AllMedia can overall be classified as ‘social’ media. Social media can be definedas an interactive media base that is established in participatory behaviours,sharing content, and overall user-created (Argo, 2017).
Social mediaplatforms allow users to have conversations, share information and create webcontent across different platforms and in different unique ways. There are manydifferent types of social media forms such as blogs, wikis, social networkingsites, instant messaging, photo-sharing and video-sharing sites. Social mediapredominantly allows users to connect and share with friends, family andcolleagues, learn new things and develop your interests all across the globe ata click of a button. (Argo, 2017) Professionally,social media enables you to broaden your knowledge and promote your particularfield of work. Sites like LinkedIn allows you to connect with other companiesand current employees (Argo, 2017).
On the other hand,despite Social Media’s benefits, social media affects each individual indifferent ways with not all being beneficial. Although it may seem as alearning and fun communicative tool, the use of Social Media can lead to avariety of problems ranging from cyber bullying to manipulation of youridentity, stealing parts of your personal life and interpreting it as theirown, which has been known to cause a different level of problems. Social Mediahas also been known to cause psychological problems such as depression andisolation which has been known to make individuals feel isolated and alone.This has led to individuals in some cases unfortunately attempting suicide. (Argo, 2017) Consideringthe great impact and progress social media has made, it is important to narrowdown and decide what the term ‘social media’ truly means and what effects ithas.
Some would refer back to the days of what’s known as the early cyberculture and stress the public domain aspect of these virtual communities. (Lovink, 2013) This catholic term lost its authority in thelate 90s when start-up firms, backed by venture capital and silly money frominvestment banks and pension funds flooded the scene. Looking into social mediait can be seen that they present themselves as the perfect synthesis of 19thcentury mass production and are making history (Lovink, 2011). In that sense,there are not postmodern machines but straightforward modernist products of the1990’s wave of digital globalization turned mass culture. The increase in useof social media should not be seen as a resurrection of the social after itsdeath, Online systems are not designed for people to encounter one anotherhowever remain bonds between friends. (Lovink, 2011) Themain aspect of all this is the focus on the effect social media has on ourlives and the ‘colonization of real time’ (Lovink, 2011)The social element really emerges inwith the context Web 2.
0, the second stage of development of the internet, and howthough not all the characteristics of Web 2.0 apply to social media. Web 2.0has three distinguishing features, it is easy to use, and provides users withfree publishing and production platforms. Users are able to upload content indifferent forms this can range from uploading pictures, videos and texts tosharing life stories and articles from what’s happening around the world (Lovink, 2011). This is down to theuse of free publishing and production platforms across the Medias. (Lovink, 2011) In May 2009, theintroduction of the online, real time collaborative editing platform GoogleWave was established (Lovink, 2011). It merged email,instant messaging, social networking and feeds of Facebook, Twitter and emailinto one real live event one to the screen for different people to view and addto.
(Lovink, 2011) Additionally,there is a fundamental shift away from the static archive, it is a meta onlinetool for real-time communication. Just from looking at your online ‘dashboard’,metaphorically, Wave looks like you are sitting on the banks of a river, observingthe current. (Winer, 2018) The Internet in general is trying to go realtime in order to become one step closer to real life and the complexities ofreality. However, one step forward into progression of the real time means twosteps backwards in terms of design. Just look at Twitter as example, resemblesascii email and SMS messages on your 2001 cell phone. (Lovink, 2011) One thing is for sure though, boredomwill soon set in and people will be forced to find new ways to monitor theirlives and stay connected with people.
The pacemakerof the real-time Internet is “microblogging” (Lovink, 2013) Microblogging is a combinationof blogging and instantmessaging that allows users to createmessages that can be posted and shared with an online audience. Social media platformssuch as Twitter and Facebook have become extremely popular forms of blogging,especially when able to access via your mobile, which makes it so much more convenientto communicate with people compared to using desktop computers for web browsingand social interaction. (Lovink, 2013) However,we can also consider the social networking sites that try to encourage as many real-time dataout of its users as possible, using questions on their feed such as: “What areyou doing?” “What’s on your mind?” This encourages the user to express theirthoughts and expose their impulses.
