Social Media – Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

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Plato is a well-known ancient Greek philosopher, who wrote The Allegory of the Cave argues that the invisible world is the most intelligible and the visible world is the least knowable, and the most obscure. His allegory applies to today’s society with full of temptation floating around, waiting for its target to insert their hands into the shackles and then repeat this specific action for weeks, months, or even years. Social media is one of them, even though it looks harmless, it is easy to get addicted to after a long period of usage; it is the invisible world in Plato’s allegory.

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It imprisons and manipulates people to live in the darkness of the cave enjoying shadows dancing on the wall instead of facing the undesired world.

In Plato’s story, the prisoners got chained up in the cave since they were born, forced to watch the shadows cast on the wall by animals, people passing by. One day, a prisoner got set free from the chains decide to go out of the cave to perceive the true nature of reality. He chose to come back to tell other prisoners about the reality, but none believe in what he said and thought he is delusional. From the allegory, Plato implies the cave as the artificial world that injects ideas, or shadows, into the prisoners’ mind and turns it to become a reality. Moreover, Alex Gendler once said in his TED-Ed’s video, Like the shadows on the wall, things in the physical world are flawed reflection of ideal forms, such as roundness or beauty. In this way, the cave leads to many fundamental questions, including the origin of knowledge, the problem of representation, and the nature of reality itself. (Gendler) The cave represents a barrier that is keeping its prisoners back in the darkness, away from evolving or just simply away from becoming a normal human being. Social networking is no different, the addiction to connect to online media could change a person’s perspective of perceiving life that alters his daily activities and traps him like a prisoner in his own cave.
Why does social media become an addiction? According to Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook,

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