Why Social Media Needs More Wholesomeness.
By Stefan Muriuki
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 4 of VARSITY News.
Even Engesland says, “Your ability to show discretion defines your likeliness to contribute to a wholesome performance.” Deep down we all, or at least most of us, understand that social media is all about performance. It is a curated display of contrived action and wholesome perspective intended to achieve a certain goal. This is either based on our own vanity, or the need for genuine communication, which is always a delicate balance.
Over the years, the term “wholesomeness” has undergone a shift from its original puritanical designation into a “yin-yang” understanding of the thing it is supposed to describe. The new meaning, particularly in the context of social media, refers not just to the acknowledgement of the different existential states but our empathy towards them. In the internet culture of our time, wholesome social media content serves to uplift the integrity of others and lend a more sympathetic ear to our differences. But even more so, it emphasises our collective consciousness in the experience of life.
The internet is a dark place, one which can evoke the vilest forms of our psyche. On numerous occasions, the internet has been used to spread negativity and all manner of malice. Social media is the focal point in spreading this thread of evil. It is no strange fact that the majority of people online spend most of their time on social media, which links to various forms of content. It is this content that elicits variegated responses from people. But this darkness on the internet is counteracted by the pervading of wholesome content, which carries a smorgasbord of differentiated topics, from wholesome memes to personal stories about victories over adversity.
Social media is the opium of the masses because we long for communication and connection.
We long to be understood, far and wide, and that is why social media is so successful. Technologically mediated communication has altered the landscape of conversations and other societal communication forms. It is because of this longing that wholesome content will continue to be an obsession for social media. And it is with this discretion to ensure that content is halsumm*, that social media’s performance can achieve wholesomeness.
*Older Scottish term describing an entity that is conductive to giving health, internal balance and completeness
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