The mass media model—what we now think of as traditional media-- is one-to-many. One message was distributed to many people. In this model, information access is wider, but still controllable. The small number of distribution channels means information is filtered by the producers.
What we have now is a “mash-up” of the first two: Web 2.0 and social media have taken the power and distribution qualities of mass media and made it personal by creating peer-to-peer communication that allows for the creation and exchange of user-generated content, and produces links and connections that are dynamic and constantly changing. The new media landscape profoundly affects the ability to connect people with resources.
We can break down the impact of social technologies into two parts: structural and experiential. Information flows both ways—between people and on demand.It is available 24/7 without regard to time or placeAt the same time, the growing connections increase awareness of communityParticipation is easy.Overcomes time, geographic and sociocultural constraintsFlattens hierarchiesAbundant information shifts premium to ability to filter not access information
The features of social technologies have a less obvious but more profound psychological impact. They fundamentally shift power to the user—whether it’s socializing, researching, or shopping. It create new expectations aboutaccess and feedbackhaving a voice and being heardtransparency, participation, and collaborationindividual and collective agency Our expectations are changed because we now have avenues to speak up, take action, to participate, to contribute, to exchange ideas, to show our support, to receive validation and feedback and to become engaged in communities.
This has been an extraordinary year for social media. In December of last year, we saw, and I mean literally—all of us around the world saw— a young Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a violent statement of protest against local government abuse. The abuse wasn’t unusual, but the reaction was. The knowledge of the protest triggered a cascade of uprisings and unrest across the Arab world that led to the toppling of governments.
We also saw the Red Cross raise $5 Million dollars in donations through text messaging and PayPal within only 24 hours of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. There was a similar outpouring of support for Japan.For all the remarkable commercial applications of technology, these kinds of things—spontaneous social actions--underscore the human side of this the paradigm shift we all talk about. The real change, and the real power, comes from the way that social technologies enable the human spirit. Sometimes the results are profound social upheaval like the Arab Spring,
…other times it’s frivolous and humorous creative expression, like posting and commenting on silly pictures of cats with badly spelled captions. But even the frivolous displays are not pointless. Social media has released an extraordinary amount of human energy. The question we want to ask is: Where does it come from?
I understand that it’s complicated now. It used to be so much simpler. Televisions were for watching television. Phones were for making phone calls. I asked a girl the other day why she didn’t wear a wristwatch. She looked at me like I was from another planet, held up her cell phone and said “duh, that’s what this is for!”People are using technologies for all kinds of things in ways we didn’t expect. We ourselves are producers and distributors as well as media consumers. We watch television on our computers, we stream our music from the cloud, and we defy physics, collaborating on projects without any regard for the time-space continuum. Is there no respect for tradition or the way things have always been done?
New media technologies allow for all kinds of freedom. Why aren’t we dancing in the streets? Because it’s new and different.Different = scaryWhat happens when things change fast? We have to change. The human brain makes sense out of the world by making assumptions – unconscious schema or mental maps about how the world works. Radical change challenges these beliefs and creates cognitive dissonance – the psychological discomfort that comes when new information doesn’t match with what we belief.Adaptation takes effort and a willingness to change.
Change challenges our basic assumptionsHistory is full of examples of resistance to change. Rationalizing the resistance provides relief from the cognitive dissonance of change. There are always reasons why new technology is dangerous. For example,
Went to the White House to plead his case against the gramophone which he believed would cause vocal cords to shrivel. He predicted it would be the end of people gathering to sing.
In the 1930s, Parents were warned that radio would diminish children’s performance in school and that the “compelling excitement of the loudspeaker” would disturb the balance of excitable mindsTelevision, we know, was especially troublesome and was predicted to cause the vulgarization of American culture and destroy the emotional and intellectual capacities of a generation of children, not to mention the promotion of Rock and Roll.
Now there’s the Internet and social networks. Headlines:CNN: "Email 'hurts IQ more than pot'," Telegraph: "Twitter and Facebook could harm moral values" Telegraph: "Facebook and MySpace generation 'cannot form relationships'Daily Mail: "How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer."
It seems only right that I at least mention the brain, given the title of the series. The brain has three parts with distinct jobs. The Neocortex is the conscious command center. It’s the part you THINK is in control. The limbic system or mammalian brain is the center of emotions. The primitive reptilian brain or the brain stem control our human instincts and automatic functions, like breathing. Information is processed in the brain starting at the senses. The first gatekeeper is the reptilian brain whose first and foremost goal is survival. All information is evaluated against that goal. All actions and motivations are fundamentally based on that instinct.This includes social behaviors.The biological drive of survival is at the basis of all other human motivations and goals in one way or another.
