Ethics of Social Media

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Ethics of Social Media

Technology grows at an exponential rate and moral law cannot evolve and accommodate its pace, leaving the ethicalness of new innovations up for debate. Throughout human history, communication was vital for technological advancement to take place. In recent decades though, the trend has reversed; technological advancements now serve as a medium for human interaction. The internet has engulfed aspects of human life, such as social networking. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other sites that work to serve as social networking sites are highly accessible and are used by a copious amount of people in modern society. The problem is that online social interaction is used blindly and widely without regards to ethical theories established by philosophers of the past. When applied to these theories, this new form of social networking can be determined as either ethically viable or morally unsound. Before the advent of actual social media sites, online interaction was viewed with disdain by modern philosophers. Philosophers such as Albert Borgmann critiqued what he called “hyperreality”, a social reality in which one can create a glorified and distorted version of him/herself. Borgmann asserts that hyperreality leaves us disappointed and defeated when we are forced to face organic reality once again. Philosopher Hubert Dreyfus joins Borgann’s criticism of online interaction and adds that communication through the internet lacks the risk of communicating in person. Without risk, Dreyfus further explains, there is no commitment within online interaction and consequently, no meaning. Both of these criticisms attack the consequences of online interaction, claiming that in essence, social interaction via internet dilutes social bonds, challenges the premise of traditional interaction, and dehumanizes society as a whole. Borgmann and Dreyfus approach the idea of online social networking as consequentialists and claim that interacting on this new...
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