What’s the social in Social Media?

In the study of Social Media over the past couple of years, I’ve had some interesting thoughts about why the tools are so popular. Why has it affected the internet the way it has? How has it shaped the traditional methods for societies to form and coagulate? We think little of it now that it is over but how did social media affect the social behavior in Egypt? All too often when we think of the social media tools we can think of the negative sides.Let’s start with the basics. What is being social?

According to American Heritage dictionary social relates to preferring to live in a community. If the swelling of social media sites is any indication, people prefer to congregate rather than living alone. The yearning of people to find kindred spirits or like-minded people on the internet should be no great surprise, but I gather that we had no idea we wanted to be such social creatures. I like to think of social as interacting. And even though in this scene we can see there are many ways of interacting. Oft times I think of Facebook or Twitter interactions not too far from the interactions in this picture. The strange paradox with social media is that is allows for interacting with people way outside of our physical domain. But in a way that can still be isolating because those interactions can still be done in a solo environment. As the line goes in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.”  We need to remember that our yearning to interact with others comes with a responsibility to act civil. We should not forget that the blog structure allows for us to interact with our readers and followers. The comment and moderation process are excellent for sharing ideas, likes, dislikes, and opinions. Would you like to comment? Feel free to share your ideas about being social in Social Media.


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