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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just a thought or two: Social Media (SoMe)

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July 4, 2011, I “attended” a tweetchat, #socialchat combined with #speakerchat. I will try to make this clearer as I go along. A tweetchat is done online, and is an opportunity to have discussions with people who share the same or similar interest(s); people who live far away from you, and people who you probably not have an opportunity to interact with IRL (in real life).

These are generally open to anyone. The moderator posts questions, and the participants offer an answer or opinion, and discussion ensues.

And, before you get the wrong impression, I really enjoyed the chat and the interaction, and will attend again.

Here are a couple of the questions from the chat. What are your thoughts?

Q1 How does the "voice" now that everyone has one because of SoMe (social media) change how we connect and talk with each other?

I think there are two issues here. The first is the assumption that everyone has a voice and is represented. I think this simply is not true. There are, and will always be people who have no access to “voice” because they are underprivileged, underfunded, underexposed, undervalued.

Not many people wander into libraries anymore, but I occasionally do. A large portion of the populace only has access to the Internet through this venue. We are dead wrong to think that everyone in our society has access to information and access to the people who can make changes, such as politicians.

Can we rectify this? Yes, but many more people will have to let go of their false perceptions of how the real world works.

You cannot address a problem if you deny its existence!

The second sub-question that came out of this is, do all speak in authentic voices when we interact with social media? Are we real when we chat with our cyber-friends, or are we hiding behind an even bigger mask of anonymity because we never have to meet any of these people?

Simply put: Are we more or less likely to put some real skin in this game, be our true vulnerable selves and put the work in to make real relationships?

Q2 As the printing press was to the French Revolution, Social Media is to modern revolutions. How does gov adjust?

Putting aside the reference to the French Revolution, how do you think Government will either interact and / or try to control the system?

Q3 Put on your forward looking hat, what will be the next big change to Democracy caused by social media?

I think that, as we have seen in places like Egypt and a number of other countries, people at the grassroots level will be able to give more input into running the government. We have already had some evidence of the impact social media has had on our own election process, and more recently recalls of several local government officials.

What role does social media play in your busy life?

Do you think that social media has made us a more unified nation, less unified or no effect on bringing the haves and have-nots together?

What do you think?


Terri said...

I have to be honest, Doc, and say that although we have a computer,
we are not involved in any tweeting, facebook, etc. My impression so far is that, there is too much "over exposure" and now we get to know everyone's opinions, attitudes, etc. In a perfect world that would be a blessing, being uplifted and encouraged by others, but not always the case in this world. We just had some division (I know, shocking isn't it?) in our church body, and those that chose to leave bombarded our Pastor, his wife, and their teenage children with negative and very hurtful remarks. We can't take words back,
and the pain this has caused has been unbelievable. 7 out of 9 of our children use facebook and are frustrated that we won't, but so far I am not seeing the benefits.
Just saying . . .

Doc said...

Actually, Teri, you'd probably be surprised that I don't Facebook. I'm just not certain that, as an introvert I want that much "exposure" as yet.

But you have raised an important point about hateful words. One of the rules that I try to adhere to is to not (at least for posterity) when I am angry. It is all to easy to regret words that you'd never say when they are only a mous-click or a send button away.

Sorry to hear about the split, been there. People can be venemous and hateful. And, it is ESPECIALLY sad to see this come from our "Christian" brothers and sisters.

I think we have discussed this before, but Christ expects us to go about the business of BEING followers all the time. Not just when it suits our needs and desires. And, we wonder why the "outsiders," the non-church people don't want to spend time with us and don't buy into what we are saying to them...

It is unfortunate that could not leave more gracefully. There is a great deal to be said about disagreeing without being disagreeable...

But, the problem is not the Internet, it is the people...isn't it always.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with what you said about the "world" watching us and
then wondering why they don't want what we have. Jesus, please help me to stop "doing" and start "being" conformed to Your image!

Terri said...

Not sure why that comment says anonymous, maybe I hit the wrong
button? Sorry :)