There is no denying that social media is now a part of our lives and there is no escape from it. One way or another, most people have at least one social media account where they create a profile for themselves and create their own virtual world. It is possible to be whomever you want on social media: You can communicate with whomever you want about whatever topic you desire but this virtual world comes with a price.Social media sites, which have become indispensable platforms for people, bring about a lot of risks, while at the same time act as important facilities for communication. Issues such as unrealistic information conveyed in interviews with strangers, characteristic features hidden to influence the other party, or fake interests, pose a risk to users.
Specialized Psychiatrist Dr. Sıtkı Karaca underlined that with the emergence of social media platforms, people have great advantages in communicating with each other, adding that a fake environment has also been introduced.
Karaca said the emergence of social media has brought with it something we call liquefaction and evaporation of space or time. "Perhaps a person, who is about to fall asleep in China, reaches a person who is about to wake up in the United States via a text message, creating a moment with no time. It also shows us the moment when the two continents join together spatially," Karaca said, noting that people can now communicate with places, where once a letter would reach in days or months, in one-tenth of a second.
"Of course, this is one of the beauties of the age of the internet. But on the other hand, human communication lives within the sphere of social communication. What is this? It is family, school, the street and the workplace. This is a face-to-face communication because we are confronted in this environment. We exist with our flesh and bones, emotions, expressions and gestures," Karaca said, highlighting that on the social media, this is not the case, and that we no longer have our gestures and expressions as a way to express our own emotional values.
"What do we have? We have fake structure. Maybe we create a different person by hiding our identity, personality and interests. People can pretend to possess deficiencies in a field that they do not like. They can show reading as a hobby while they do not actually enjoy reading a book," Karaca said. "They can pretend to play tennis very well and add things into their interests like hiking and mountaineering which they do not actually care about. Maybe they have not even been to the garden in 10 years. There is hiding here. There is self-concealment. We therefore need to reduce this communication first."
'It is a world that consumes, ends and destroys us'
Karaca said that the internet and social media are an essential necessity of our age, but that they should be used by ensuring personal safety. "The internet or social media will absolutely be there so that we may introduce ourselves. But we need to know that we should introduce ourselves online in the right way, (while) others might misrepresent themselves. We have to act by protecting ourselves in areas of trust deficit," Karaca said.
"Imagine, a nice shopping center is being built. There used to be a grocery store next to our door, but we moved away from the grocery store and turned to the supermarket. Then we went to the shopping center. As the capitalist world gradually absorbed us, it also created a new world. A place where a shopping mall with no space, time, storage and shelves is at the tip of your fingers. There you can get what you want with a single button."Noting that has created a new shopping phase and a new fake paradise where you can get whatever you want and put it on your shopping cart, Karaca stressed that this has taken us to the of addiction. "We see two important things that one experiences on social media and the internet," Karaca said. "The first is a world that is not ours, and the second is a world that consumes, ends and destroys us. If we use this world well and in the right way, maybe we will be free from its destructive effect."
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