It’s serious business, it’s changed the way we communicate, it’s changed the world.
Wars have been declared with tweets (ask Donald Trump) and revolutions sparked on Facebook (think the Arab Spring).
Stars have been born - and have fallen, crashed and burned, on YouTube.
Load shedding schedule announcements are now made on Twitter.
Careers, relationships and reputations have been built - and broken -on Instagram.
Yet, people still don’t seem to realise how “real” social media is.
Racists think they can write, share and say whatever they like - without consequence - from the “safety” of their cellphone or laptop.
Because they’re not interacting face to face with the person they are insulting, they assume it’s somehow not real.
But it is. This is the illusion of social media, it gives users a false sense of immunity, a licence to rek their bek.
Munier has seen it, most of you will have seen it too.
Those mense with split personalities, you know them: mild-mannered and polite in person; but raving lunatics on social media.
It had Munier wondering: are people naturally two-faced? Or does social media turn nice people into trolls?
After giving it some thought, Munier decided both are true.
All people have good and bad in them, that we know. Somehow social media has a way of unleashing and feeding their inner troll.
Put them in front of a keyboard and screen and they become agitated, impatient, argumentative and onbeskof.
This might help to explain the actions of Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter.
Here was a guy who, by all accounts, was a regular, law-abiding citizen.
What we subsequently learnt is that he was a computer game kop, and enjoyed shooter games.
Couple that with all the extreme, right-wing propaganda websites he’d been surfing and you have someone who could very well have been brainwashed into carrying out the mosque attacks in which 50 Muslims were gunned down.
Did you also notice that the manner in which the shootings were filmed live on Facebook, was very much a simulation of those skiet-hulle-vrek games?
Scary, hey? These are the dangers of the internet.
Parents, be vigilant and monitor your kids’ internet activities. Look, technology is wonderful and all, there are loads of benefits.
But people are social beings and need to live in the real world, in “polite society” with human contact.
There are no rules of engagement on social media. There’s no “good morning, how are you, can I help you?” on these platforms.
It’s the wild, wild, web. Users shoot from the lip - without thinking - and hit themselves in the foot.
Like arme Rachel Kolisi, who now regrets that she tried to out a gym bunny who had sent sexy pictures to her hubby Siya on Instagram.
You feel for Rachel, who was lekker upset at the time, but to air your dirty laundry like that in the media? Nee, girl.
She needed to sit her man down and sort her dramas behind closed doors - after he returned from the Stormers’ tour Down Under.
Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, as they say, she caused a skandaal and in the end, probably did the right thing by deactivating her social media accounts.