Thursday, 28 May 2009
Seeing Through The Hype of Social Media
Do you have the feeling that someone is watching you? Is Social Media the death knell of the private individual? How does the rhetoric stack up with the reality?
There is dominant meme that runs through the world of Web 2.0. The meme is...'Social Media Is Good For You'. No matter the specalism journalism, business, hobbies, education, politics, etc you're cutting edge if you 'do it' and a Luddite if you don't.
Social Media will transform your business, Social Media helps you develop and exploit social networks, Social Media means you're never out of touch...It also means you're never out of reach!
The irony is that through Social Media I've just become aware of Two Point Touch Now this blog is right up my street. (Hang on am I proving the Social Media point here? I'd never have known about this if it wasn't for a link via Twitter!)
I really like the posts (Did I really type that!) because they take a more informed view on the Social Media phenomenon. In particular I like the connection to Critical Theory and other critical positions. Check out Surrender Foucault and Twitter There are some other great links that take a provocative view on the 'Social' rather than just the 'Media' too. I would really recommend reading the links in the article, and visit Always Look on The Bright Side of the Downside because it casts a critical gaze at the Social Media Evangelist.
Now, in case you are wondering, there are two main aspects of 'critcial thinking'. One concerns critcism of a phenomenon from the 'outside' The sort of 'wooooh Social Media is evil' perspective and there is what is known as 'immanent' critcism, which comes from particpants in a phenomenon such as Social Media who attempt to protect themselves against hype and un-thinking acceptance of everything that is put before them. I'd like to think I was in the latter camp. The cyber evangelists are just as bad as the luddites. I love Social Media, otherwise I wouldn't be blogging and social networking. I also believe that it has the potential for creating good and releasing talent in every aspect of society. That said, it does have its issues. Its a 'Time Vampire. Walk the dog? or Write the blog? The digital space is full of exactly the same characters as the face to face space too, we'd be gullible if we thought it was any different. There are charlatans and snake oil salesmen, Technological Determinists and Techno-Geeks. They all want a piece of you if you are willing and careless enough to give it.
So, eyes wide open folks! Participate in Social Media and remember there are consequences. Join a Nudist Colony and you can expect people can see your private parts.