Social media hasn’t created the most even playing field. Social media platforms, advertisers, and users need to take a stance and improve the diversity of information. The time to do this is now- let’s get started!
The user voice is one of the most unique aspects of social media. The platforms have taken an oath to equalize shared media; however, when audiences only hear voices that sound similar to their own, the social media platform is not living up to its promise. Diversity may not be a top thought for agencies and users, but when it comes down to the impact of the filter bubble that reflects how people interpret the world around them and information diversity, we need to improve.
Brands can be bashful when becoming involved in diversity issues. They fear that their order may become unglued. Honestly, it makes sense. Why change something that is currently working? If you stick to your bubble, the probability of failure is much lower- or so we think. The same goes for social media users. We all have the habit of following the brands that share our beliefs and worldview. Why not challenge a belief for once? Take a step out of your comfort zone. You never know what will happen. Perhaps, your worldview will change a bit, or maybe you will further strengthen your initial beliefs.
Part From the Filter Bubble
We cannot underestimate the extent to which social media has shuffled our comprehension and consumption of information, nor should we minimize the extent of negatives that comes with a lack of information diversity.
If you look at this from a creative point of view, it is important to frame a greater understanding of other people’s views. This stops our industry from becoming too lazy. Often, creativity is sparked from challenging your thinking and by becoming exposed to people with different life experiences than your own.
It is also crucial to discuss the fact that for many people technology has contributed only an empty promise to their lives. People feel excluded because they don’t have the means to participate on a equal playing field. If you lack technological knowledge or the technology itself, you will be lost in today’s world.
Encourage Critical Thinking
Society does not evolve in a straightforward manner. Our lives, which are social-media driven, suggests that our capacity for reasoning and critical thinking skills are diminishing with regards to legitimacy. However, just as millennials are more educated on iphones than the baby boomers, our industry needs to educate future generations on how to manage their digital life, especially in regards to diversity.
Nowadays, people are looking at social media news without considering the source. Instead of paying attention to the source, they are looking at the photo or the details within the post. Many don’t even recognize the difference between a sponsored post and a real news story.
Educators have put a large emphasis on teaching our younger generations about online social media safety. It’s time to take that a step further. We need to teach students about the credibility of their social media content and the purpose of it. Students need to know that not all information is created equally. Additionally, the social media platforms need to realize that they have a role as media owners in addition to acting as platforms.
Believe it or not, there are ways for entrepreneurs, brands, and agencies to solve this problem. Promoting nationwide education programs, and developing algorithms to help us understand, interpret, and communicate the viewpoints of social media users is just one way they can help. Just as students are taught to double check their sources, social media platforms should implement some checks and balances. The lack of context throughout the industry needs to be tackled head on. It is imperative to teach users to exercise their critical thinking skills.
Diversity in Business
Just in the past few years, we have seen serious changes in advertising with regards to inclusivity and diversity. Though change is happening and the industry’s industry is growing, the job is not done. To assure this change reflects completely, we need to push for completely diverse world-view in our media.
Even today, minority groups appear in only about 20% of ads. Further, people with disabilities, single parents, and people in the LGBTQ community are misrepresented as well.
This is not only an issue for moral grounds. Using diversity in advertisements is great for business. In fact, studies have been done that show that people favor brands that reflect diversity and treat various groups of society more fairly. Several brands have benefitted from making diversity clear on social media.
Watch Out- It’s Time to be a Worldchanger!
If it’s true that the world of advertising is a bubble, then each of us has the responsibility to jab it daily. It may be painful, but it will be worth it! If we only look at the world through our own particular experiences, we are left with a biased view. Invest time, critical thinking, and effort to understand others viewpoints. It’s necessary to talk about uncomfortable truths and contradictions. A motley of experiences will be brought upon us if we follow this lead.