I know I’ve been writing a lot about social media recently, specifically Twitter, and I promise I’ll make a move away from discussing the perils of those platforms but I wanted to add one more post; This is about being an atheist on social media. There are a lot of atheists on the various platforms, in fact, several that I have followed on Twitter are on almost every one that exists. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I wonder, and have for a long time, what good it does?
Of course, these various platforms, like Twitter, are a good place to meet and interact with like minded people and atheists, being those that are one of the least liked people around, it’s nice to dialogue with a few now and then. It often helps to know that you’re not alone. In the past I’ve criticized atheists as well because it seems there are those on these platforms that are only there to become popular, a celebrity of sorts. But there have always been those people there and I don’t see it changing, ever.
Most of what I notice today are podcasts. Everyone seems to either be hosting one or is a guest. Many of them are good, discussing topics that I think would be of interest to a lot of atheists. As for blogging, this medium seems to have taken a hot as it actually requires a bit more time to sit, think, and write out those thoughts on a regular basis. There are still many decent blogs though, and although I don’t have a list ready, two a few I can think of off the top of my head are Atheist Revolution, Godless Mom, Bitchspot, and Skeptical Review.
Because it’s so easy to do a video cast nowadays, I don’t know if we’ll ever see a resurgence of blogging again. That’s too bad. But, like everything else, technology moves us forward, and so I expect in the next year or two, there’ll be fewer blogs to visit. I see the same with Twitter, by the way. I think we’ll see fewer atheists on that platform because it’s mostly useless for anything other than ranting about things most people don’t care about. Something will take its place, eventually, and I hope that whatever it is, is not the cesspool that Twitter has become.
Although all of these platforms may be beneficial to become familiar with other atheists, and to keep up with current events that directly affect us, we should be careful to not depend too much on any of them for all of our information. There’s a wider world offline.
One thought on “Atheists and Social Media”
Don’t know if you ever listen to Glenn Beck, but they were talking today with a gay atheist (I am assuming atheist, as he referred often to Christians with whom he conversed) whose book for sale has been removed from FaceBook or was it Amazon? Haha, what’s the difference?
Anyway he is concerned, as are Beck and company, about the “private totalitarianism” found on social media. The idea is that totalitarianism is the same freedom-damning innovation whether it is social/government totalitarianism or participated in by private entities.
When the big players, FaceBook, Amazon, Google use their private entities to “control” content and users, etc. is this a violation of First Amendment rights? Are these entities becoming a utility that people expect to have or are these merely private entities that provide a service to those who want to participate and all others may opt out? Which makes the idea of them being guilty of violating freedom of speech, a ludicrous charge, because they are platforms and not edited. Or are they?
We did, after all says Beck, not have them before we did and nobody claimed their freedom of speech was violated because they had not been set up by their creators.
The idea of naming them once and for all as platforms frees the individual to opt out or ignore or mute that which he or she does not want to see, hear or participate in and relieves the creators and sites of being accused of slanting and choosing content and participators, thus messing with freedom of speech.
Interesting discussion and one planned to be continued on a podcast, because this is a topic that needs to be thoroughly discussed and we need to consider what “brave new world” we are heading into at full throttle.
Beck compared the US to “Brave New World” while he compared what social engineering is happening in China to “1984.”
So, now I guess I will have to read “Brave New World” again, because I do not remember it much from high school. I suppose “Fahrenheit 451” is waiting in the wings for my attention, too.
Jim, this is not an unimportant topic at all. Thanks for it.