Friday, April 20, 2012

Resistance to Social Media

I've been actively engaged in analyzing and participating in social media since May 2005. As I've observed the realm of blogging and online community networking, I've seen two broad categories of negativity toward social media.

(1) Mainstream Media. They still don't understand social media very well. They often claim to have "professional journalist" standards, but this elitism is precarious. Many violations of ethics and professionalism occur in the press, especially in right wing and left wing extremist media.

Bias, harsh declarations, factual errors, filthy language, unfair analysis, sweeping generalizations, and personal attacks are becoming more common in the traditional media. The list of unacceptable words and inappropriate subject matter is dwindling rapidly.

Many online versions of newspapers still don't allow comments to be attached to the thread of a specific article. Newspaper operations have not yet realized that they can expand their articles online, since space restrictions don't apply like they do in print versions.

Crowd sourced investigations and reporting are still not implemented as widely as they could be. Paywalls, requiring people to pay for an online subscription to read articles, are killing their SEO (search engine optimization) and link dissemination.

(2) Personal Objections. There are individuals who shun the internet, or abstain from social media altogether, or rarely post anything on their Facebook pages. Some people say they don't have a computer in their home and don't want one.

Others are shy about expressing themselves publicly, or having their photo taken and put on a website or blog. These same people are generally very heavily into TV, radio, newspapers, and movies.

They tend to be older, about 40 years old and upward. Often they seem to have a subconscious inferiority complex: they feel so out of it, they have given up, and express a sour grapes attitude.

Other times, they seem to be into computers only for playing games or looking up product reviews. User generated content and interacting with others online is of no interest to them, unless it's related to multi-user gaming. It doesn't mean they're unintelligent, they just have different priorities than us heavy users of social media.

Then you have the dubious class: those who have warrants out on them, or have made horrible, shameful mistakes, and flee any more recognition online. They are actually hiding and distancing themselves from past actions or police arrest.

I have seen personalities come alive in social media. Some people may not have known how funny or clever they were until they started posting things on blogs and social networks. Others feel relieved to state opinions and discover that others agree with them, so they don't feel so isolated and "different". And those who engage in ferocious online debates become smarter and more adept at presenting and defending their ideas.

Pin It

No comments: