The subject of social media effect on social inequalities is a controversial subject. This is because social media implies social inequalities and it also reduces social inequalities in the same breath. First, social media amplifies social inequalities because the disposable income, literacy level, age group, social class, and affluence of people determine their access to social media. This means that the variance in the variable among people causes the social inequalities. On the other hand, social media does not amplify social inequalities given that social media makes people from different cultures, religions, races, backgrounds and ethnicities and communities to coalesce to exchange information, ideas, ideologies, and cultures hence fostering social integration and cohesion among people from diverse backgrounds. Man is social being hence social media fulfills the basic need for humanity in this sense. Social media is a necessary-evil.
Social media causes inequalities
The disposable income of people determines the purchasing power of any individual across the world. For this reason, the people with high disposable income are able to apportion funds for access to the internet while the people who have limited disposable income hardly have adequate funds to access the internet hence are lacked out of the social media virtual platforms (Oyedemi, 2017, p.23). This creates social inequality because they miss out on crucial information and the debates on the issues affecting the society and their contributions to such debates are equally forgone. The literacy level of a person also determines his access to the social media platform. Illiterate individual are usually not able to use the social media whilst the literate people are able to surf and utilize the social media channels to their advantage. This also amplifies the social inequalities between different people in society. Age group is another aspect, which fuels sol media inequality.
According to Allen (2017, p.31), the young generation is usually techno-savvy while the old generation is rarely upbeat with the social media and social media developments. In this regard, the majority of the old generation is socially discriminate by virtue of their age. Also, the social class of person determines his ability to access the social media and benefit from the social media information and insight. The low social class people have no access to the electronic and connectivity to the internet. For this reason, they are disadvantages by virtue of their caste. On the other hand, the individual of high-social class are able to access social media and utilize it to their advantage. This leads to significant disparities in the social lives of people within the society. On one hand, the low social classes people are eventually discriminate against because of lack of financial ability while their counterparts enjoy resources. According to Oyedemi, (2017, p.47), social media accrues many benefits to people including the online marketing services, the acquisition of customers, the purchase of goods and services, the exchange of information and know-how and communication.
Virtual conferencing is a new model of communication, which enhances the communication between people at different geographical locations. Additionally, the endowment of people with resources is another aspect upon which social disparities are manifest. The conflicts between the rich and the poor especially in America are driven by the social media. According to Miller & Haynes (2016, p.56), social networking is usually a source of divisions because it operates on the basis of the homophile principle. The principle underscores the affection between people of the same social standard, race, social class and other form of similarities. Consequently, it compromises diversity of people. In fact, there are three salient features of social network friendships. First, the friendships involve the same kind of people. Also, the people who coalesce together influence each other to think in a similar perspective. Consequently, they are bound to be together in a similar place hence the environment boosts their togetherness at the expense of exclusion of all other people and characters, which do not ascribe to their social-created ideals and preferences.
The concept applies to the rich and the poor, the illiterate and the illiterate, the old and the young, the racists and the non-racist groups and the religious, male and female and the non-religious groups. The concept of homophile is manifest in all the aforementioned social groups. People tend to associate with each other via social media subject to their social similarities. This is the tragedy of social co-existence among human-kind. This is the reason, vast wealth is amassed by a small population in eh world while masses of people languish in poverty and misery. For this reason, people circumstantially associate with people of their social caliber. According to Oyedemi (2017, p.73) social media has enhanced divisions because of the information explosion age whereby people coalesce around the shared views and ideals. In this regard, social media plays a role in the amplification of social inequalities in society. The inequalities are amplified to the extent that there exit aspects, which cause divisions among people including income and affluence.
The social network truism is manifest in the social divisions especially among the high social class castes. In this case, the rich seek for their colleagues to fulfill the social truism which states that he who has much shall be given to him. Apparently, it is the same social network truism that causes the social disparities in society. Capitalist states like the US are one of the places whereby the influence of the social media on social inequalities is manifest. The disposable income of the low-social class people like the Blacks gradually decreases while the few affluent White counterparts are increasing their income by day. This is an indication that social media has been utilized to exploit the poor while enriching the affluent in the society. Miller & Haynes (2016, p.70) asserts that social media is usually controlled by the affluent in society. In this case, any message is streamlined towards meeting the core goals of the affluent. For instance, terrorism in great cities like Paris and London are concerned world-wide while the terrorism in small states like Somali is considered a norm. Such a scenario is an indication that the interest of the rich will always be adequately be featured and condemned because of the power of affluence and class.
