Social Media = Gun

“Knife don’t kill people, people with knife kill people.”

But not all members of the knife family are equally designed. Keris (traditional Malay dagger) for example are made purposely for combat. The serrated blade was designed to vibrate exacerbating the wound inflicted. Sometimes it even laced with poison.

But if you refer to a machete, then it is a member of the knife family that is equally good at daily work and combat. You can chop wood, crack open coconuts, and clear bushes. At the same you can use as a combat weapon to slash enemies and parry other blades.

Or to be more true, it’s actually designed to help people survive attack from wild animals. But then, other humans hell bent to kill you is no different from wild animals at that particular point of time.

But there’s a caveat, it requires skill to use it in both daily work and combat. Combat is especially hard because fighting with a machete requires you to see eye to eye with your opponent. At the very least, you need to get close to them so you know roughly who you slashing. Be it male, female, young, old, etc.

This is where gun is different, you don’t need skill and you can kill from afar. Heck, you can even kill without really looking. (Case in point; random shooting event at schools)

Gun is designed to kill. You can’t separate the intent from the design.

Machetes are not designed only to kill, it is a survival tool.

The Internet is a machete, cobbled together to satisfy the human urge to reach out and get our heads together. It is a network of network, designed to survive attacks that will take out other form of communications.

But social media is a different animal all together.

Social media is designed to be addictive, to surface stories that are visceral. Furthermore, the visceral stories are helped to find audiences. In a way, social media is like a shotgun which each sharpnel is a homing missile.

Thus, social media is not neutral. It is tuned in a certain way. Another way to describe it is as a self-perpetuating customized tabloid machine.

I’m not calling for a ban on social media. I just pointing this out so everyone realize that it’s a gun and not a knife.

And remember, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”

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