Over the last few weeks my Facebook and Twitter feeds were inundated with horrific images of conflict in the Middle East, airplane disaster in the Ukraine and various awful things that are occurring around the world and in our own backyard. I have begun to wonder if I am indeed getting news out of my friends and people that I follow alike, or if I am just getting one-sided snippets of information that are clouding my judgement or indeed pulling me into complicated news stories that I have very little collaborated information about.
Though we to an extent edit the news we receive through the people that we wish to associate with on social media, what is my right as an individual to not view traumatic imagery or information that I feel is having a negative affect on my emotional well-being?
Should I just toughen up or unfriend/unfollow those with opposing views to mine? Shutdown the most vocal? Get the hell off Facebook?
Or do social media sites have a duty of care to its users to not inflict emotional harm that may be caused by individuals sharing graphic imagery and questionable commentary? Though sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer users the ability to flag content that is inappropriate, you still must view the offensive content in order to get rid of it.
Am I a bad human if I want only positive, happy news in my social media feed? Has social media become anti-social? Can I bury my head in the sand?