Last Sunday I taught 2 classes at my church about “Social justice” (the idea of creating a society based on justice and equality).
I thought it might be fun for these high-school kids to tie it in with Social media, so I planned to talk about the Arab spring and the role Facebook played, and Occupy wall street.
The first class has 27 kids. Almost all of them had facebook accounts. But. Not ONE of them had heard of the Arab spring or the role that Facebook played.
I was a bit startled. And it got me thinking. These were 14 year olds. So they use Facebook. But with just their friends. They do not watch the evening news with their parents. I admit- My husband and I rarely watch “the evening news” – I get my news on the radio during my commute (and, I admit, a bit from my twitter stream… I heard about the Japan Earthquake from Twitter before the major networks were reporting it.) My own kids might be pretty ignorant of current events and I am not realizing that – because I get my dose away from them, while I’m in the car.
This is making me wonder – is use of personalized social media potentially making people more isolated or “ignorant”? If you can get ONLY the customized news that you are interested in, or only the things your friends are interested in – will you miss important social, political (or technical?) news and information? Today’s technology allows me to get “just the content I want”… but… Perhaps we as members of society also should recieve “the content that we need… to be good global citizens.”