Vicious circle

I do love media but I hate it at the same time.

I was born in 2002. Since then, my whole life has been influenced by media. Of course, my generation was not the first that grew up watching TV or playing video games but from early childhood we familiarized ourselves with DVDs, playing Wii and PlayStation and we’ve also been the first generation that started to use smartphones on daily basis at a very young age. Over time, we’ve become not only consumers but also media producers and we all get used to it. We get used to the attention we got on social media even if it is fake, we have weird feelings that we should share our lives with our followers even we do not know many of them personally and we think about self-presentation a lot. I know I’m generalizing right now, but we as Gen Z, do not know how to live without social media because it has become an inseparable part of our lives and society. We’ve learned how to understand and use media very quickly, how algorithms control us, and that we need to evaluate information in media critically and detachedly. We are the “Digital Generation” and using technology is subconscious for us.

Unfortunately, our parents and older generations didn’t have the opportunity to learn about the future technologies as much as we could, so they use it in ways we sometimes can’t understand. I’m not opening this topic very often because I am ashamed to talk about it but I feel that social media destroyed my parents. Yes, it sounds like a paradox these days when many young people are depressed, have eating disorders, or commit suicide because of the social media impact but it is true. My parents are nice, educated, and literate people so I felt disappointed when I realized that their opinions have changed, they have become haters of everything and everyone and believe in every hoax and false information on Facebook. It started a couple of years ago but as soon as this pandemic started their problem escalated. At first, I blamed them for being different than before but over time I’ve changed my mind and realized that they are just victims of the algorithm. Of course, I tried to explain how social media works, how bad it is for their psyche, and how cautious they have to be while reading and sharing but it was too late. My parents completely fell into the vicious circle of algorithms and they are still confirming themselves in the opinions by liking and sharing something. They do not understand that how many posts they like, share or comment that many other posts from people with the same beliefs will show up on their Facebook wall. Regrettably, our family restricted or avoid contact with them because of their posts on Facebook but what’s worse is that their only way from this “hell” is to delete all social media and stop using it and I know they would never agree with it. Unfortunately, they don’t see that they have a serious problem and that Facebook is slowly destroying their family, they see only how untrustworthy other media and news are and how they feel unique and appreciated in the group of their fake Facebook friends (also haters).

I’ve chosen this programme to learn more about media and to understand it in detail because it affects our whole future. I will try my best to help my parents get out of the vicious circle and I hope I will succeed.

Kristina, 13598511

Published by Media Love

Website dedicated to the Media Love project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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