Is there more to social media than a retweet, share or reblog? If one scrolls through their social media feed they will find a plethora of original ideas, but how many of those are their own?
Although we live in a digital era and ideas can be shared instantaneously, not everyone has something original to add. Creativity has become scarce among the public since people can simply look to social media and see what others before them have done.
The internet is home to a lot of innovative and unique ideas regarding food, fashion, movies, music and more. This means that when people see something on their social media dashboard that they find interesting, they simply share it. Now, this isn’t a bad thing because ideas are meant to be shared.
However, the problem lies with the fact that people do not take the time to creatively add to an idea. Social media gives people this “follow the group” mentality. Instead of contributing something worthwhile, people tend to just imitate others that came before them with a retweet or share.
In the Psychology Today article titled, “The Science Behind Why People Follow the Crowd,” Rob Henderson wrote that humans are not always as knowledgeable of their thoughts as they believe to be.
“We use the decisions of others as a heuristic, or mental shortcut, to navigate our lives,” Henderson wrote.
Social media gives people new ideas, without letting people discover new ideas on their own. This type of idea sharing does not offer people a chance to exercise divergent thinking. As a result, social media does not foster creativity among the masses.
The ability to retweet and share someone’s original post on social media conditions one to just perpetuate content instead of creating it.
For example, I am a person who uses the cooking videos on Facebook as a cookbook. I follow those recipes precisely with no margin for error. While my dishes always turn out as the video shows it will, rarely do I add anything of my own to the recipe.
Therefore, when I must prepare a dish that I did not see on a Tastemade video, I am completely clueless.
Despite being a wellspring for knowledge and culture, social media often discourages creative thinking. People are inclined to share posts and ideas that do not belong to them instead of creating original content.