Social Media: Moderation is Key (Part I)

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn. These names are now part of our daily lives.

By Sarah Langot

And yet there are people who are fighting their own cyber-addiction by trying to get off these social media sites.

Sylvain is a master’s student in communication, and he works in film. He is in his twenties, and does not use social media very much at all.

Sylvain communicates with his entourage through WhatsApp, but that’s about all. He’s tried Twitter in the past. On Twitter he read the news, and amused himself by following the debates of the day. That platform also allowed him to access simplified pieces by journalists who interested him.

Nonetheless, he doesn’t regret not using it anymore. What turned him off was the sale of user data by the major websites. And he thinks that Facebook is an open door for spies.

At Your Own Risk

Sylvain also thinks these sites are designed to be addictive. For example, when we refresh our news site out of fear of missing the latest news items, it’s a form of anxiety. He compares this reflex with changing channels constantly on a TV.

This may be linked to a form of anxiety, to a need to be up-to-date on everything that’s happening all the time.

Sylvain believes that everyone invents a personality when they use social media. Over time, the difference between that made-up personality and the real social media user becomes problematic.

According to him, the projection of an ideal happens as we mould our avatar. “This phenomenon provokes a deep sadness when we’re confronted with reality. All these social media platforms break us down,” he says. He sees it as a “conservative” system in the sense of conservation, as “an algorithm collects data and figures out our preferences. The platform we use sends us back what we’d like to see, which plunges us into a bubble.”

First seen in Reflet de Société, Vol. 28, no. 2, printemps (spring) 2020, pages 16-17

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