"One downside of the e-social revolution is that if all this ubiquitous interactivity leads people to shape their own opinions more and more based on the opinions of others, then we will be thinning out the “intellectual gene pool” of ideas and diverse thinking, and unintentionally putting ourselves and our culture at immense risk of catastrophic loss, either through miscalculation or simply a stampede of sentiment."
Social Media And The Loss Of Uncorrelated Wisdom (via courtenaybird)
The kinds of people who read someone else’s opinion on a social media site and use it to supplant their own opinion are the same kinds of people who do that in real life.
Social media makes it easy for the masses to have conversations. It makes it easy for people who *already* agree with one another to get together. Opinions aren’t going to—or rather—are rarely going to be changed, in general.
Herd mentality has always existed and will continue to exist. Social media allows people to discover that not everyone is a member of the same heard.
The sword cuts in both directions: New ideas are relatively few and far between. When a new, disruptive, idea rears it’s tiny little head it build a following. Social media can speed that up. Disruptive chains of thought (the seeds of revolution?) used to take years to spread. Now they can be spread in days.
So yes, social media makes it easier for people to allow others to form opinions for them. Social media makes it easier for influential people to control the thoughts of a large group of the populous. You know what else does that? Traditional media. I think that social media also teaches us to question what we’re being told, and gives us the opportunity to find a voice that each of us agrees with individually.
What harm can come from groups of people standing together behind the ideals that they hold dear? Well, lots probably. But isn’t it more harmful to sit silently and alone as ideas that you disagree with are espoused by the majority?