According to Malcom Galdwell, a well-known author in the area of social media; social media are built around weak ties and real social change can never come from loose networks of people that do not know each other. Do you think that social media has the potential to bring about social change?
First off and put very simply, I would say yes and no to answer whether or not social media can bring actual social change within our societies.
I very much agree with Malcom Galdwell’s statement that “social media is built on weak ties and real social change can never come from loose networks of people that do not know eachother” for the following reasons...
ü There is always two sides to every story, whether it is a good or bad story, social media applications allow numerous users to view thoughts, feelings, opinions, relationships, attitudes, and so on that no one may ever know if there is truth and sincerity about what they are view. So, in that sense, I feel social media is very “fake,” users are “fake” and the truth, attitudes, situations, and so on need to include numerous sides to a story for viewers to fully grasp the ethical issues to determine accurate opinions and/or answers.
ü Social media applications take away the personal aspects of communication, like body movement, physical emotion, and related compassion that you receive through face-to-face interaction; so in that sense, it is hard to actually build that intellectual and emotional and understanding between social media users.
ü Combining the two above points, poses the question do we really know the users and viewers of the social media application? And in return, is it appropriate and smart to allow individuals to reflect, post, and blog on what others may air on social media? Do we ever actually really know these people and do they really have the same interests, morals, compassion, and understanding that we are seeking?
ü Yes, social media is a “hip” and “technology savvy” turn to communication, but just because it is available to a broad number of people, does it really have the same effect as face-to-face interaction. It’s crazy, a little inappropriate, and maybe way out of line, but Hitler won over a number of people due to charismatic personality; one person had the ability and passion to alter the way another thinks, feels, and acts. Now, imagine if it was years later and he was using the same techniques through social media applications; I’m almost positive people would have had a much different reaction to his messed up ideas of the world. To make change, a society needs to have a cause and a devoted team collectively working together, with the same aspirations and intentions as well as the same understandings as one another.
Just as a personal opinion, but just because I read something through Facebook, Twitter or whatever other social media application, does not mean I fully grasp a situation, or grasp what is suppose to be felt due to the situation, and rarely does it get me out of my seat to help make change. Maybe I am lazy, or not smart enough, or uncompassionate to others but there has to be a force to make a movement, and social media is just not enough (for me anyways).
However, on the flip side!
I do believe social media does make easier ways to communicate means of change amongst societies. For example, Facebook is a great place to start a motion, or to meet individuals with the same interests through its “Groups” application; numerous of these “Groups” help towards not-for-profit organizations, such as 9/11 groups and army groups for charities and support, to small local news creating groups about a little innocent boy being bullied enough to kill himself in order to build awareness of this issue. These “Groups” have numerous members and followers willing to act on the issues and help make a movement towards something better, so in this sense, social media applications can definitely be a wonderful thing towards making change. Whether or not it is enough, I’m not sure; I believe social media applications are better of a tool towards change and not necessarily consider the reason for such changes that have occurred or could occur.