Objective: Clay Shirkly’s video on TED.com entitled “How Social Media Can Make History” discusses how in his opinion social media has changed the landscape of media distribution forever. He discusses a bit of the growth of this medium and its history using two recent high profile news stories. In the first case, a devastating earthquake occurred in China in May 2012 and was reported by Chinese citizens using Twitter before their own and other government were aware. In the second situation, Barack Obama’s stance on an intelligence bill was widely followed and debated leaving the presidential candidate no choice but to respond to his detractors. These incidents are signs of the growth of the personal production and dissemination of information using social media.
Reflective: The message in this video was fascinating, eye-opening, and left this reader shaking his head. While social media has some positive benefits such as focusing the world’s eyes on social injustices such as China’s human rights, it seems more focused on the individual activities of its producers and their resulting celebrity status. Until beginning this course social media was not a part of my life, and now I must plan positive uses to enable me to reach out and connect with my students.
Interpretive: Twenty years ago the Internet was a poorly connected tool used by a small portion of the world. As home computing increased, so did the Internet until it wrapped around the globe becoming the World-Wide Web. Social media grew in leaps and bounds until Facebook and Twitter arrived on the scene and this medium exploded. Privacy, copyright law and celebrity have all been re-defined by this medium and will continue well into the 21st century. For better or worse, social media is here to stay and the implications of its effects will be an ongoing source of debate and discussion for all of us.
Decisional: Website developer and author S. Robison (2012) stated “Those that do not embrace change will not flourish in our changing world”. Social media has become an integral part of our society’s perpetually evolving identity, and we must be on board or be left behind. As an educator whose students’ lives are inter-connected with this medium I must put aside my biases and fears and be a positive producer of media information. The future of society depends on it.
References: Robison, S. (2012). Embracing Change – A World in Peace. Createspace Publishing Platform.
Shirky, C. (2009). How Social Media Can Make History [Video]. Retrieved on October 3rd, 2012 from TED.com