If I could travel in time, I would go back a little more than a decade ago, to make sure that Zuckeberg never invents Facebook.
I firmly believe that modern society has been badly influenced by the birth of Facebook. Do not misunderstand me, social media can be a very useful tool for communication and sharing ideas, but I think the disadvantages they have brought far outweigh the advantages. Misinformation, hoaxes and debates bordering on dementia are all consequences of the “horizontality” among its users: anyone can express their opinion and claim that it is respected in spite of the possible lack of truthfulness of the same, the informed opinion comes to worth as much as that of a pinco pallino whatsoever. This is the reason why so many people today seriously believe in bullshit as the “theory” of flat earth or that vaccines cause autism. Another serious consequence of social media is their psychological impact, especially on the youngest: people propose a sweetened version of their life in their profiles and, since we believe what we see, we are driven to think that the lives of others are perfect in comparison with ours, with the result that whole masses are subject to a sort of inferiority syndrome and following ideals of “perfect” life made of brightness, superficiality and material wealth, inspired by characters such as actors, singers and models. As a result, people who value virtues such as erudition, culture and mutual respect are not only supplanted in number, but even criticized and marginalized, which I think contributes heavily to the fact that depression is at stellar values, especially in the young. The continuous bombardment of useless information and notifications have, as some studies show, reduced the duration of our attention, while the “like” system, the fictitious attentions we receive with the consequent release of dopamine, have made us dependent, literally, drug addicts . Finally, social networks, especially instagram, have now become extensions of our sexuality, informal “dating pool” with numerous negative outcomes: people leave the house less and less as the partners can be “conquered” with their smartphone; women tend not only to think of themselves as sexual objects, but to do so at an increasingly precocious age, while among the males a sexual ideal is promulgated that wants them to be promiscuous to excess.
These are the most immediate consequences I can think of. I referred to Facebook, as it was the first truly large social-network with a widespread distribution, which catalyzed by competition, the creation of all the others: instagram, snapchat, etc.
I do not doubt, as already mentioned, that social media can also have useful functions, but I honestly do not think they can equal the negative sides.
I am not referring to older historical events, since I do not think I have a great deal of knowledge besides the fact that the more we go back, the more the consequences of change can become unpredictable and of dubious goodness.
Perhaps, if Zuckeberg had never invented the social as we understand it today, this economic / informatics / social niche would have been occupied by someone else, but in the absence of other options, I personally blame him for the bleak path that contemporary society has undertaken .