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Social Media and Negativism!

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 4 minutes read

By: Bramhacharimayum Sadananda Sharma

Over the past few decades, the world has shown a lot of changes but the growth of social media may impact for better or worsemostly in an individual’s day-to-day life. Observing the present changing wave of Social media waves, starting from Prime Minister to President choosing Social media as their preferred medium of sharing information and communication with the public and many other emerging social media “influencer” now a profession, also the past years have seen more adults pushing into the social media platforms.
In this continuously changing momentum, people who use social media sites are more likely today than in the past to describe the political discourse on social media platforms in negative terms, according to a researcher name Pew poll. Roughly two-thirds of users (68%) now say they find it “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics on social media with people they disagree with, up from 59%. Conversely, 27% of users today say they find these interactions “interesting and informative,” compared with 35% three years prior. While more adults are exhausted by arguing over tax, political reforms and election, also most of the youth are facing an even darker story of the internet.
Apart from argument and interaction through social media there is also growing evidence that shows the human trend to prioritize more on information that may incite ethnic and communal riots. But why is this? Sometimes, in the guise of these riots, group of people will get an opportunity to bake political loaves, so they keep on conspiring. During the process always the innocent are the first victims, they started sharing such misinformation on social media without having proper facts or verification. The harsh reality is that with thousand of such misinformation people are slowly brain wash believing those fabricated contents, and in a gradual manner our reading habits started prioritize and seeking more unconstructive information. The incorporation of post-event testimonial information into someone’s memory representation of the event via constructive memory processes gives rise to the misinformation effect, in which the incorporation of inaccurate testimonial information results in the formation of a false memory belief.
According to findings humans may neurologically or physiologically inclined towards and focusing more on negative information. It is evolutionarily advantageous to prioritize negative information; the argument goes, because the potential costs of negative information far outweigh the potential benefits of positive information. Focusing more on such negative information may be a way of managing clearer sense and view of social issues and environment. But we need to change our behavior, or our judgment, especially when something goes right, not when something goes wrong. So until and unless we invest time and resource to pay enough attention towards everything whether a political issue or any religious issues, we may be well-served by focusing more on finding valid or credible information and that requires a change on our part and all negativity does not also lead to devastating skepticism or disengagement.
Spreading false information or act of negativism in a platform such as social media can be destructive as we all know social media is people’s first choice for gathering information now a days. Engaging in sensitive social issues without appropriate knowledge or facts may in turns leads to spreading negativity, conflicts and misunderstanding amongst peoples, which is quite harmful for a country like ours where people from different communities inhabit together. Sharing or spreading negativity inside these diverse communities could be just like planting a ticking bomb.
Also some negative information may fade away as time goes by but some may even draw lines between peoples living in peace and harmony since time immemorial. Here, the main difficulty we are facing is that we really lack the appropriate amount and limits of negativity or do we know if there are ways to adjust our negativity biases. Even if we increasingly receive misinformation through social media, and if social media users tend to forward positive rather than negative information, then we might expect the tone of our social media medium to become more positive overall. Whether this leads to a more informed or attentive electorate or general public is another matter, however. We may be better informed about successful policy and development initiatives rather than feeding and spreading on negative biases.

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