The Instigator
stillotson
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Emily77
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Social media should be used to perpetuate social discussions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 561 times Debate No: 40322
Debate Rounds (5)
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stillotson

Pro

1) Social media is a tool.
- Social media is used to connect with others.
- Social media is used to express opinions.
- Social media provides an open commentary among social groups.

2) People using social media are indulging in self centered activities.
- People post statuses about their day
- Statuses are often vague and not understood by a general audience.
- Photos posted are most often of the individual and not of a group.

3) Social medial can increase awareness and cause change.
- Social media is far reaching especially with the addition of "sharing"
- Social media can spread messages beyond your friend group.
- Social media provides advertising.
Emily77

Con

I accept your challenge, but you are going to have to clarify your terms. Define 'social discussions' and explain your stance rather than pointing out arbitrary facts.

I look forward to a great debate. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 1
stillotson

Pro

I will define social discussions as a conversation about a topic that affects a group of individuals in similar or disparate ways.

My stance on the topic is that we should use social media to perpetuate discussions on issues rather than being offended when someone disagrees with us or points out a logical flaw in our statement. Rather than deflecting their statement by saying 'its just Facebook why does it have to be political' or a similar comment. I think that people can and should use social media to be activists for causes they believe in and to debate rather than shut down arguments. I believe an amazing tools such as social media should be a tool you use to express opinions rather than a place where you post 'selfies' and people arbitrarily like a post not for its content but for who posted it.

Because of reasons 1 &3 in my previous post I believe that social media is the perfect tool for these kind on candid arguments and social movements.
Emily77

Con

Alright, well first of all, I would like to further emphasize the lack of clarity in this debate, but I am going to have to jump right in with the information as it stands. Feel free to clarify your position upon rebuttal.

Parameters of the Argument

Defining Social Discussions: "I will define social discussions as a conversation about a topic that affects a group of individuals in similar or disparate ways".

R1: Social discussions must discuss a topic.

R2: The topic must affect a group of individuals.

There is obviously a tremendous degree of ambiguity here, and I do not believe you have defined it within the confines of assisting your argument. Even the most superfluous facebook activity already fulfills this criteria. Let me give you an example of what I mean:
    • A girl posts a picture she took of herself in the mirror.
    • A female friend comments on how she is so pretty.
    • A male friend comments on her breasts.
    • The poster responds with a 'Thank you' to the female and a flirtatious comment to the male.
    • The female commentator 'likes' the 'Thank you' post and responds to the male by calling him a 'pig'.
Now the problem with your definition is that a conversation did in fact take place here. And it was on a topic (the appearance of the poster) that affects a group of individuals (her friend circle). As you can see, both criteria of your definition can be fulfilled by virtually any interaction on virtually any social networking site.

The Implications of 'Should': By including the word 'should' in your thesis involves one of both of the following implications:
    1. There is the possibility that social media can in some way not perpetuate social discussions and/or opinions.
    2. Some information promulgated through social media currently does not perpetuate social discussions and/or opinions.
I believe I have already addressed #2 above, in that even the most seemingly worthless bits of information carried through social media are indeed, by your definition, social discussions. However, in order to address not only this further, but also tackle #1, I would like to bring up the point that a discussion need not be verbal or explicit in nature. Discussions can take place through implicit discourse. This implicit discourse can sometimes be more telling than the actual explicit information presented itself.

To use an example: When a government creates a budget, without producing anything but numerals on paper, they have conveyed a great deal of information. Suppose we take only one comparative item on this imaginary list: a spending reduction on health care of $20 million dollars, which was instead allotted to airport security.
    • Collective citizenry may see a shift in values towards promoting travel
    • Doctors may see themselves as undervalued
    • Environmental groups may see a threat to efforts to reduce the number of cars on the road
    • Private car manufacturers may see an opportunity for creating bigger projects
The list goes on and on. By taking a simple statement, an endless discourse of information can float back and forth between different groups of people.

The Implicit Discourse of Social Media: "...social media should be a tool you use to express opinions rather than a place where you post 'selfies' and people arbitrarily like a post not for its content but for who posted it".

I have explained how the theory on implicit discourse works, but I would now like to apply it to social media. The same concept I outlined above applies. No matter what views one may hold, any action they take is expressing an opinion, whether implicit or explicit. An explicit opinion may be something along the lines of "I think Rob Ford should resign not because of drugs, but because he does not have the confidence of the people". If I were to like this because I agree, I am explicitly sharing my political opinion.

If, on the other hand, someone posted "Can't wait for Walking Dead episode tonight!" and I click like, I have explicitly shown my opinion on the show, but implicitly shown a host of opinions: that I believe violence and gore in television is agreeable, I have conveyed an interest in the potential plagues threatening humanity in the future, and/or I have expressed my general uncertainty on the sanctity of life.

Furthermore, even if I were only clicking 'like' because I like the person, this too is expressing an implicit opinion. It implies that I believe this person to be agreeable to me. This means that we most likely have somewhat similar political views (whether conservative, liberal, or disinterested in politics), similar values (we obviously admire traits in one another if we are friendly, and thus believe that these traits are positive ones), similar religious views (whether of the same religious group, or with similar views on spirituality), along with a myriad of other implicit projections.

Conclusion
I could go on and on, but I'm sure I've made my point: the simplest action on social media
is conducive to sharing opinions on societal issues whether implicit or explicit. And even superfluous actions on social media do fulfill your criteria on social discussions. Moreover, the overarching implication of promoting freedom of speech, though and association embedded in most constitutions is exercised with each click of a button on each and every social media site.

Debate Round No. 2
stillotson

Pro

stillotson forfeited this round.
Emily77

Con

Hmm...well my opponent's account is no longer active. So...I suppose there will be no rebuttal coming.

What a shame. I think this topic is a very important one that should really be explored.
Debate Round No. 3
stillotson

Pro

stillotson forfeited this round.
Emily77

Con

Emily77 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
stillotson

Pro

stillotson forfeited this round.
Emily77

Con

Emily77 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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