Social movement and social media
2012 (English)In: Critique, democracy and philosophy in 21st century information society: Towards critical theories of social media / [ed] Christian Fuchs, 2012, 76-77 p.Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
How do social media affect the process of building a democratic society? Information and communication technology (ICT) made it possible for people to communicate beyond national borders and other obstacles. Social media in particular play an important role in creating a place where people communicate with each other, for example Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and so on. In other words, under these circumstances, social media function as the third place in addition to home and workplaces, which contributes not only to unite people in commu- nities but also to the resolution of various problems and crises. Therefore, the third place nurtures relationships and mutual trust under internet access conditions, and it is open for free discussions, and becomes a ground for democracy.
In face-to-face communication, participants’ behavior is affected by social context cues, and users let their behavior adjust to particular communication manners. However, in online communicati- on, it is more difficult for participants to understand static and dynamic cues surrounding other participants compared to face-to-face communication. Because, in many cases, whereas social media makes it possible for users to communicate with others easily regardless of physical dis- tance, national boundaries and time difference, it limits the number of characters and the amount of data that they can post and use. However, participation in online communication, especially in social media, is seen as the key element in the recent trend toward democratization. In fact, millions of users send and receive a huge amount of information via social media in order to cultivate a relationship with others and strengthen mutual exchange beyond borders. Generally it is recognized that social media advance participation through exchanging information with minimal social context cues.
However, communication through social media has some problems. Firstly, exchanged informa- tion via social media minimizes social context cues under severe restricted or censored internet access conditions; because simplified messages can be more understandable and impressive for other users in communicating. Therefore information tends to be extreme, and it could evoke a risk of group polarization. Secondly, in social media, information receivers gather fragmented information in borderless cyberspace, for any purpose. Following this they try to transform infor- mation into something they can understand, something closer to their own experience, or they try to perceive the feelings and experience of the senders of information. Through this process, users develop a sense of solidarity and share expectations and norms, which bring them together as one community. Therefore, social norms have a considerable influence on users in particular communities and advance self-stereotyping among them as solidarity and social identity are en- hanced. This situation carries the social risk of exclusion of others. Some people call Middle-east political change “Facebook revolution” or “twitter revolution” on the internet. Is this naming really pertinent? Indeed, social media has played an important role as “hub for information” and as the third place in political change. Still, social media has to contribute to the development of skills for dialog in order to achieve a really democratic society.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 76-77 p.
internet, social media, social capital, social movement
Human Computer Interaction Human Aspects of ICT Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject Human-Computer Interaction
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179171OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-179171DiVA: diva2:543572
4th ICTs and society-conference, Collection of abstracts