I have not been a member of Facebook, since, well, I can’t remember when I dropped it, it’s been that long. When I mention this to current users, I always get the same guilty response: “Well I only use it Facebook for <insert mundane reason here>”. The thing is, most people know that these platforms “aren’t right”, so to speak. Discussing use of social media platforms with people is almost like a confessional, but these same people, like addicts, find themselves “back at the bar” every couple hours “just to keep in touch with their ‘friends’. ”
I’m not advocating purity tests here, but its much like the rest of the economy. Take banking for example, even in the face of the 2009 meltdown, people still use national banks far more regularly than their local credit unions, we are still a society bashing Wal-Mart for their employment practices, while shopping there constantly. We are a country of blamers. I disagree with this statement vehemently:
When there’s a drunk driving accident, you don’t see anyone blaming the liquor company. They aren’t blaming the bar. It’s the individual who should have acted more responsibly. The blame for a school shooting doesn’t lie with the gun manufacturer.
We’ve seen bars sued for over-serving patrons, and tobacco companies sued for personal use, and doctors sued for results that are simply beyond their control. Our society has transferred our personal responsibility to the State which you advocate in the same breath of suggesting the individual take their own:
I think regulation is needed to rebalance the provider/user relationship.
You’re falling into a trap with this above statement. Using the term “regulation” in this fashion is nothing more than passing the buck of responsibility to someone else. There isn’t even a shade a detail as to what you believe this regulation should look like, “the experts” will take care of the details right? Well great, and as usual, those experts will be members of and have vested interests in the very industry they are regulating.
This ALL comes down to individual responsibility. In the case of the web, change is a click away, if we need laws to protect us from ourselves when change is that easy, we deserve all of the pain that results from our behavior. Our society is weak and valueless. Everyone loves social media because it makes signaling very simple, and that is what a majority of people do, god forbid they have to change their habits to make a difference, they’ll force someone else to change first.