The Culture of Gatekeeping and Social Media

Image Source:

It’s no secret that technology and social media have revolutionized and forever changed people’s lives. With platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, sharing one’s life has become as easy as swiping, tapping and typing. Connecting the world in such a way comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Now, people can easily find the answer to all their questions with a simple Google search, allowing them to learn more about the world beyond their familiar surroundings.

This spreading of information leads to a series of hidden gems being discovered and put on public display. Despite being an entirely positive development at first glance, this development proves to be, in reality, a controversial one. With hidden gems being revealed one after another came the rise of gatekeeping; some use their words and actions to control general access or knowledge of secret locations or items in order to fuel their superiority complex. Despite most hidden gems being public property, many internet users have attempted to establish ownership and privatize the knowledge of these hidden gems for their own benefit. Over time, viral locations and items have become “boring,” and gatekeeping of hidden gems has become more and more toxic. 

With the rise of social media and the revealing of hidden gems to the public as a result, some of these places have faced harsh consequences. Locations that used to be hidden have now become hotspots of tourism, and a great deal of damage has been done to the environment due to disrespectful tourists. Because of the nature of the internet, many have started arguments over these results, which leads to unnecessary hate. Therefore, the rise of gatekeeping has actually minimized this type of negativity and can lead to positive results. 

So is gatekeeping a good thing or a bad thing? Perhaps “it depends” is the answer nobody wants to hear, but it seems to be more of a gray than a clear black or white. Social media has had an undeniable effect on hidden gems by making them more popular and also increasing the amount of gatekeeping surrounding them. However, both gatekeeping and popularity have positives and negatives to them, and the actions of all internet users cannot be summed up in one verdict. Regardless, social media has changed our lives forever and will continue to bring the world closer together.