we should start consider whether it is necessary to set up a new value judgement for the net generation.
In my opinion, I think the traditional values still weigh a lot in the cyberspace. I think one urgent measure to take is that we need to let the social media users, including the net generation, realize that every click or word matters. It may be too complicated to argue who should be the responsible party for our safety and protection in cyberspace, but there is no doubt that the first step is from knowing about what influence it may cause when we register an account, when we send an email, when we click a link, and when we join a group. So I think there should be a third reason why social media can hold people together: people can control their information by themselves and build up the designed social networks based on their needs.
The freedom without knowledge is very dangerous, and it is not the freedom we want in cyberspace.