WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? My Opinion and What I Have Discovered.


In my opinion social media is a dynamic and evolutionary digital information and communication technology that serves to engage a massive community of participants. It is a cultural invention that has been utilized and infused into many areas of political, cultural, and religious life…let alone social relations. It’s a community and a “universal think tank”- with the gathering of a universal or collective intelligence. It’s a meeting place like Facebook or Twitter where ideas, thoughts, and concepts can be shared and exchanged among a vast network of individuals. It differs from traditional media like television, radio, or newspapers for example; in that, it is not limited to a “closed system”. Andrew Chow made a few interesting distinctions in his blog between social media and traditional media and to highlight one example; is the power of influence it wields on its viewers or participants. He pointed out that the powers of traditional media (i.e. newspaper publications) which spin and report its stories does not facilitate for a space for dialogue. Whereas YouTube as a social media, which allows for an upload of a broadcast or newsreel as an example, serves the purpose of exchanging and sharing of information that will facilitate and encourage an “open system” among its massive audience. There is a dialogue (an exchange) that can be had among its viewers. To me social media is a space (a community hub) that has the potential for the limitless collaboration and exchange of ideas, expression, and concepts among a vast network of people. It’s a two way street, an “open system”, and it’s engaging, which is why I would not constitute emails as a social media. According to Anthony J. Bradley in his blog post, “I believe that difference primarily centers around [sic] e-mail as a distribution mechanism v. social media as a collective mechanism.” I agree with this statement, because email in one way is limited to contacts you may know with information only being related to a small community rather than the transfer and sharing of information on a massive scale. In other words, it doesn’t have an extensive reach. It is not a forum where you are linked to a vast network of interconnected people that are representative of a wide spectrum of geographical, social, and political standing and the exchanges and sharing of ideas thereof.
Another example I would not consider as social media is Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, it is a community for gathering information only and it does not promote an exchange of dialogue among is viewers despite the exchanges and sharing of ideas and information on its site. This is because it does not operate as a forum or open network where conversations with the global inquisitors of the site can be had amongst each other.
Here are a couple of links where I came to a more informed opinion to the questions for this week’s topic.


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