Let’s assume that you are standing inside the elevator of a 100-floor tower all day and night long, for 24 hours, and your home is on the 70th floor; after a while, you notice that everyone who enters the elevator gets off at their floor and you are just an onlooker. Then, as time goes on, you realize that strangely the elevator never stops at the 70th floor. What will you do? You may now think that I can get off the elevator on the 69th floor and use the stairs. How do you feel if I say that you are not going to get off that elevator at all during those 24 hours? You are not given the opportunity to get off that elevator! What do you do now? What if I tell you that you have to spend the rest of your life and not just these 24 hours but your whole life in the same elevator? What is your decision then? You may ask why? Why and for what reason do you not have the right to leave the elevator? Here is the answer to the latter question. Because you are invisible, no one else can see you, and the only person who knows you exist at all and want to get off at the 70th floor is only and only you!
I do know that even the thought of being in such a situation/even imagining yourself getting stuck in that condition destroys the mind.
On Earth, there are now rulers called social media. There is an important principle in the social media governance system, i.e., respect for numbers. You have to respect numbers on social media, and if you do not follow this principle, only one result will await you, invisibility. In the world of social networking sites, there are unwritten principles almost accepted universally by many users, which, like an unwritten protocol, follow a set of fixed rules to maximize audience engagement. If you do not follow these rules, there will be still one result waiting for you, invisibility. If you do not imitate these rules, you will become invisible, cannot be seen, and will be eliminated non-physically. Among these media, users are identified by numbers. The more the number of likes, views, reposts, followers, and the like, the more the user’s reputation on that social networking site. Therefore, the more serious you take the numbers, the less likely you are to become invisible!
In all the different social media, many users happen to be in the invisible and deleted category. These invisible users have features that I will highlight a few of them.
In their posted pictures, these users laugh whenever they are really happy, and they stop laughing whenever they are really sad. That is showing some veneers can never be a reason to laugh for the camera.
When choosing a caption for their posts, these users do not make a choice just to share dozens of literary sentences from philosophers and poets, the names of whom they did not even know ten minutes before that post. They do not share captions just to show off and indicate how literate they are. No … they do not choose their captions like this. These users’ captions, which sometimes may contain only a few words, come from their innermost beings.
Their selfies capture the purest, most authentic, and most realistic moments possible, and their selfies show the reality of a pair of eyes at that particular moment.
These users do not insist on posting, they do not have opinions about every economic, social, political, and cultural event considered as the top news headline of the same day, they do not like to be experts in all world affairs, they live a quiet life, and they only talk about things they are very knowledgeable about.
These users never attempt to increase the number of their followers by following other pages and unfollowing them just after accepting the request. They do not decide to unfollow these pages quietly and unethically. They do not use such a strategy to continuously promote their pages in terms of the number of followers. No, they do not do this because they are ethical.
These users are real. When posting photos of their faces, they do not spend tedious hours to learn Photoshop tricks to edit, for example, the natural wrinkles on their faces, and make themselves more beautiful than they really are. They have learned to be themselves under any circumstances.
They do not get involved in the market of trading followers for their pages just to show themselves more valuable than they are because they already know that if a person wants to follow their pages just for themselves, that person is definitely not buyable.
These users never leave heartbreaking and annoying comments on other users’ pages.
They are as they should be and have not resized by the use of any silicone. Basically, they are satisfied and confident with themselves.
These users respect people of all colors, races, countries, and religions because they are fair and have one of the healthiest ways of thinking in social networking sites.
These very rare and unique users on social media are people with Down Syndrome. Nearly 200 users with Down Syndrome of different nationalities who were relatively active on social media were monitored for several months. Their posts, concerns, followers, followings, the comments left on their pages, the content of the comments, the number of views of their videos, which in many cases reflected their demands and support for human rights of people with Down Syndrome, the content of their images and texts that included the most humanitarian concepts, the extent of their interaction with other users on social media, the level of interaction the other users had with them, and their reactions to different everyday concepts were reviewed. The results showed that over 80% of people who followed the pages of people with Down Syndrome and were in relative mutual interactions with them were other people with Down Syndrome, the immediate family members of people with Down Syndrome, institutions active in the field of Down Syndrome, and civil activists in this field.
