Intercultural Extraneity
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The Red Herring

This is a very good draft and has a clear direction. To improve it:
- It needs to include at least two sources from the course material and reference to one example of student work produced this semester: https://interculturalextraneity.com/important/about#week9
- One of these could easily be some of the tools reviewed and practiced in week 6 (week 7 would be another good week to check); note the week 6 sources would also help strengthen your conclusion by providing support
- The idea of the red herring needs to be made clearer; the second and third paragraph could also afford to be clearer
Please keep these notes here.

This post refers to the prompt “The risks of and ingenuity in social media”.

Due to the fact that this topic is so relevant and contemporary, it should be discussed at any time. We all need to be aware of the negative impact social media have on us, as well as to learn to control our own thoughts, the input we receive and the actions we take while being entangled in the “Web”.

When we say ‘negative impact’, we all know what that is, at least to some extent. However, we need to look deeper into the story behind it. It was put simply in the article (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/biases-make-people-vulnerable-to-misinformation-spread-by-social-media/) that social media is exactly what reveals our vulnerability to manipulation. People are so easily manipulated and this is shown by the fact that they cannot even differentiate credible from the unreliable data, all of which can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Being overwhelmed with great deal of information, one tends to create various images of the reality and this leads to, for example, conspiracy theories emerging. Now, some of them may be true, but how can we know, being surrounded by all this “mess”? Or “the mess” actually serves as a cover, to maintain our confusion and guesswork?

Take the current virus situation. Numerous speculations, arguments, texts, even pictures have been posted concerning this issue, statements by doctors, scientists, witnesses of horrible events, all of them competent to have a say in it. Yet, every one of them tells a different propaganda, and causes complete bewilderment and chaos among people not only through virtual means, but in real life too. This chaos expands by posting the uncertain information over and over on social platforms, bringing up arguments and online fights, thus adding fuel to the fire. All this keeps the users ‘busy’ with establishing what is correct and what isn’t, while those who are familiar with the true facts, remain silent, thanking their ‘21st century red herring’.

Isn’t it terrible not to know whether the virus even exists or not, let alone the causes and consequences of it? And this is only one area, currently popular on social media due to its importance in terms of health, about which unreliable information is given to us. There’s a huge base of questionable data out there, regarding burning issues ,which tend to distort the reality. Just like it is described in this article (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/09/05/too-much-free-speech-bad-democracy-219587), due to being utterly exhausted with so much irrelevant information, we cannot find the relevant ones, moreover, for they are lost along the way.

This is exactly why we should learn how to evaluate credible sources and take the data provided for us with a grain of salt. I strongly agree with my colleagues from group ‘jana’ who stated that ‘social media should be approached with consideration’ and that we are to be careful about how WE contribute the information spreading, by clicking the ‘share ‘ button. (https://interculturalextraneity.com/articles/the-era-of-fake-news)
It is through critical thinking that we can achieve this level and hope to understand the world around us, as well as to take the
best out of social media, since they have various positive aspects too, however this is only one of the numerous negative ones which seem to prevail.

J.M.

This post may be used for research purposes.

I hereby confirm that this work is solely the result of my own independent scholarly work and that if any ideas, text passages, or diagrams from books, papers, the Web or other sources have been copied, paraphrased, or in any other way used, all references – including those found in electronic media – have been clearly acknowledged and fully cited.

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