Has social media made us cruel?
It’s nothing revolutionary in knowing the media love to hate celebrities; and the public do too. Some love to fantasize how they could live, and others; well they just love to wait for celebrities’ to fall in order to make themselves feel better about their own lives.
Following Madonna’s recent fall from grace, literally her fall backwards down the stairs. From which she allegedly suffered whiplash from, oh, and a whole load of embarrassment and abuse online.
But this is not a new concept; Heat magazine, for example had picked up on these particular factors a while ago. Basing their celebrity gossip on bitchiness and scandal, but where does it end?
From my observations it seems every time an incident such as this occurs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram absolutely blow up. I mean almost every person on the timeline will be posting memes (they emerge straight away, just who is creating them THAT fast by the way?).
Social media has created the perfect platform for user generated content to flood timelines instantaneously after these incidents occur. As we can see below (the pick of the best/worst 10 memes/images created on Madonna’s fall found on Instagram)
So, the fundamental question is does social media influence us to become more judgemental and mean? The answer is no. Prior I have mentioned the premise of Heat magazine and the love/hate celebrity relationships the press and the public have with celebrity culture.
However, on the other hand due to the speediness of response and user generated content featured on social media; I think responses are greater and more exaggerated. They reach bigger audiences than ever, and can be saved and archived. Whereas in the past public opinion on celebrities was gossiped about at local pubs, and in the comfort of our own homes. Now we can broadcast this to thousands of followers on Twitter.
This can be potentially dangerous, and often we overlook the power of social media. So next time you think about slagging off someone famous in order to make yourself feel better, think again. How would you feel if someone was judging your every move? Creating images and memes about you and broadcasting it to huge audiences. Screen shots, saving images. There is no end to what can be achieved on social media. Always think carefully before venting or uploading. In some cases, these things cannot ever be deleted.