Uninformed views on social media

2015-05-23 11:08

WHAT does it mean that someone like Kevin Pietersen has a large following on Facebook? There is probably some truth in Caroline Brann’s observation that he is well-liked by segments of the cricket-loving public (May 19).

What does it mean that he has a bigger following than Andrew Strauss? Does it mean that Strauss is wrong and Pietersen is right, and that Pietersen should get a second chance?

A more important question arises: should we in any matter be swayed by the fickleness of Facebook voters who form their largely uninformed views long before they know the facts?

Social media are often automated bandwagons of uninformed views that can quickly degenerate into tsunamis of support or condemnation for both worthy and trivial causes. They are prone to mass hysteria as group or mob dynamics reign, reducing the importance and acceptance of independent individual thought.

Cyber lynching or idolisation are never far away.

As it is, moral discernment, even outside the shark tanks of social media, is at an all-time low. The long and short of it is that Pietersen may be an extremely gifted cricketer, but his change-room histrionics and scathing book show that he largely lacks the social wherewithal and interpersonal skills to make him a valuable team player, giving any cricket supremo excellent reasons not to select him.

ROBERT DE NEEF

Howick

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