Social media feels like the natural evolution of technology, like something that would have happened no matter what. But there’s a difference between what we would want and what we actually have.
It’s too late now to re-model social media, so we have to learn to live with what we have and make better choices from here on out. That’s why the Social Media Day we celebrate on June 30 is a reason to be thankful and wary at the same time.
Today’s social media landscape has its own ecosystem, different from the rest of the internet, with its own rules and users divided by age and interests. Each platform is designed with a niche in mind that seems to coincide with the offerings of the rest but with variations setting them apart. In short, there’s something for everybody, which is why social media is both fascinating and dangerous at the same time.
It would be nice if social media would gather only the good things, but human society is a mix of everything. Like on the rest of the internet, people from all walks of life have access to social media, and, while most use those platforms as intended, others find ways to pervert their original functions to fulfill more malignant goals.
The Social Media we should have had
Surprisingly, the arrival of social media was foretold in science-fiction novels long before we had the internet. Writers would envision people coming together, talking about current affairs, debating the days’ social issues, talking politics, and influencing each other with poignant and clever remarks.
The online landscape had the potential to elevate the human condition, and some writers believed that’s what would happen. Now, social media has undoubtedly changed the human condition, but no one can say that it was for the better.
Social media should be filled with meaningful ideas, exciting stories and uplifting adventures, all sprinkled with funny images of cats and dogs doing ridiculous things. But we all know there’s a big difference between what we ought to have had and what we actually have.
The Social Media we truly have
While social media has the good things we just mentioned, it’s also filled with the bad stuff in equal measure. It’s also home to hateful people and dangerous criminals. It serves as the perfect medium for malicious campaigns directed by attackers who want to steal what people seem to value the least, their private data.
Private information has to be one of the most undervalued commodities of today’s digital world. People gather so much essential data and metadata about themselves that it becomes difficult to tell what is important and what’s worthless. And the worst part about this is that, sometimes, the data that seems worthless is actually of great value to attackers.
Social media platforms have become so ingrained in our internet life that social media is the internet for many people. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, and the other platforms all fill various niches, and they all have something in common. They create real-world value with the data they collect and the outlet they offer.
The truth is that these platforms are also great mediums for attackers, who mainly look to steal the data that no one is actually worried about. People post their real-time locations online, answer quizzes that reveal answers to security questions they used for various online services, and keep filling in details in phishing schemes. And that’s not even counting all the malware and offensive content waiting in the shadows.
Our Digital Identity Protection tool allows you to check for data breaches and adjust all of your accounts in minutes if needed. You can also check for social media impersonators and learn more about your digital presence for a more privacy-focused decision.
The Social Media we could have
Yes, social media is filled to the brim with wonderful content and malicious intent. But the negative doesn’t have to outweigh the positive. With the suitable precautions and the proper security solution, the time we spend on social media platforms can lean toward the experience we ought to have and not what we currently have.
We might not have the social media that the science fiction writers promised us, but we can get a little closer by being mindful of what we share online and with whom. Knowing the value of what we post online takes us halfway to more security. An informed user is a powerful user, and the rest of the way is covered by security solutions such as Bitdefender Total Security. You can always check out the 90-day trial that provides complete protection, even when surfing online or looking at funny images of cats and dogs.