It is easy to criticize and to allow the negative to outshine the positive, which is what frequently happens with discussions regarding social media. While social media networks, such as Facebook, were initially designed to simply connect friends, over time, they quickly became a platform for open discussion that is unprecedented. The anonymity factor may exacerbate online harassment, but anonymity also allows for complete freedom of speech and opinions without the concern of judgment or safety. Khalid Albaih identifies his appeal to art as being the same as his gratitude towards social media. Both generate “that feeling of freedom” (Albaih) and can reach people from all over the world, or even people in your neighborhood who may share the same opinions, interests, or beliefs. Social media can be a vehicle for change and revolution. In order for people to make change, they need to talk, and they will need a space to talk, a space like social media.
A predominant difference between social media and mainstream media is the number of voices heard. Due to social media’s nature as an individual’s space for self-expression, there is the already opened door to an impossibly wide array of shared voices. Like in any business, there is a hierarchy of positions in mainstream media which dictates who can say what. This often leads to a network with a single view, whether it be a political stance, or a local cultural perception. The internet is a place where every angle of a story and every area on the spectrum of opinions can be found. It gives readers a chance to hear the full story and how it impacts various people around the world.
In addition, I think that mainstream news media is too focused on capturing a target audience and selling a story, whereas, people reporting in social media are more concerned with sharing their opinions and their findings with anyone who is willing to listen. This reduces the inclination to mislead people and paint a story in a certain light, therefore, making social media as a less legitimate but more trustworthy form of news reporting in some cases. Moreover, stories, news, or art on social media rely on a sharing method. This means the general public are judging what is worthy, not a single person calling all the shots. News stories are in some ways forced upon me through social media networks. The majority of news I hear about nowadays are found when scrolling through Facebook. I do not intend to go on Facebook for the purpose of reading recent news, but it has evolved from a site where one shares their daily activities to one where one shares their honest opinions and concerns.