• Ask audience if aware of the current revolution taking place • Tell audience that they are involved, of their “weapons” – mental prowess, Internet, computer mice (mouses, meese?) • Ask for clarification on one of the great mysteries of life: the plural of computer mouse • Describe past revolutions and then shift into the digital communication revolution of social media • In the past, the world has witnessed such revolutions as the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution of the late 18 th century (shout out to Mrs. Zehner), and now society is in the midst of an international cultural revolution – one that I like to call the Social Media Revolution • This revolution is transforming the very way that we as humans are communicating with other another, which is where the Internet comes in because of its universality • You may think that time inevitably changes the ways in which we correspond with one another, but social media is in the now and will continue to be relevant in communicational ways in the future – which cannot be said for certain twentieth century communication technologies • Why I chose social media as my topic: Social media is very personal to me because of the opportunities it allows me to connect with family and friends. I am able to keep in contact with my cousins who live out of state – one who lives in California working for Hulu and one who lives in NY working for various teen magazines. Additionally, I can keep in touch with various friends and family that I do not see often. To me, social media is like a constant family reunion.
A/V Aide (1:48) In a nutshell, this is my condensed definition of social media and networking services, which is easily abbreviated to SNS: digital tools used for communication, entertainment, political advancement, marketing, and just about anything that involves contact with others through the Internet The maker of this video named Lee LeFever ironically and creatively uses YouTube, a social media resource itself, to bring to you “Social Media In Plain English”
Kevin Bacon, famous for such roles in Footloose and Mystic River, once joked that he has worked with everyone in Hollywood and thus some creative minds invented the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” was born. Just as Bacon can be linked to just about everyone in six connections or less, the six degrees concept was also the name of one of the very first social media resources. Debuting in 1997, www.sixdegrees.com was groundbreaking because it allowed its users to create profiles and list their friends – a concept that has become so familiar to citizens of social media Sixdegrees terminated in 2000, but its ideas are still alive today in its social media descendents, including the international brand of Facebook as well as the primarily Brazilian Orkut
The earliest social media users most likely experienced an enlightening moment: The Internet allowed infinite possibilities to connect with their fellow man. Truly illustrating the trumping of traditional communication technologies: According to a social media mogul, today, “people ages 18-34 spend 4.3 times more time on social media web sites than [television], newspapers, and radio combined” (Paulsen, “Social Media Revolution”)
Richard Stacy, a SNS blogger whose tagline is “Social Media in 15 minutes or less,” has gone as far to compare social media to Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press Just as there was a switch in communicational technology as a result of Gutenberg’s fifteenth century invention, he also sees comparisons in the social media revolution: SNS allows for collaboration and other “communal characteristics” that have roots in the “post-Gutenberg world” Similarly, John Blossom, t he author of Content Nation: Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Changes Our Work, Our Lives and Our Future, refers to social media users as new-age publishers (Blossom 1) Essentially, SNS users have one foot in the publishing world and one in the consuming world, the basis for User-Generated Content which is manifested in YouTube videos and Twitter Tweets Epitomizing the concept of self-publication are the users of the forefront source in the world of online video sharing, YouTube. YouTube’s users posted more videos in a period of two months in 2009 than sixty-one years of broadcasting on the three major television news networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, combined (“Did You Know 4.0”). Crazy, right? Nope, just revolutionary.
SNS allows its users to utilize “one-to-one, one-to-few, few-to-few, one-to-many, and many-to-many communications capabilities” (Benkler). social media has trumped past forms of communication technology through displacing “mass media and telephones” so then “[social media’s] salient communications characteristics provide new dimensions to thicken existing social relations” (Benkler)
A recurring theme throughout social media is that the users are the ones responsible for these momentous changes in communication – in a way it has empowered society and in turn society has embraced social media. Unexpectedly, social media has become almost like a therapist or as I said before a constant family reunion, which is why it has been proven to strengthen relationships. You may be thinking that this is paradoxical, that contact is digital and artificial, however, social media can now “[include] voice communication, presence, and location information” and experts state that that could “perhaps provide the ‘something extra’ needed for a communication revolution” (Coyle and Vaughn). Social media has trumped past forms of communication technology through displacing “mass media and telephones” so then “[social media’s] salient communications characteristics provide new dimensions to thicken existing social relations” (Benkler) Plainly stated, social media provides relationships with an added dimension that traditional forms of communication technologies were never able to give its consumers.
With those possibilities, there exists a constant, instantaneous flow of communication Thus, social media is akin to the fast-paced world of the twenty-first century New ways to communicate “unfold at a rapid pace” (“Social Networking, the ‘Third Place,’ and the Evolution of Communication”) and is at par with society’s demands
I decided to survey my senior peers on SNS and to determine if the SNS revolution has swept through Springfield. I went homeroom to homeroom and out of the approximately 140 members of the senior class, I was only able to collect 55 surveys. One sure piece of information that I learned from this project was that homeroom attendance is rather minimal. On the other hand, I have developed conclusive findings.
If you haven’t joined the social media revolution, do not hesitate to jump on the bandwagon. If Shaquille O’Neal can tweet, so can you.
Not only has SNS essentially surpassed traditional forms of communication technologies, but it has allowed relationships an added an extra dimension that email or the telephone cannot supply. SNS is rapid. It is the present and future of communication. You are in the midst of an unprecedented revolution.