In his article, The Mediatization of Society Theory, Hjarvard deduces that media simultaneously become an integrated part of society, not to mention the existence of other new social media. New social media, a set of identity-centric information and communication technologies (ICTs) that enables production and sharing of digital content in a mediated social setting (Studstzman, 2009) such as Facebook and Twitter, have successfully attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices and transformed them from a situation of information scarcity to one of information abundance. Accordingly, Ronn (2007) in one of his reports noted that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are among the most visited sites on the Internet, just behind the major search engines. Facebook for example, as the site grows more popular, claims that it has more than 500 million active users and 50% of users log on to this site everyday (Facebook, 2011), while Twitter records 175 million registered users since its first launch in 2006, with around 95 million tweets are written per day (Twitter, 2011). Both Facebook and Twitter equipped with platforms that allow individuals, as cited in Boyd (1997), to “construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system”.
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These platforms not only serve its users as a tool of “sharing of life minutiae” (Green, 2011) but also seize the opportunity of increasing their engagement in various issues. For example, Facebook and Twitter have played an increasing role in American politics as they become what US President Barrack Obama campaign in 2008 were most successfully noted for. Accordingly, both also facilitate online community to raise fund for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victim as well as assist innovation that plays as a significant role in cultural change. In other word, interactive and collaborative features provided by the platform of social media have made the dimension of political, social and cultural advancement become more prominent. However, it appears questionable to simply claim that social media alternately acts as the ground of political revolution or creates new social identity and induce cultural change (Boyd, 2011, Green 2011, Hoffman & Kornweitz, 2011). A single click on Facebook group and merely a tweet do not make people politically activated and socially changed. As emphasises by Boyd (2011), it seems to be only a “majestical lustre” that technology’s structure instantly influences people’s behaviour. Correspondingly, Green (2011) also voices an interesting quandary if social media actually enhance the democracy itself. It is reasonable since Facebook and Twitter are not a replace for motivation that at least required for a revolution to be taken place or new community to be formed. Nonetheless, it is likely understandable from current events that social media have the power to pursue and persuade as by providing platform toward political revolution, social community and cultural advancement yet bring negative and positive consequences for those three subjects.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND POLITICAL REVOLUTION
As mention above, Facebook, in particular, provides three default platforms for its users to convey their political interest (Langlois, 2009). First, users can become fan of politician’s profile or page. Second, they can create or join a group and last, they can change their political views in their profile. Among three, becoming a fan or a group is considered to allow users to be more engaged. Once the common interests are created, the Facebook platforms greatly “simplify communicating within and to a network via emails, invitation and reminders”.
Shirky (2011), social media have become coordinating tools for nearly all of the world’s political movement. Prominent example for this argument is U.S. President Barack Obama’s election in 2008. As cited from Obama’s Facebook groups during the campaign greatly simplify communicating within and to more than 1, 2 millions of his supportersHe also highlights three default ways . Langlois (2009),
Addressed by Hoffmann & Kornweitz as medium of “direct citizen participation”, this aggregation of public via the social network does remarkably magnify the engagement of society to the campaign itself, by extending their social activities/participation such as informing others about campaign events, attempting to persuade donations or taking part in activities related to politics without having to sit down face to face!
History of Russia and France are best example of how lack of new social media did not impede both countries revolutions from happening.
The media themselves ineffective acted by casual participants which obviously does not guarantee that every political movement of mobilization will succeed, because the state has not lost the power to react. Take Tunisia for example. The only way both governments could immensely stop the quick dissemination of information was to shut down the whole internet.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL IDENTITY/COMMUNITY
As noted above, new social media such as Facebook and Twitter are potentially able to change the character of our social live. According to …. that the new media is changing the way people think, act, and feel. Langlois (2009) stated that social media allows for “the emergence of marginalized issue and public:
The online informational system provide the material, communicational and social means for a public to exist
Therefore, it is likely clear that new social media can be powerful tools for spurring social change, with stressing point that it played a facilitating, mediating role in connections and interactions among its user in society.
There are at least three reasons for this claim to be apprehended: Firstly, social media enables creation of dense network that extend human communication abilities in both time and space. According to technological determinism purposed by Mc Luhan, the world now is a global village, where physical distance is even less of a hindrance to the real-time communicative activities of people. Therefore social spheres are greatly expanded by the openness of the web and the ease at which people can search for online communities and interact with others that share the same interests and concerns.
Secondly, social media’s quick dissemination of information supports new communities to be created, (virtual). Equipped with features that enable for users to be more interactive and collaborative, social media becomes a form of mediated communication that gives the audience access to on-demand content and the ability to share and discuss it with others within seconds. Let’s look at Japanese Tsunami and Earthquake for example. Addison asserts in one of his reports that images and videos of Japan’s tsunami were soon hitting the web just minutes count from the first wave hit Sendai. Thousands messages were then updated via Twitter within seconds, showing of good will, condolences and offering aid for Japan. Social media facilitates such as allowing people the chance to donate to the Red Cross via text message, the donation being added to phone bills. According to the members of the each social medium, there are more than 500 million people are using Facebook and more than 200 million views on the Youtube for a day. It means billions of audiences are able to share and receive information on the same platform at the same time. Moreover, the information on the social media can be posted and received immediately. Therefore, the information on the social media could be disseminated much faster, compared with traditional media.
Thirdly, specifically that the social media is more user generated content, it allows users as news producers. The social media provide a platform for public to advocate social issues. Moreover, it also means the news is not limited by organizations or governments anymore. For instance, for “Chinese Jasmine Revolution” in 2011, even the Chinese Government tried to stop the situation to be expanded on the social media, it is still held quite successfully. Afterwards, the international media is starting to be conscious to what the revolution was trying to present to public and they are trying to report it to public as well. According to media and social dependency theory (Defleur& Ball-Rokeach), for some countries (especially developing countries), if public are uncertain about their society and country, it is much easier for them to rely on the media. It means for some countries, audiences might be easy to follow the issues. In short, social media definitely, developed freedom of speech.
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With every response and action that results from our engagement, we are slowly introduced to the laws of social physics: for every action there is a reaction – even if that reaction is silence. And, the extent of this resulting activity is measured by levels of influence and other factors such as the size and shape of nicheworks as well as attention aperture and time. the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location.
However, idea of new community in Facebook did not make Obama win his Presidency.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND CULTURAL ADVANCEMENT
Yes, overall it can
especially in terms of providing fast, quick and ..platform ,,,.
Media scholars argue that social media platforms are tools of self-expression that return a benefit to a public good
It is reasonable since Facebook and Twitter are not a replace for motivation that at least required for a revolution to be taken place or new community to be formed.
. People can virtually gather in Facebok and Twitter online community or groups, regardless geographical limitations and physical location, which (….).
Ronn, K. (2007). Social networking: Closer than you think. Business Week Online, p. 12. Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/careers/content/jun2007/ca20070612_954809.htm
Hjarvard, S. (2008). The Mediatization of Society: A Theory of the Media as Agents of Social and Cultural Change. [Article]. NORDICOM Review, 29(2), 105-134.
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