Howard Rheingold stated that social media shrinks the world while lengthening the gap with others. Children learn about the world through social media. Most connect to social media in some format every single day. They journal their day, video chat with friends, like pages, tweet ideas, and much more. They have never known a world without social media and therefore think nothing of communicating with someone across the country or the globe.
On the other hand, media literacy receives a much different view point from adults. Some adults adapted very well to social media and use it every day; while other adults have shunned social media for privacy issues or other reasons. Since some have shunned the concept, their literacy and the world seems to increase the gap between understanding and becoming lost in a technology. Technologies only continue to advance and change. If some adults avoid technology, they become further behind. Consider the newspaper. Many adults read the newspaper and some have adapted to the online format. The online format adds video, sound, forum threads and much more. Most paper newspapers are spectacled with QR codes, web links, twitter tags and many more. As paper newspapers become smaller and more news appears online, the adults who shun technology lose out.
Social media really has changed our landscape. Like Chris Anderson mentioned, the web is our communication and other mediums support the web; hence, the QR codes and links in paper magazines and newspapers.
Since social media came on the scene, its been leveraged for just about any possibility including political influences. The Obama campaign empowered voters by giving them a voice and making it seem as if their personal opinion mattered and had influence of political decisions. Karageorgos (2010) continues by mentioning that social media opens up a new avenue for politicians to communicate with their constituents. Moreover, he discusses how social media has improved the efficiency of internal government communications.
With many sites pushing the social edge, everyone must consider some of the dangers with social media. Of course the most obvious is cyberbullying and intimidation. Other dangers include rumor spreading, copyright infringement, site vandalism, and SPAMing. The forum threads, blog comments, article comments, video comments, and auto registration are all vulnerable to attack.
Even with the vulnerabilities, I only predict that the social movement will only continue. The evolution of the web with continue along its same path. The web evolved from static websites to web 2.0 where users could create content easily. Now the next generation of the web is showing itself, the social aspect. Humans are social creatures by nature and seek out to interact with others. The web offers an excellent palette to socially interact with others and shrink the world distance boundaries. Additionally,translation tools remove the language barrier. I believe we will see an increase in comments, social videos, Facebook like interfaces, and twitter like tools integrated into every day web use.
ReferenceKarageorgos, T. (2010). Global Thinkers. Retrieved May 29, 2012 from http://globalthinkers.com/2010/12/social-media-and-politics/.