Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Social Media = Real Social Change?
Does social media have the potential to bring about real social change? In my opinion, i would have to say it does. Social media has already become a way of life for many people. Even people who are not daily users of social media still do use social media in some form or another. This is true for people of all ages. The various types of social media tools are used everyday by people to stay connected, share information, find information, stay up to date with current events, and also to gain insight into subjects or ongoing events that otherwise would never have been discovered or had attention brought to it. Social media, in most cases, is also highly uncensored and information is being uploaded into the various types of social media from all around the world. Since the creation of social media tools and web 2.0, new information on almost any subject and current event are constantly being added to the massive database of information we call the internet. Videos/information can be found online related to any event, be it positive or negative, a second after it happens. Because of this, our awareness of things happening in our immediate surroundings and all over the world is becoming increasingly heightened. People are now getting the first hand perspective. This gives people more of an incentive to take part, because they feel more connected, engaged and important in regards to their opinion and what they can do to contribute to the subject or situation. This can be both a negative or a positive thing, and Kony 2012 is a great example of this. Because information travels so quickly and people are always connected they may make decisions and react before they know the whole story. As i said, our awareness is becoming increasingly heightened but this does not mean we always look at things objectively and take them at face value. We tend to take what we read/see seriously and don't always take the time to distinguish whether the information we are being given is subjective or objective. That being said, i definitely do think social media has the potential to bring about real social change. As to whether or not the resulting change will be positive or negative is another question and remains to be seen.