Most of us in Computer Sciences & Engineering have encountered a definition of Distributed Systems as a network of inter-connected entities giving an illusion of a single entity. Can we view social media in a similar way? It’s no longer strange to find our feeds being filled with stuff that is relevant to what we share and post, most likely opinions and views of different individuals and organizations on issues we care about.
How should one evaluate such content? The tendency of sharing memes is very much there; whether people do it thoughtfully or not – that’s another question. (Fake news and click-baits are a growing problem). Over time, people start identifying themselves with most of the “viral” stuff without questioning, as a relationship is built with the source. That’s one side of the picture. But the very same content being presented to you has been already judged as “good” for you on basis of experience, yours or others. Is Social Media acting merely like a facilitator? Consider this question, if you’d Google search a relevant issue and you happen to like one of the results. Why would you distrust the very same thing presented in your feed?