Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Just a thought or two: Social Media (SoMe)
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?