by Fionn Zarubica

paparazziIn a contemporary society we are faced with an increasingly complex set of ethical issues.  

These are not big ticket items like genocide, the environment or religious freedom; but a much smaller subset that nonetheless add up to a potent threat to our integrity as an enlightened society.

They are the ethical issues that have emerged as a result of social media.  

Social media is a sharp sword that many are not prepared to handle safely.  An alarming number do not realize its power or the destruction they can potentially cause to themselves and others if they misuse it.

Young people in particular, as well as some adults, see it as an harmless playground, posting the most intimate things about themselves and others, with no concept of its potential reach or possible ramifications.

Today, the private individual is experiencing what celebrities have dealt with for a long time – the destructive power of the Paparazzi.  The non-celebrity is finding out what it feels like to have no control over what is put out there about them.

For years we have tossed around terms like metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics.  But today, we are looking at technoethics – the moral and ethical issues associated with technology in society.

The fact that we have the power to take dozens of high quality images and publish them for the world to see does not mean that we should.  Neither does the fact that we have the power to make comments about what we publish absolve us of responsibility for what we say.

We cannot legislate ethics or gain meaningful control over what is essentially a runaway social media train, but we can align our intention with the higher good of all.  

This is a new era of spiritual awakening.  No longer can an authority figure silence us, now we have to learn how to silence ourselves, to make the care and protection of every human being our number one priority.

If what we want to post does not come from love, if we check in with ourselves by passing it through the heart filter and it does not feel right, then it probably isn’t.

When it comes to sex we all agree that “no” means “no”; and it is no different with social media.  If someone tells us “no”, don't post that, or please remove that, it is not for us to judge or question, but to honor and yield.  We cannot know what their concerns are, what they are dealing with or what impact our actions have on them; nor do we need to.

Additionally, posting negative rehetoric about anything, anyone, any country, ethnicity or perspective does not bring healing but fuels more anger which gets us nowhere and perpetuates the very problems we claim to want to solve.

Technoethics, the moral and ethical issues associated with technology in society, call upon us to be thoughtful, respectful and loving; to protect the sanctity and the freedom of all people, even the ones we do not like, and not to allow those ideals to be quashed in favor of our own whims, beliefs or inclinations.

Because…

Love is all that matters!