Is Social Media a Coward’s Charter?

As one commentator on his blog has just reminded me, “Social media allows us to express (opinions) quickly, easily and without responsibility.”

Freedom of speech has never felt quite so at home as on social media. We can say what we like, when we like and to whomever we like. This sense of freedom manifests itself on any number of comments made by sports fans on their favourite teams Facebook page after a poor performance. The vitriol can be quite jaw dropping on occasion!

But as history teaches us, freedom without responsibility is no freedom at all.

Now this is a deeply philosophical point and not one I’m going to attempt to start a broader debate on now. But in the scope of this blog and its interest in the development of social tools and peoples use of them, are the examples of people power,  we see everyday ranging from positive (fund raising) to highly damaging (cyber bullying) as far as we are going to get?

How will our use of these tools play out in the decades to follow?

These are early days in the history of social media and people are still finding their feet. In addition, no sooner have we done so, than Facebook or someone else has invented a new app to move the goalposts yet again causing another behavioral change.

Will social media mean that we develop and build a new social contract with each other where greater respect, tolerance and understanding – even of those who decide to change their logo! – is achieved?

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