Frequently updated blogs and news sites area part of this inclination. The constant evolution of RSS feeds is the drivingtechnology behind this, which makes it possible to get instant updates ofwhat’s happening anywhere else on the web. (Lovink, 2011) Theminiaturization of hardware and wireless connectivity makes it able fortechnology to become an invisible part of our everyday lives. (Carr, 2017) Furtherto this, the production of mobile phones plays an important role in’mobilizing’ your desktop, social media, photo and video camera, audio deviceand eventually the television. Web 2.0 applications respond to this trend andattempt to extract value out of every situation we find ourselves in.
(Lovink, 2011) Social media sitesconstantly wants to know what we think, what choices we make, where we go, whowe talk to. In addition, there is no evidence that the world isbecoming more virtual, but the virtual is becoming more real. Social mediasites are encouraging us to answer questions and share our personal thoughtsand feelings online about our lives and social relationships, we are no longerencouraged to keep up a persona but it encourages us to be “ourselves” andreflect that online by what we say and ‘like’. (Lovink, 2011) We constantlylogin and create profiles on these sites in order to present ourselves on theglobal market place of employment, friendship and love. (Lovink, 2011) “We can havemultiple passions but only one certified ID.” (Lovink, 2011) Social media sitesencourages us to perfect polished personalities online which however lacksempathy and a false interpretation of emotion.
Soon, people such as celebritieswill become bored of keeping up with an online persona and reveal theirweaknesses, but also this will mean revealing your true self. Social media encouragesusers to administrate and edit their selves online to hide the merelycontroversial aspects. (Lovink, 2011) Our online profilesremain unfinished and imperfect if we do not expose any aspect of our privatelives whether that’s who we are friends with, where we work, what we are doing,what’s on our mind Otherwise we are considered robots, anonymous members of avanishing twentieth century mass culture. It is virtually impossible to differentiatethe explanation and commodification of selfhood from the capacity of the selfto shape and help itself and to engage in deliberation and communication withothers.” (Illoux, 2007) Additionally, Silicon Valley found inspiration in twoprojects: the search start-up Google, and the rapidly emerging blog scene, whichsoon established around self-publishing platforms such as blogger.com, Blogspotand LiveJournal.
(Lovink, 2011) Both Google’s searchalgorithm and Dave Winer’s RSS invention of the underlying blog technology bothmanaged to avoid the dotcom rage until they surfaced toform the duo-core of the Web 2.0 wave. (Winer, 2018) However, bloggingpersonified the non-profit, and therefore this enabled the aspect of personalresponses categorised around a link., Google developed a technique in order tostream other people’s content on to your own, otherwise known as, “organizingthe world’s information” (Lovink, 2011) There has been a rise is user-generatedcontent and this has been operated by the IT industry, not necessarily themedia sector. Google soon discovered they could make profit from freeinformation on the open Internet, such as anything from unprofessional videosto unreliable news sites. Additionally, there is no profit made at the level ofproduction but through distribution channels, such as, Amazon, Apple, Ebay andGoogle. (Winer, 2018) It isclear to believe that the colonization of real time is a term in which todescribe the frequent up-to-date technology.
All social media platforms areprogressing into live feeds that allow us to be kept up to date with readingnews faster via twitter than it is to watch on the television (Lovink, 2011), and to keep updatedwith one another’s lives. Social media platforms allow us to share so much ofour lives with each other there’s almost no need for one to one personal interaction.Sites like Google Wave allows you to access your email, social networks, andmerges sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is a meta online tool for realtime communication. (Lovink, 2011) The internet in general is going ‘realtime’ in an attempt to become one step closer to the real-existing socialworld. One way of doing this is to engage the users by asking questions such as’What is on your mind?’ “What are you doing?” This is an approach that Facebookand Twitter uses. In late 2012, Facebook had more than one billion accounts, whichresulted in the social media site ranking in the top three first destinationsites on the internet worldwide. (Lovink, 2011)Facebook was predominantlyfull of users willingly exhibiting countless amounts of snippets of theirsocial life and relationships on this site that invests in the play ofexchanging information.
This is just an example of the virtual becoming morereal, with social media wanting to map out our real lives onto their database.A problem that maybe considered due to this, is that we potentially get toocaught up keeping up with our online personas. Social Media encourages us to beourselves and to express that through different platforms but are we startingto care more about how many likes our Instagram post gets than catching up withfriends in person? Additionally, there is no evidence that the world isbecoming more virtual, however the virtual is becoming more real. (Lovink, 2011)