Social media influence people and friendships are created based on the network of social media. In this case, the homophile concept is also a determinant of the inheritance of the ability to access resources. In this regard, the have and they have not do not mingle unless one has an advantage lie education, which another friend who is endowed with resources lacks. Social media enhances the meeting and networking of people although it leads to divisions by default. This is because people of the same cadre always ill contact each other while people of a different a category of class are considered as insignificant in the social arena. In fact, social networking among the poor foster poverty because an affluent person will never be attracted to the network. In fact, social network friends are usually alike in several aspects like personality and other attributes. This means that social media is a platform, which promotes division rather than social integration. According to Oyedemi (2017, p.78), the network inequality enhances inequality in society because social circles like in a crowd financing involves only friends affiliated to certain individuals. For instance, social media homophile principle has given rise to certain socialites who have earned fame from social inequalities fostered by social media.
The majority of social media platforms give air-time to the perceived socialites given that they represent the inequalities in society rather than social integration. Social media channels like TV and movies also hype the ideals advocated by the socialites (Miller & Haynes (2016, p37). Consequently, there is a division between the perceived right in society and the other people who are perceived to be insignificant and wrong in all that they represent in society. For instance, the social media is also contributing to the disparity between the old and the young generation. This is because they provide a platform for the promotion of new phenomena in society like gay marriages and euthanasia, which are controversial subjects in society. In fact, social media shapes society in immense ways yet the social media is usually controlled by a small number of personalities. In this case, the social inequalities will be a challenge in society for a long time. According to Oyedemi (2017, p.65), social media promotes the inequitable distribution of resources. For instance, PewDiePie is not substantially unique in his social media work but he has been chosen by his class to represent the class in social media.
The social media serves to segregate people along all possible aspects. An application launched in the past usually has an invitation system, which apparently makes the pioneers of such an application dominant over the users of the application. However, man’s nature contributes is also subjective. Man is always in perpetual competition against the members of his class to achieve domination and recognition, self-actualization (Miller & Haynes, 2016, p.53). The aspect of class creation is a concept, which is promoted by social media. For instance, the social media groups are usually based on the interest and ideals of the group members. Any other member who does not ascribe to such interest and ideals is usually blocked out hence social inequalities. In fact, the role of social media in the creation of social inequalities is a new evolution, which has been brought by the digital era and technological advancements (Allen, 2017, 78). Also, the advanced technology has made the social media a meritocracy yet it provides an avenue for seclusion and discrimination of participant in various programs of social media on certain grounds.
The competition for supremacy on social platforms is a perpetual thing, which is part of the culture of social media use. The other unique aspect about the social media is that the older members of social media membership are presumed to be superior to their counterparts. Crowd-funding aspect is also manifestation of the social inequality because the crowd-funding application is part of the social media, which does not necessarily support philanthropies (Oyedemi, 2017, p.81). Friend contributes funds for a certain course. The friend in this case knows each other and the friendship are based on the similarities of the views and interest. In this regard, other members are also locked out. The immigrant cultures used to hold community-based funding programs, which could incorporate all members of the society regardless of creed, color, race, age, social, class or gender. Such a practice is lacking in social media because each relationship created on social media platforms is attached on certain vested interests rather than altruism. Even in online marketing practice also manifests the social inequality challenge.
Featured users of certain products from a class of their own hence they dominate over other services and certain products. In this regard, social media promotes segregation and inequality in the marketing sense. The fact that application creators use the people in their inner network circle to feature in the category of first users of the application is discriminative and divisive. The selection of outsiders could be an ideal practice, which will portray magnanimity even in the product management process. A case in point, the Maker-base application underscored social equality through the use of projects and creators featured emanated from diverse background (Oyedemi, 2017, p.117). In fact, millions of people are currently funding the Maker-base community on account of their focus on diversity and meritocracy in their operations. In fact, social media promotes narcissism-industrial complex phenomenon whereby the ‘who you know’ factor determines success or failure in the social network. The case of Typhoon Haiyan underscores the social media inequalities in society.
The use of social media enhanced disaster recovery yet the effectiveness of social media among the affluent and the socially-marginalized groups revealed the role of social media in causing social inequalities. According to Allen (2017, p.19), humanitarian technology is the technological empowerment on humanity, which enhances sustainability and quick recovery from disasters. The concept broadly applies to all social media users. The tendency of techno-savvy people to create their exclusive group fuels social inequality. This is manifest in the disassociation of techno-savvy people from illiterate people. The innate feeling of fulfillment among the techno-savvy people is inevitably the cause of the disparities in eth social circles. In fact, the issue of social inequality is a second-order disaster. This is because the challenge of social inequality is man-made. Social media immensely contributes to the maintenance of the traditional form of power, social hierarchy and socioeconomic inequalities (Oyedemi, 2017, p.43). This is the cause of the political dynamics in society. The divide and rule practice is usually the common feature in all forms of social media. In fact, social media encompasses education, politics and generations.
