Dear Farillio Expert: What are your thoughts on the future of an increasingly social world? The Media Psychologist, Charlotte Armitage shares her insights.

5 min read

Friday 23 Jul 21

Dear Farillio member,

On 27th April 2021, you asked our fabulous expert Charlotte Armitage on the Go Far Fast Show:

“I'm keen to know Charlotte’s thoughts on the future. How does she see people adapting to an increasingly social world? How might we see behaviours start to change?”

And Charlotte said:

Be mighty always, Farillio


“As I mentioned earlier, I think we need to start teaching people from a very young age what is appropriate and respectful behaviour in the online domain. Just as we would with children in the real world. We need to teach them how to interact with people in a healthy respectful and civilised manner. We don't have that yet although I think it's starting to come into schools and that kind of education is being delivered more. I think things have got under bit out of control with social media with trolls and cancel culture.

I think one of the questions early was ‘how do we know what's real’? A person with a large following or business can say something and, before you know it, everybody has jumped on it before they even know whether it's true or not. The next thing you know that person has been cancelled or their business has been cancelled without any kind of investigation. It can really ruin lives.

There needs to be an appropriate boundary setting in place as to how long we are online and what we're doing online. We also need to listen to ourselves about what we're comfortable doing online. You don't have to be online and I think if people try removing their social platforms they'll feel fine. Most of us over a certain age functioned fine without any of this technology and going back to that can be quite cathartic. Maybe people will start taking breaks from social media or start implementing times of the week to not go on social media.

Ideally, going forward, I hope to see the major platforms require identity checks. I'm not talking about a DBS check, but I would like them to verify your name and ask for a piece of ID to confirm who you are. This will stop people from setting up fake accounts. When people can't hide behind fake accounts, we will end trolling. At the end of the day, people with fake accounts can get away with saying things and not taking any actual responsibility. They're not accountable because it's not their name on there. If we hold people accountable I think people will be less likely to say unkind things online. If we get it so that accounts are verified so people are who they say they are and can't hide, I think that will help the future of the online world. It will help it to become a more civilised safe and non-threatening environment. That's what I'd like to see in the future.

At the end of the day, it's a great tool for so many different things. It helps people with their mental illnesses and we know that it's great for business and being connected. To get rid of it wouldn't be helpful so it's just about limiting the use. Everything in small doses – it doesn't need to be this overwhelming and integrated part of our lives where we are on it all the time. It's too much and we need to set some rules around it.”

Ask your question:

If you have any questions that you'd like us to ask in a future Go Far Fast Show, send us a DM on Twitter or on LinkedIn. We'd love to hear from you!

Want more from Charlotte?

You can also find Charlotte’s answers to other questions being asked by you and your community in our Dear Farillio Expert section on our blog site, and Charlotte’s great guidance on social media and mental health here. Download the full podcast here.

Please note: The contents of this blog are not tailored business advice or legal advice. This is guidance and information, which we do our best to keep current, relevant and helpful. If you need business or legal advice, please use our Speak To An Adviser service or you can get in touch via our LiveChat.

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