A Conversation About The Democracy Of Social Media
Lifestyle

A Conversation About The Democracy Of Social Media

This source of human interaction democratizes the engagement of public discourse through social media.

14
A Conversation About The Democracy Of Social Media
Marketing Land

In an ideal world, I would get up every morning with a print newspaper delivered outside my dorm room’s door and I would devour every page, including the crossword puzzle.

My media consumption goes more like this: it’s Saturday morning. I wake up, not quite ready to embrace the day and instead grab my phone to help me ease into full consciousness. I open the Instagram app, check my notifications and scroll through my feed. I scroll through my Facebook feed of cat videos, political memes, local and national news headlines and misguided posts from friends. I read over the messages from my hall’s group chat on GroupMe but I rarely check or update Twitter and LinkedIn and always forget about the actual Apple news app. I check my personal email for daily automated notifications of article links from the New York Times, Huffington Post, ProPublica and the Atlantic but rarely take the time to read past the headlines and accompanying one-sentence blurbs. While working on my homework during the remainder of the day, I allow for my homework focus to be interrupted by notifications from friends back home, the occasional Whatsapp memo from friends abroad, random articles about the presidential election, hyperlink upon hyperlink. Once I wind down for the evening, I pull up Netflix on my computer to watch an episode or two of Friends.

My media usage is driven by the connecting aspect of social media, a gateway vehicle for discovery of information that requires little effort or research on my part. I often feel hypocritical for pursuing a career in journalism and yet not prioritizing my news intake with the Wall Street Journal or USA Today. Entertainment media is a relative term for me because I find just as much entertainment in political debates as I do Saturday Night Live skits. Essentially, all media serves a purpose to entertain and if I spend my free time consuming it, it qualifies. I am just as guilty as anyone else in that it dominates my informational media intake.

“All culture is a conversation or, more precisely, a corporation of conversations." - Neil Postman in

Amusing Ourselves to Death

What is that corporation that structures and facilitates this dialogue? Social media. And from where does this dialogue originate? Human interaction.

It is this concept, the source as human interaction, that democratizes the media aspect of public discourse through social media. My usage of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and other social media removes the fourth wall of traditional media consumption because I am able to directly interact with the sources of the information. If my best friend posts a picture with her dog on Instagram, I can comment and tell her how cute they look. If a celebrity posts something controversial on Facebook, I can seek out his/her public relations staff for a quote through a direct message or easily engage with others about the topic in the comments section.

However, this concept of democratic media can negatively impact my personal media attention. I pay attention to human interest stories and some political headlines, but steer clear of economic reports. This is due to my associated knowledge and experience: I seek out media information for which I already have a contextual backdrop. The breakdown of the issue is that a) so much information exists that it is easy to either get stuck in one corner and lose perspective (as I have with news coverage) or barely skim the surface of too many stories (as I have with social media outlets) and b) once I am enlightened, what do I do with that awareness? As an aspiring journalist, I value the truth-telling role as the primary goal for my career, but, from personal experience, this leads me to question if all of my readers and consumers will view the media that I produce in the same way.

The relationship between media production and consumption is especially relevant to the nature of today's political discourse and the anti-establishment rhetoric that media "is" inherently biased (in quotations because of the misinformed idea that "the media" is one grand, conspiring political entity instead of a diverse group of forms and perspectives across the spectrum). It brings to question whether or not all media are mirrored spectacles. Are our lives today too trivial and this is what is reflected by media or does today’s media perpetuate trivial matters and thus our lives adopt surface-level interpretations? These questions are important for any informed reader to be intentional about both input and output. In the world of social media today, as the output level becomes increasingly significant, I can only seek to contribute something relevant to the dialogue.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments