Social networks, the filter bubble and the ‘media of I’

This article was originally published on Wired UK, November 12th, 2012 as a Guest post by Lloyd Gofton:

As we move from an age of mass media to one of social media, are we experiencing a rebalancing of cultural communications towards disintermediated storytelling?

In today’s technology-enlightened civilisation, many believe that changes to the way we communicate are being driven by global networks and new technologies.

Conversely, it has also been argued that our approach to storytelling in the digital world is in many ways similar to that of the mediaeval era where information and stories were shared orally among distributed communities.

According to that rationale, technology is merely the facilitator of our natural urge to tell stories, not the raison d’être. After all, are we really that far removed from our humble beginnings? Have oral traditions merely been replaced, or possibly enhanced, by digital networks? Could it be the case that mass media was a step too far and are we now experiencing a re-balancing of our cultural communications as we find a new equilibrium of information vs. conversation?

To identify why we are so reliant on mass media, it’s important to understand how we got to our current situation.

Read the full article on Wired


One thought on “Social networks, the filter bubble and the ‘media of I’

  1. I am a PR and Communication student and I know how important is social media today. We use it as a platform to promote ourselves as professionals, among others from our industry and as individuals, among our friends…or I should probably use the word `acquaintances’ as the hundreds of friends and followers we have on social media are not always our friends.

    However, social media does not depict people for who they are but for who they want to be. We tend to post pictures, statuses, comments in order to be have people clicking the `like’, `retweet’, or `comment’ buttons…and this makes us `cool’. As a consequence we keep having that online behaviour that makes as `cool’…even if it’s not who we really are.

    Fortunately, today, social media is not so strongly embedded in our culture so we can reflect upon our actions and realise how influential our online presence is upon us. BUT I wonder…what about the next generations? Users will consider Facebook as `normal’, as integrated part of their lives. In America, Facebook is examining ways to allow children under the age of 13 to use its services. Will those children still be able to distinguish between their online presence and their real persona?

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