significance of social media

October 8, 2009 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

So anytime somebody needs ya
don’t let them down, although it grieves ya
Someday you’ll need someone like they do
lookin’ for what you knew

Recently, actually on August 25, 2009, the Wall Street Journal featured an article entitled How Facebook Ruins Friendships.

Bertolt Brecht, the influential German poet, playwright, and theatre director is quoted as saying that “Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.”

How do we reconcile this in this age of mobile networks? A common communication system is the technology platform of social media, it does support many groups or what could be potentially ‘warring factions.’

I believe that Brecht was really referring to the commonality of human interaction, not the mechanism, very much contrary to Marshall McLuhan’s “The medium is the message”. It’s a matter of perspective and application.

Today’s Technorati, enamored with the medium, are really not focusing on the power of the message. But, perhaps I’m being unfair, their job is about designing and perfecting the medium. It is our (i.e. the user’s) responsibility to ensure that message remains relevant. Perhaps this is the fascination of social media, each person’s message having relevance in that moment. Perhaps it is the antidote to T. S. Eliot’s observations that “Television is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome.”

Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.

Entry filed under: Media. Tags: , , .

immediacy net neutrality

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