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Monday, October 4, 2010

Social Network: Media about media

I've often written here about how media has become increasingly plastic-we shape and reshape our social networks via social media, and vise versa. Even a teachers' pedagogical standpoint influences her social media choice...and the social mediums of her PLN influence her pedagogy!

I do not believe this is due to our increased dependency on social media-I believe the plasticity of social media is due to the fact that it was born from a cyclical and self-motivated American capitalist media. Our society is smothered by a few voices repeating and rehashing status quo for the sake of feeding the media machine. The result? No fresh, new perspectives or ideas, and certainly no new voices.

Our media is built upon money-making, and thus entertainment; even objective or factual news stories are scrapped if they are not entertaining. This has led to a degradation of traditional fact: even the most horrifying or logical of events is reduced to an ordinary and entertaining standpoint when broadcast via boob tube into our homes. Instead of "if it's on TV it must be true", the reality of the argument is "if it's on TV it must be entertaining".

So here we get to Facebook news. The news needs to sell advertisements to keep the station earning money. Advertisers want to reach young audiences (more impressionable, more expendable income) so they report about things that matter to them: the things the media has told this generation to care about (performers, TV shows, etc, all of which they can find and share on Facebook). The more social media emphasizes connectedness, the more advertising space they can sell around, say, Facebook news coverage.

And now we even have a movie about Facebook. Now Facebook can make money in its own right as a social medium, and the media can make money reporting on it, and movie producers can make money making a movie about it...woah! We're spending a lot of time and money talking about the same thing, from the same perspective. What's worse, multiple forms of the media are owned by the same people. If Disney wants to promote its next movie, it has all kinds of stations to do so on...for free.

What's missing here? The individuals' story is lost in the voice of cooperate media. We're losing our ability to question our world. The news' job of resenting democratic options is not fulfilled by presenting two sides if neither side is questioned! So instead of re-hashing the same old story and seeing "Social Network", why don't you hear a new perspective?

Read about the real Face of Facebook-flippant and over-programed?

In his interview with Oprah, we see a chattier version of the Facebook tycoon.

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