The social media has a substantial effect in society because education is a basic need in society for every person. In this regard, the disparities create by the social media negatively affects the society. According to Allen (2017, p.51), education is enhanced through the use of technology and social media is at the center of knowledge sharing especially on online platforms. In this regard, the homophile tendency of social media contributes to social inequalities because the only a few are enable to utilize the social media to their advantage in the acquisition of education. The aspect of intimacy and domesticity on social media contributes to the propagation of homophile tendency hence promoting social inequalities instead of fostering diversity. The social media enhances macro-politics and the micro-politics in society. In this regard, the online environment is exposing to social inequalities hence the propagation of poverty and immorality in society. Various persons and bodies use the social media to advance divisions in a bid to dominate in a wide array of fields. A case in point, the Northern coast of Bahia is made up the working class people and the public schools available use online mode of learning and students are directly absorbed to the tourism industry (Pedrycz & Chen, 2012, 23). This is a classic example of the extent to which the social media causes social inequalities given that in such a situation it is difficult for the low class people to acquire the education.
The social inequalities are camouflage in various forms including slavery and moral delinquency among children. Apparently, the students from the middle income earning parents acquire quality education and secure working opportunities while their counterparts for humble backgrounds lack quality education and also miss out on prestigious. However, the social media worst to alienate people given that even the poor contribute to their alienation in society. For instance, the Bahia area got transformed to an international tourist attraction. The locals refused to participate in formal education programs and any form of digitization on their part (Oyedemi, 2017, p.23). Consequently, the migrants are upbeat with technology and are succeeding in formal jobs and infrastructural development in the area while the aboriginal communities are languishing in poverty. Also, the Balduino area is another area whereby the social inequalities caused by social media are manifest.
The slave-based caste system is also manifest. However, social media amplifies the social inequality because the public schools in the village use a digital mode of learning hence eliminating academic participation of students from humble background sin the schools (Pedrycz & Chen, 2012, 45). Although the internet is a better source of learning, only the rich are able to access the resources through the homophile tendency whereby only members familiar with each other are involved in the social media participation. The other aspect, which portrays the social media as a source of social inequalities is disparities in socio-economic developments. In fact, social media causes division in schools because a section of students spend time for socializing instead of concentrating in academic learning (Pedrycz & Chen, 2012, 96). Consequently, there is a disparity among students in academic performance.
The obsession with social media channels like Instagran, Facebook and YouTube has caused disparities in academic performance in schools hence fostering social upheavals in society. The other aspect of social media is cyber-bullying, which involve the assassination of characters over the social media platforms. In this regard, to victims of such a malpractice are subjected to public embarrassment and indignity. Consequently, such members are discriminated hence causing social inequality among people who should be interactive. The other form of social inequality is manifest when students opt for online curse and learning and avoid the normative class room learning environment (Pedrycz & Chen, 2012, 68). In this regard, the use of social media academically alienates some stud nets from their counterparts hence there is disharmony in the learning systems. In the long-term, the teachers are presumed to be obsolete yet they are a critical component of the student’s success and performance in academics.
Social media does not amplify social inequalities
The social media does not amplify social inequalities because social media provides an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to virtually meet and share ideas, cultures, technology, business and education. This fosters social cohesion and integration in society. In this regard, social media plays a pivotal role in enhancing the sustenance and coexistence of humanity. In fact, social media enhance easy communication between various people, communities and societies. Social media meets people from different backgrounds hence fostering tolerance and accommodation for all people. By and large, social media has been the center of convergence for people especially through virtual learning systems (Pedrycz & Chen, 2012, 131). The use of social media for virtual debates and conferences provides a platform, which makes people to overcome the challenge of geographical differences. In this regard, it is possible for students from all walks of life to meet and share knowledge and know-how on various issues. Also, the fact that social media leads to the creation of groups means that people can be easily discouraged from some social evils like drinking, smoking and involvement of criminals. This is because social group members can always threaten with cyber-bullying hence social media becomes a regulator of morals in society.
Social equality is promoted by social media because it equips people with skills hence enhancing universal literacy among people given that it encourages equality in society. Also, altruism is a concept, which is promoted over the social media because people pursue a common goal of searching for information hence people are free to interact with any person over the social media because of the common objective. By and large, the social media breaks the hierarchy model found in tradition system of governance and co-existence. According to Pedrycz & Chen (2012, 93), social media is a paradigm shift in civil industrialization because it enables people to develop new ways of satisfying and fulfilling their dreams in tandem with the ever-changing world. In fact, globalization has enhanced the realization of dreams among millions of people because of the easy transfer of personnel and information between people for all walks of life. Globalization could not be realized without social media.
