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Social Media: Accelerating Conversations

Week Six Blog Post

Years ago, people would read newspapers to get the relevant information at the time. They would then discuss and share the information with the people around them. Fast forward to today, and we are still doing the same thing. The only differences are we’re doing it a lot faster through digital mediums and we are able to communicate with a larger crowd.

Social media accelerating conversations is good. People are having conversations today that they wouldn’t have been able to have years ago, and they’re having them with people that they might not normally speak to. Because it seems that everyone has an opinion on everything now, we are able to get multiple perspectives on a single news story. For example, it seems that nationwide outrage can appear overnight. Too many times in recent months I have woken up to see many of my Facebook friends expressing their opinions on several controversial stories. I never would have heard of these stories if it weren’t for my Facebook feed; something I’m sure I have in common with many others. If it weren’t for Facebook, I never would have heard of the names Kaepernick and Harambe.

Technology has changed the way people view and share information. When one posts an article to Facebook, for example, and states their opinion, they have just potentially started a conversation with hundreds of people. This opens the door for people to express their ideas and opinions for an even greater number of people to see. By using hashtags on Twitter or tagging things on WordPress, we are also able to draw attention to news stories that interest us. By sharing your opinions with the masses, you are also able to describe a particular news story to a person that may not have heard or understood.

Information spreads quickly now, and unfortunately, it isn’t always true. This can also lead to unsuspecting people (or people too lazy to do their own research) posting false information, therefore contributing to the spread of false information. Today, fake news stories can be funny, but they can sometimes be taken seriously and they can lead to an uproar.

The most interesting thing about sharing information across social media is that it still doesn’t make things like newspapers and watching the news on television obsolete. These things are still widely practiced. Social media just helps the knowledge spread more quickly for the people that have social media accounts. Social media makes it easier for people to advance information that is relevant.

The sharing of information has evolved past just reading newspapers, listening to radios, and watching the news on television. Now, the spread of information is viral, and almost instantaneous. Sharing information is as easy as hitting the “share” button, giving hundreds of others in your circle access to the same article you just read. This is how the modern world is, especially for the younger generation. As the world becomes more digitized, information and opinions will spread more quickly. This will lead to a better understanding of peoples’ views on subjects, and (hopefully) lead to widespread fact checking and correcting people who are wrong. This will help us progress as a society, so we will be able to make better judgements and participate in intellectual conversations with our peers (and strangers) on the internet.

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