There is something I've been really struggling with and I'd like to hear people's opinions on:
For a long time, I've been rather optimistic about social media and their role in global citizenship. I was convinced that people becoming more connected would lead to a closer, more tolerant global community. What I have been reading in the media, but also my personal experiences on Facebook recently have made me doubt very strongly if social media really are such a positive influence on the global community. Personally, I've decided to spend a lot less time on Facebook an uninstalled my FB app from my phone because I find the way people use it and the extreme nature of people's comments to certain news articles frankly very upsetting. I'll be honest, it has made a positive impact on my state of mind and how I spend my time, but I do feel a bit of a disconnect - it has always been one of my main ways of staying in touch with what was happening all over the world.
Do people have similar experiences? How do you deal with the negative impact of social media? What do you recommend to people who you work with?
on this topic I would suggest to have a look at the report that has been published by UNESCO on "Youth and Violent Extremism on Social Media".
The report provides a global mapping of research (mainly during 2012-16) about the assumed roles played by social media in violent radicalization processes, especially when they affect youth and women. The research responds to the belief that the Internet at large is an active vector for violent radicalization that facilitates the proliferation of violent extremist ideologies. While Internet may play a facilitating role, it is not established that there is a causative link between it and radicalization towards extremism, violent radicalization, or the commission of actual acts of extremist violence.
This report can be an useful resource to answer your question!