Nowadays people are able to receive real-time news through social media platforms, which enhances the decision making on stock investments and preparation for imminent disasters. This is also a form of promotion of social inequality because safety is a public concern hence it does not discriminate over age, race, religion, and social class or gender grounds. The other way through which social media promotes social equality is in the applications use. Different people can be users of an application hence social media breaks the cocoons of tribe and race and fosters universal digital knowledge among millions of people and social revolution. In fact, any person who is versed with the use of technological devices like the tablets computes laptops and phones can access social media and participate. In this regard, social media liberates people form tribe and other barriers enhance fostering globalization and social integration. Social media is considered a great achievement among many low-income parents because their children are able to utilize technology and acquire education like other children (Allen, 2017, p.97). In fact, gender equality is one of the achievements that social media has encouraged because nowadays there are more women bloggers than men. This means that the proverbial 80-20 rule in society on men to women ratio in any achievement is already dispensed with to give way to women empowerment and advancement in society.
Social civilization is something that is enhanced by social media because people are breaking geographical, social, economic and political boundaries to seek resources to satisfy their changing needs. In fact, social media creates as a form of universal integration of people because people are no longer interested in tribal and racial-based issues. According to Servaes and Toks (2016, p.29), social media enhances education, globalization, trade and travel. The variables are universal needs hence people coalesce around such elements hence boosting social equality among people of different walks of life. Social media also builds confidence among the youth because it makes the outcasts to be highly regarded in society because of their knowledge and participation in social media activities. In fact, social media is a center for online marketing whereby people from different places virtually meet to trade. In this regard, the differences of age, race and other attributes are ignoring for the common goals of exchange of goods and services in exchange for money. In addition, social media provides a platform for highlighting of injustices against some marginalized communities.
There is a substantial reduction in social inequalities because of the enhancement of flow of information and news across the globe. Gender equality is part of social inequality and social media has enhanced gender equality in an immense way. Soil media helps in enlightening the marginalized communities on their rights according to the international human rights penal code. Consequently the marginalized people are able to stand for their rights whenever their liberty and freedom is at stake, which enhances social integration and tolerance in society in the long-term (Miller & Haynes, 2016, p.39). Furthermore, many people have embraced technology nowadays hence social media is one of the areas, which brings people together to pan various project. In this regard, the identity of people becomes irrelevant and focus is directed at the common interest social development and mutual benefit for players in social media platforms. Intermarriages between people from diverse tribes, races, ethnicities, religions, social class and genders are one of the achievements of social media in enhancement of social equality. Social media enables people from a low income class to marry people from a high social class.
There is equality in society because the rich appreciate the poor just lack the people from different religions do after they get married. The aftermath of such marriages is social integration and cohesion hence social equality. When a person loses his cultural, racial, and ethnic and class identity, social equality is achieved. Social media like FaceBook provide platform for hook-ups hence enabling people from diverse backgrounds to date and eventually marry. Business people are able to find markets for their goods through social media hence it enables people to break social barriers and achieve their economic objectives. In fact, international trade is enhanced by social media because it is the source of information, which is the determinate of price fluctuations. By and large, social media has played a pivotal role in the distribution of resources across the world. For instance, it is through social media that people are able to know that there are trade opportunities in Singapore, Denmark, Belgium and India (Servaes and Toks, 2016, p.113). The enhancement of global trade serves to break social inequalities because opportunities are opened to all people regardless of socio-economic attributes.
Social media amplifies social inequalities because only the literate, affluent and high-social class people control social media in various dimensions. In this regard, the low social class, the marginalized, the poor and the illiterate are alienated and discriminated. For this reason, social media enhances social inequalities in society. The use of social media in learning is also alienating because some students are not able to access connectivity hence they are side-lined by the system. The homophile tendency influences people to connect with people of their callable hence lack of social integration and cohesion in society. On the other hand, social media does not amplify social inequalities because it helps people create friendship is with people from diverse backgrounds hence causing intercultural associations and engagements, which fosters unity across the globe. Also, intermarriages between people from diverse cultures are enhanced by social media hence it enhances social equality rather than social inequality.
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Oyedemi, T. (2017). Social inequalities, media, and communication: theory and roots.
Servaes, Jan, and Toks, O. (2016). The Praxis of Social Inequality in Media: A Global
Miller, D., C. E., & Haynes, N. (2016). How the world changed social media. London, UC Press.
Pedrycz, W., & Chen, S.-M. (2012). Social Networks: A Framework of Computational
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