SOCIAL MEDIA: AFFECTS OR EFFECTS?

Well I guess it is obvious that social media is no stranger to you. You are probably with the majority (Koshy, V. http://www.sproutworth.com/social-media-facts/) and have been using it extensively for several years and quite possibly do not remember a time when social media did not exist. Social media is now a convenience that is obtained and paid for without second thought. Terms of Agreement contracts are accepted without a glance, relinquishing total access to posted material by corporate run applications. (Morrison, K. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/survey-many-users-never-read-social-networking-terms-of-service-agreements/620843)

As the total immersion into the social media world continues to progress, people continue to become less and less aware of their physical surroundings and more embedded in the digital counterpart of their social media bubble. Social media allows people to be released from stifling social conventions such as speaking one’s mind without considering who might be listening because they are alone and only have to consider ramifications if they choose to read comments posted to their rant. The same reasoning makes it a perfect venue to post evocative photographs, brag and show off or claim supremacy of a challenge they have met. It is a perfect format to create an ideal dream world. All that has to be done is exclude the haters and include as many followers, that respond correctly, as possible.

It is also a marketer’s wet dream. Polls and surveys, with unerring accuracy, are conducted by offering discounts for answering simple questions that take no time at all. There is also a host of information mined from corporate social media sites available for a price. Marketers are finding manipulation of demographics a task of unbelievable ease. (Holiday, R.) It is simply a matter of drumming up controversy or starting a rumor. With so many user wanting to have the funniest quip or the headline of the day the marketing is completed as fast as fingers can push buttons.

This is what freedom from conventional media is all about. The people get to say what “news” is worthy and how it will be presented. The people get to say what and how many facts make up the whole story. The people get to tell the people what is right and what is wrong. It all boils down to the need for perceived freedom, speed and the desire for convenience at any price. No one wants to be controlled by any medium.

 

Sources:

Holiday, R. 2013, Trust Me I’m Lying, Confessions of a Media Manipulator

Koshy, V. SPROUTWORTH, Blog, 61+ Social Media Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2016 http://www.sproutworth.com/social-media-facts/

Morrison, K. Social Media, May 27, 2015 5:30 PM, Survey: Many Users Never Read Social Media Terms of Service Agreements. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/survey-many-users-never-read-social-networking-terms-of-service-agreements/620843

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