Where is the rest of society?
Here arises a question.
Whether or not social media take responsibility for the widespread non-physical elimination, explicit discrimination, and, in other words, invisibility of several users that occur within the same networks and take place by the majority of other users?
Another question is:
Do social networks accept the responsibility that in practice, they change people’s tastes and, in a more comprehensive sense, lifestyles? Do social media take responsibility for their powerful influence on changing the perception of various strata of society towards another stratum?
Another question is that whether social networking sites have defined a mission for themselves or the essence of their work is only business? Did they just want to make money? Is that all? Now, if we want to think a little more optimistically and believe that the founders of social media have not yet completely forgotten their mission and why they were formed, here again, a question arises:
Have there ever been thoughts or concerns in the think tanks of various social media to promote pages belonged to people with Down Syndrome and help them to be seen more and better? Again, we remind you that we are talking about helping these people to improve and make their pages more visible, some of whose unique features were listed in the previous few paragraphs. Such users are among very few ethical users.
Here, we are talking very clearly and precisely about people who in their normal lives apart from social media are not competing closely for numbers in every moment of their lives, unlike us, other members of the society. They have no idea how to be a little more charlatan and bully to earn more money and have a little more money in their bank accounts. In their intellectual world, numbers do not rule, and then, at the same time, they are active in social media with the same mindset, where numbers just rule. In this way, they are confronted with something more poisonous that any poison and that is other users’ indifference towards them. Indeed, a small number of social media users, i.e., users with Down Syndrome, are eliminated again and again in the unequal and unfair competition in the virtual environments of such networks, as in many other life opportunities and places outside these networks, in which they are just eliminated.
However, at this point, we come into the main and biggest questions.
Is it possible for different social media and their creators and owners to make the pictures, videos, and posts of users with Down Syndrome more accessible to other users? Is it possible for different social media and their creators and owners to, for example, encourage people with Down Syndrome by promoting their Instagram posts in the Explorer and introduce one of the most successful users with Down Syndrome to the world every week for free? Is it possible for a social networking site, like Instagram, to increase the visibility of videos, such as sports and art, etc., belonged to people with Down Syndrome so that they could be seen more by other users? Is it possible for a social networking site, like Twitter, to tweet posts related to successful sports, art, cultural, and educational achievements of people with Down Syndrome who succeed after overcoming many obstacles and hardships? Is it possible for a social networking site, like Facebook, to advertise pages of people with Down Syndrome once a week or month? For a social networking site, such as Instagram, is it possible to create an option called Down Syndrome in addition to shopping, architecture, food, art, style, fashion, music, etc., and, in this section, only promote pages of people with Down Syndrome at least few days a month? …
The answer to each of these questions is a few words: Yes, it is possible.
And here is the last question.
Is making cultural policies related to users with Down Syndrome aimed at improving and promoting these people’s quality of life important for the owners and creators of social media?
I truly do not know the answer to this question: Whether the owners of social media have even thought about this issue for once or not?
If I tell you that one day, the owners and creators of these social media spend money, seek to hire ethical users with a pure mind for human and moral stylization in some dark and intellectually polluted environments of some social media users, take action, and call for the existence of such users, do you laugh at these sentences with a shocked and mocking look?
The only thing I can understand is that some of the existing social media is changing the intellectual-human-moral balance and in some cases, it is quite disappointing.
I really do not know why the human potentials and capabilities of users with Down Syndrome are not used by these media managers in social networking sites?
An image has just crossed my mind. If, for example, time went back and it was now around 1947 and the social media had just started working, and tomorrow, for example, was December 10, 1948, the morning that the 48 countries unanimously defended human dignity, equality, brotherhood, justice, conscience, and freedom from all forms of discrimination and adopted a resolution entitled the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I believe that in addition to the 48 countries that voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at least two people must have signed it to protect the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Two people who are the two owners of two lands. Lands without any geographical map and normal physical borders of a country. Two lands called Facebook and Twitter.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear users of all social media and the owners of each of these networking sites:
About seventy years ago, Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights mentioned that &… All human beings are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and any incitement to such discrimination… .
Dr Azadeh Abbaszadeh