A recent survey conducted by the promising company, Sayches, releasing their highly anticipated privacy-focused social media platform this June, identifies a generalisable sample of individuals experiences with their use of social media – with relatively staggering figures.
Sayches is a British IT company based in London, UK. On a mission to make the Internet a better place, the start-up develops new products and services with the fundamental principle to uphold human rights to privacy, anonymity, and transparency without any compromises.
When it comes to social media, there aren’t many individuals who don’t have access to this new technology, which is establishing a growing need for online privacy and safety. The first question within this survey identifies that only ‘52%’ of online users feel as if their social media is ‘clean across all platforms’.
With such a marginal percentage considering their social media clean, this raises speculation as to what constitutes social media ‘cleanliness’, which is then reinforced by only ‘41.7%’ on the sixth question posed feeling that their social media platforms would not inhibit them from receiving job offers from potential employers.
With such a low volume of the survey feeling as if they were in a position where their social media would reflect a positive light on them, this furthers the need to establish what should be considered as social media consciousness and the potential repercussions irresponsibility on publicly available online platforms.
The debate of responsibility when it comes to using easily accessible and traceable social media platforms is furthered by the fact that ‘44%’ of users used social media a ‘few times a week’ to post on ‘sensitive/controversial or political’ matters when answering the second question and ‘60%’ receiving public backlash from other users based on their opinions or standpoints, as identified in question four.
This alludes to the relevancy of politicism and social consciousness impacting the standpoint of social media users platforms leading to unfriendly debate and criticism, which suggests that social media is gradually making a transition to become a hub of politics and social issues as opposed to content sharing platforms. Whilst this can be beneficial in terms of educating users on current affairs and issues plaguing society, it can also present a breeding ground for unwarranted discourse and extremist opinions on either contrasting side of the political compass.
Furthering this is that ‘67.6%’ of those who answered question five, felt as if they have had to restrict what they post to refrain from ‘public opinion’ – which suggests that the internet can be highly negative when it comes to individuals who transgress against hegemonic standpoints on any type of social or political issue. This has also helped establish an understanding as to why ‘56.1%’ of those who answered question seven felt as if they could post ‘anonymously’ they would more frequently discuss their own opinions, which insinuates the repressive nature of social media for those who choose to speak their mind.
Fundamentally, with ‘72%’ also feeling as if their ‘privacy is infringed’ whilst online, it demonstrates the immense influence of social media as an entity. With so many users feeling that their opinions are restricted by social media and reinforcing evidence that this is becoming a hub for political discourse as opposed to platforms where people can freely express themselves without feeling repressed by fellow users.