The central purpose of the internet is to connect people from all over the world. We all use social networks, messaging apps, and voice/video calls daily to connect to our friends, loved ones, and colleagues and we can’t imagine our world without that.
A great desire for connection is currently present within our society. It manifests itself in a range of countless platforms such as Meta, Twitter, and Snapchat as more and more social lives move online and establish digital relationships, making the online and offline worlds seem sameness.
In this world where everyone is connected, we also encounter new challenges we have to overcome and adjust to. We are currently normalizing things such as online harassment, misinformation, and unawareness in all social platforms, leading to companies taking the lead in guiding us to better digital well-being as we still have to learn how to exist within the internet and adjust to its ethics and regulations. And therefore creating a thoughtful and safe digital world and community.
Meta launched a "Safety Bubble" as a "personal boundary" in their Horizon Worlds, where a field is placed around the individual, and anyone trying to enter it fades into non-existence.
Personal Boundary prevents avatars from coming within a set distance of each other, creating more private space for people and making it easier to avoid unwanted interactions.
Meta believes this is a good start for people to learn about personal boundaries and behavioural norms in the virtual world as they do in the real one. They are now working on possibilities for people to personalize their personal boundary safety bubbles.
This has been launched due to the community feedback Meta received and the constant complaints because of harassment. It is a sign that Meta is trying to take everything under control by setting an example for other companies. It also shows that people have to get used to applying the simple behavioral norms used in real life to the metaverse.
Twitter launched a “Birdwatching” program to stop the spreading of misleading information.
In many online spaces, especially the ones using engagement-based ranking, certain content tends to go viral. Therefore, Birdwatching's use is to prevent the spread of divisive content and provide transparency and integrity for the tweeter's society.
This program keeps the quality of the tweets high and encourages the users to write and rate notes in a critical and thoughtful way. It also raises the fact that misinformation is present within the digital world and encourages people to take action by thinking more critically and thoughtfully about what they write and perceive as information.
Snapchat recently introduced a new in-app tool called “Family Center”, which will help parents get more insight into who their teens are friends with, and who they have been communicating with, without revealing any of the substance of those conversations.
Family Center is designed to reflect the way that parents engage with their teens in the real world, where parents usually know who their teens are friends with and when they are hanging out – but don’t eavesdrop on their private conversations.
Their goal is to create a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens. This is a way for Snapchat to empower parents in a way that still protects the teenager’s autonomy and privacy.
Having to live in a digitized world keeps being a challenge for our society. People are now adjusting to constant technological challenges they are encountering, trying to find the harmony between the analog and digital worlds. We are still questioning ourselves what normal behavior is between them and how are we supposed to act and carry ourselves withing the internet.
Therefore, leading companies, such as Meta are taking the responsibility to guide us in that process of adjustment. They are providing opportunities and regulations, guiding us to a safe, transparent and integrative online interactions, not only with strangers, but also within our close-bonded communities.