In order to explain social media we have to know who and how we are using social media and how our audiences are using it. To first point out the obvious, we know that not everyone is using social media and the internet. Not everyone has access to the internet or even a computer. Along with that, some governments try to limit the access of the internet to the public such as the Iranian government in Tehran when a negative view of their actions came out. Digging deeper into the users of social media, we realize that not every voice is equal. Some users (or companies) have 1 million followers while others have two. Media is often controlled by few groups and economic and political power. These groups have more means of publishing so we hear from these groups the most. There are some users we really like to hear from and others we like to hate on.
Web 3.0 has very nearly perfected human communication and co-operation. Today, it would be hard to find a website that we cannot put our opinion on. No longer can we only read what is published but we can choose what we want to read. Now, there is not only the standpoint of our local news channel but the standpoint of online news articles, and the country’s standpoint, and the world’s standpoint. That is the beauty of the internet. It can be used is the most powerful of ways, such as setting the worldview of a country. For example, a video was posted and sent to all types of social media showing the violence from the Iranian government and from there the scene was set. According to the article, “A Commanders Strategy for Social Media,” “Tehran received massive diplomatic pressure from other governments and condemnation from media around the world to end to the post-election violence.” Media can be used in helpful and hurtful ways when given to the public.
The whole interconnected web of users, the strength of individual voices, the opinions of each voice, the background behind the author and what the reader wants to see, all complicates the defining of social media. Is it information or is it conversation? Who is going to be heard and who is going to be silenced? Social media could go both ways and may eventually trample real-world systems we know today.
Social media is always changing and we’re completely addicted to it. Since the beginning of the internet we have seen companies rise to the top of success and fall out of existence. We have donated online to help real world causes all around the world. The internet and social media has brought us together in many ways in times of trouble and celebration, when we needed it or just wanted to interact with it. Our global network has allowed us to work together to answer to the needs of humanity by being social and co-operative.
“The Political Power Of Social Media”. Foreign Affairs. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Mayfield, Thomas. “A Commander’S Strategy For Social Media”. JessieTorres. N.p., 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.