Qualithoughts by: Mary Ann Ramos, former Q2 HR Solutions, Research Specialist

Each day, we are presented with a society, an order of things, a culture, a system of needs and written and unwritten norms that we accept as reality. Many have questioned the origin of this everyday reality and the manner of how it is made to appear as a circumstance we cannot change.

Here enters the role of social media and how it builds reality. Social media feeds the society with a constructed reality instead of depicting it. It creates a new blueprint of the world instead of echoing (given its power to communicate across groups and cultures) what really exists. Because if we disregard all inferences that we come up with from studying how each sector of the society should be fed, everyone will prefer objective over subjective reality – a reality that will only speak of raw and unbiased.

In this modern technological age, people have become dependent to social media. Our activities, behaviours, directions and decisions have greatly been influenced by what we see and hear from social media. We can never discount the power it has over its audience.

In example, societal attitude towards LGBT at some point became widespread as it had been sponsored by big player capitalists and extensively supported and overstated on the internet. Nepal lost 9,000 people to an earthquake in May 2015 and gained compassion from millions of people from around the world because media transcended ethnicity and religion, brought a message across and stirred emotions. Whatever the depth of an issue, social media always has its role in perpetuating it.

Social media also lays out response patterns, made it possible to generate the kind of impact it wants to see from people – amusement, sympathy, rage, fondness or vigilance. Bearing an innate capability to design a world that will benefit some and hurt some, it is everywhere, even when you think you don’t need it. It limits something which may be potentially affective to us or sensationalizes something that we do not really understand.

Social media is very manipulative. It creates false needs – needs which can be satisfied by capitalists, and replaces our true necessities such as happiness and freedom. It gives labels to ethnicity, size, accent, sexuality and roles, whatever it deems relevant. But as creatures with intellect, it is our responsibility to preserve our identity and examine our real needs. We should always remember that we are not born a member of a society; we are free to choose which society to be in.