In the past decade, the sharing of ideas and experiences has exploded.
But today, many of us share less and less of what we really care about, says Michael Geist, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University.
He argues that in a world where social media allows for instantaneous, unlimited access, it’s not only our capacity for empathy that is diminishing.
“We’re going from being able to have our feelings expressed in a meaningful way, to having our feelings translated into something that’s more of a commodity,” says Geist.
“That is really a bad trend.”
Geist is also concerned about how we relate to one another online, especially as technology continues to take our online lives online.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing for us to feel like we’re not part of a group,” he says.
In other words, if we are, he argues, we’re going to stay connected to those who are less connected.
“There are many people out there who will not be able to be part of the larger community, and that will make it harder for us all to stay engaged,” says Guido.
“People will be less willing to share things, they will be more likely to share less.”
In a recent survey, researchers found that online communities have become the largest social networks of choice among millennials, and there’s reason to believe that’s the case across the board.
For example, a 2017 survey by Pew Research Center found that 57 per cent of millennials use social media to get news, while 43 per cent use it for shopping and 19 per cent to discuss their work.
And millennials are more likely than older generations to report that their peers are “much more connected online” than they are offline.
“In a lot of ways, we don’t know how to navigate this space,” says Jennifer Gaudette, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Ottawa.
“What’s missing from this discussion is a way to build a more diverse social community.”
Social media is a particularly problematic space for the LGBTQ community because of the way it facilitates the spread of misinformation and promotes intolerance, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
But many say that social media sites are being misused by the right to spread hate speech.
In 2015, Facebook banned conservative and white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis from using its platform.
Facebook has also been accused of censorship for refusing to remove posts that promote white supremacy.
In addition, Facebook has faced legal and legislative scrutiny for what some say is a lack of transparency in its use of data.
In February 2017, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that Facebook had failed to adequately disclose the identities of people who used its platform to post hateful content.
In a statement to The Globe and Mail, Facebook said it “has a long history of protecting users from hate speech.”
But it said it will take steps to prevent hate speech and violence online.
Facebook, which operates in more than 190 countries, is the most widely used social media platform in the world, according the company’s 2016 annual report.
It is also a major target for online bullies who use the platform to promote hate speech, like white supremacists.
“It’s really about whether you can have the conversation, and the conversation is not happening in a way that you can engage people in a safe and respectful way,” says Alanna Vollmer, a professor of public policy at the George Washington University.
“And that’s where the real problem comes in.”
Vollman, who has been researching hate speech on Facebook for more than a decade, believes social media platforms are being used as platforms to encourage violence and bigotry.
“The fact that we’re having these conversations on the internet is actually a problem,” she says.
“They’re really pushing the envelope on free speech.
And if we don-t make sure that we have that debate, then we’re really not going to have the discussion.”
The lack of diversity on social media, Vollster says, can lead to a lack-of-trust and even hate speech spreading on the platform.
In one case, she says, she was confronted by a Facebook user who posted an article calling her “white trash” on her profile.
“When I said ‘I’m not white trash,’ that was the most hateful thing that I’ve ever seen,” says Vollber.
Vollers story highlights the problem of social media abuse online.
In 2016, she started the Twitter account @Unbashed.
“As soon as I started tweeting, I got hundreds of hateful messages that were very offensive,” she said.
“One guy called me a ‘faggot.’
The harassment didn’t stop there. “
One person threatened me that they would send me to jail for telling people about the racist tweets that they were seeing.”
The harassment didn’t stop there.
In the summer of 2017, Voss was contacted by another Facebook user.
“He said, ‘Hi, I’m so sorry,