Wide generational gapsThey have political impactSocial concerns influence the funding for research to identify the harm to children from media technologies. Becoming embedded in policy in knee-jerk reactionsCase in point is California’s ban on violent video games which was reviewed by the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association and found to be unconstitutionalIssues of free speech were the deciding factor, but the regulations in CA were a political response to research about the impact of video game violence on behavior. This research gets a lot of publicity because it makes good headlines. The opposing voices raising questions about methodology, overstatement of effects and funding sources don’t get equal time in the press. For example, much of the fMRI work presented in the hearings was funded by an anti-media organization.They can bias researchFundamental beliefs can influence how questions are asked, how variables are defined, and how things are measured, and how they are interpreted and reportedJust because results are reported in numbers, doesn’t mean they are true or infallible. The public’s lack of understanding of statistics and probability leads to blind acceptance of authorities showing numbers. Our OMG, it has a p<.05, it must be true. But there are many things that can influence statistical significance, such as sample size and confounding variables—things that influence the outcome that you aren’t taking into account.. Sometime read the book “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrell Huff. You’ll never look at research the same again.They ignore the complexity of the media environmentCorrelations often referred to as “links” are not the came as causality. For examples, A headline that reads teen pregnancy linked to socially explicit media implies that by watching socially explicit media teens are encouraged to be more active. That is how our bias leads to interpretation. It is, however, equally as likely that sexually active teens seek out more sexually explicit media. It is more likely that a complicated set of socio-economic factors influence social behaviors, income, education, peer relationships, parental relations, parental guidance, adult supportDistract energy and resources from the real problemsSuch as teen violence, pregnancy, drug useThey ignore the subjective experience of media useContext and meaningImages and scenes taken out of contextGame play or media use in situations where not normalFor example, most video game experiences are social, either playing with others online or playing in a group
We are creating a new “normal.” The new normal has blurry boundaries among technologies and information channels, and among businesses and customers and consumers as producer and distributors. The ability to contribute and to bring information and connection to ourselves on-demand means we are actively pulling autonomy and power toward ourselves. People are no longer held hostage by lack of information whether it’s comparison-shopping for appliances, current market prices for farmers in Senegal, or faster access to cash resources in Kenya. The Red Cross successfully raises funds using social media. They are successful for the same reason that the citizens of Egypt were successful. People believe they matter, they believe that they can make a difference, and they have proof of the impact. When people believe they matter and can make a difference; they engage. The systems around them have to adjust. So here is the new normal:
What happens when we have unlimited ability for creative expression? We get LOLcats, for sure, but we also get new voices and the intellectual benefits and innovative solutions of creative play.
What does social change look like in a globally networked world? Self-efficacy shortens the gap between individual and collective agency.
What happens when people what to have more control and hands-on experience and are no longer content to contribute to traditional big charities? They seek out ways engage with Do-It-Yourself philanthropy through organizations like Kiva.org, that allows donors to select people whose projects interest them to provide all or a portion of a micro-loans.
What happens in businesses when employees value transparency and collaboration? Management styles change.
Here’s where I see the social media environment heading:The distinction between online and offline is no longer relevant. Technologies and applications will continue to close the gap and blur the boundaries.Vodafone Buffer Buster campaign is a good example of this blending, using Augmented Reality to create an Alternate Reality Game turning the real world into a collaborative game play platform. The massive trend to mobile emphasizes the importance of personal environments. We may be global, but mobile let’s us celebrate and develop local again. This will impact everything from work to civic engagement, such as tele-commuting and Micro-volunteerism.Global visibility creates empathy, like we saw in the outpouring toward the Haitian and Japanese crises. The combination of individual agency and global awareness will be reflected in a trend toward social responsibility at all levels of business. Marketing is starting to move in the direction campaigns centered on social causes, such as Nike’s “About a Girl” campaign.An example is the TOMS shoes one-for-one businesses model set up to donate one pair of shoes for every pair a customer buysPeer-to-Peer culture flattens hierarchies and increases the demand for transparency and authenticity. That put pressure on governments, institutions, organizations and individuals to increase social responsibility and accountability and will increase innovation and entrepreneurship.
Becoming a 21st Century Leader - Dr. Pamela Rutledge
Becoming a 21st Century Leader Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology PsyD Program, Leadership Psychology October 2012
Humans Crave Certainty:What We Know Feels Safe
Why Does Resistance to Change Matter? Drives distance between „generations‟ Becomes embedded in public policy Biases research Ignores the complexity of the environment Diverts resources away from real problems and more effective interventions
Conflicting Models And Assumptions Leadership Management Social Environment (Stakeholders)
“Reality” Conflicts with Models & Assumptions Blending boundaries online and offline Marketing, sales, customer service, workforce More mobile means more autonomy Increased celebration of local Shifting affiliations Increasing global awareness Flattening hierarchies Respect, authenticity, and transparency New business models
Triune Brain TheoryConscious New BrainSubconscious Emotional Brain Reptilian Brain
90% of Decisions, 10% of BrainSightSoundTasteSmellTouch
Nature: the old brainEMOTIONS SENSES IMAGES GAINPAIN MOVEMENT REWARDS YOU
Nurture: the new brainCONFIDENCE LOGICAL FEEDBACKVALIDATION PARTICIPATION
Communicating Vision: Narrative Stories engage emotion Tap existing metaphors Create collective meaning Transmit culture Identify goals and vision Expose misalignments
Course Topics Overview Vital Engagement Acquiring Professional Capacity Building a Career Finding a Voice Sharing the Vision Resilience and Renewal Overcoming Barriers Leading an Integrated Life
Becoming a 21st Century Leader Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA Pam_Rutledge@mapp.edu 203-253-3824