How to Enter Social Networks and Not Get Entangled

How to Enter Social Networks and Not Get Entangled
Fecha de publicación: 
5 July 2022
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World Social Media Day, celebrated every June 30th since 2010 may be a good time to sit down and think about these virtual spaces that have become part of our daily lives, sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much.

Generally, we are quite clear about what they are for, how much they help us keep communication with friends or family and even meet people with similar likes or interests, in fact, I know more than one happy couple who have connected through these networks.

Socializing, sharing, and even exercising activism based on social causes, are just some of the indisputable uses that we can give it. Right now, we have at hand an example of the creative way in which they can become tools for public good purposes and campaigns with *The code does sound *an initiative to support the Family Code based on personal life stories shares experiences and points of view, which find their main channel in the social network Facebook to gauge the relevance of the Code and its importance.

If we take into account that, from 2020 to 2021, the number of Cubans connected grew by more than 600,000, according to data provided by reports from the We Are Social agency and the Hootsuite network management platform, the influence of the internet and social networks social in the events of the island is logically growing.

This data invites us to be aware of its advantages, of course, to take advantage of them, but also aware of the risks we deal with in a parallel reality to which human beings have taken their virtues, but also their miseries. Perhaps the first risk is precisely that of confusing networks with real life and ending up trapped in that complex web whose threads move to the sound of well-established algorithms and not to our dreams and desires, as they try to make us believe.

Then there are other alerts. For example, something as simple as filters of beauty that include social networking applications, especially Instagram, one that has been gaining space in our country, generate expectations and comparisons that can cause low self-esteem, depression and, in many cases, have caused suicide, especially among women and teenagers.

But Facebook, Cuba's favourite, has also been forced to take measures that limit vices such as cyberbullying, bullying, sending sexual, erotic or pornographic messages known as sexting or grooming, which refers to sexual harassment directed at minors, but is still not enough and the greatest responsibility continues to fall on the common sense of each person.

How many friends have reported their Facebook accounts hacked lately? Theft of identity, information and even balance in mobiles, unbelievable scams orchestrated through the very buying and selling groups that currently thrive and that solve a lot of issues for us, but where we would have to tread "with four eyes", as popular wisdom warns.

What about information - misinformation, a couple of conflicting words that seem like birds of the same flock on social networks. Fake news abounds, sensational news that focus more on emotions than on proven truths, public lynchings that steal our word and the invented freedom that a supposedly democratic, accessible environment, where you don’t need to be journalist, communicator, politician or opinion leader to have a voice and a vote.

And that's enough, I read myself and it seems like I want to demonize social networks in their own party and that’s not the idea, rather it’s about interacting in them without naivety, `so that they are networks, but not traps.

Let curiosity kill the cat if he allows it, but not us, we should never follow links that we don't know where they are headed, nor give personal information to strangers, such as routines or addresses.

The most important thing is to understand that these are personal and public spaces at the same time. In other words, we have our own accounts and we can express ourselves in them, but what we do is published for smaller or larger bubbles and we must evaluate the scope they carry.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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