Social media: Good or evil?

November 1, 2021 | 08:20 pm PT
Social media: Good or evil?
Social media apps on a phone screen. Photo by Pixelkult from Pixabay
Some people think social media is a helpful modern tool, others believe it’s purely dangerous.

"Social media is an instrument of dictatorship and is nothing short of a cancer on the world. All of the worst proclivities and vulnerabilities in humans are terribly exacerbated by using social media. Life was fine before social media came into existence, and we would all be much healthier without it. I deleted my social media presence in 2009 and have never regretted it."

Michael Douglas

"You can just not let your children go online with unfettered internet access. When she's old enough, my daughter will only use the computer and the internet for school research purposes. She will never use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or any other social media as I will have those apps blocked and locked on the computer she will be using. I'll also have an app that forbids access to non educational websites and proxy servers to prevent her from circumventing the app blocks in place. My daughter will never be a victim of cyber bullying nor a victim of sexual abuse. Unlike many parents in Vietnam, I believe that children do not need a cellphone, tablet or laptop with unfettered access to the internet. I believe that if children need to go online, it should be for educational purposes only, heavily censored and under the direct supervision of parents. Children do not need to play online games nor do they need social media. Prove me wrong, I dare you."

Anh Hán Doãn Lễ

"Well I can't prove you wrong, and highly applaud your being cautious in this day and age! Just my two cents can be offered. I would say, as an educator, that there is a vast amount of fun and educational channels on offer on YouTube that would be worth your children's time, especially with regards to science and English. Perhaps there's a way of blocking the algorithms? Or isn't there YouTube for kids? Or some form of child-friendly approach? Honestly I'm not sure but I would hope that there would be safeguards in place. The key thing is that there should be places to go for advice on such matters, which doesn't seem on offer enough yet. In the U.K. where I'm from, tablets, in efforts to ensure that children are appropriately tech savvy as part of their 21st century skills preparation, are utilized in the classroom (under supervision) in some schools that can afford this. There is this fear that by not having tech in school, they may not be getting the preparation needed as the world relentlessly develops. Coding for children is one example of this benefit. At home though, it's such a delicate tightrope to walk. My brother has been very cautious about his introduction of tech to my nephews, but fortunately has been successful in doing so. They're tech literate and have not been exposed to the worst sides of the internet, but also they have been made aware of that darker side once of the right age. He did a great job but then again there were avenues to consult (from school counselors mainly) regarding the appropriate approach to take, advice of which doesn't seem to be in offer here in Vietnam yet.

One other thing, which I took from my brother's experience: for poorer or less educated families, this yet again may be another societal realm where inequalities could arise, where they are unaware of the abuse or simply don't know how to introduce their children to the online world without appropriate help in this. I understand this is an issue in the U.K. too."


"I have never used this platform (Facebook). My goal is to quit using all products coming from Silicon Valley. I do not believe they are good people with positive contributions to people around the world. They mine & sell ALL your personal usage/information to corporations and give you little choice. They are too big and are out of control imho. Their products are addictive and not healthy for the younger generation, who spend far too much time staring at screens instead of participating in "Real Life" ... especially outdoors. The next generation is going to have health issues related to online addictions ... it is already happening.

Online activities have benefits, especially in education, but most of it in my view is digital poisoning of the mind. I will try to end using all these styles of platforms in 2022 ... my new year goal."

Mateo J.

"Don/t forget all children that are NOT going to school anymore and on screen 24/7 rather than playing or studding face to face. Their addiction will be irreversible. Schools need to open soon, otherwise a lost generation of screen social media addicts is grown up."


The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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