Could Social Media Simply Vanish?

Amidst my research for a social media topic to use towards my multi-modal project, I discovered another intriguing article from the Financial Times called, “Online networks are too fragile to oppress us.” It was a very refreshing perspective on the power humans still have, regardless of how social networking defines our lives.

I have been agonizing over trying to find a subject that compels me for this upcoming assignment. I want to find something that means something to me, rather than just another project on the film industry that is resituating facts and figures in order to create decent thesis. I have been experiencing great doubt in regards to finding something new to say. Since I feel like my interests are so prevalent in today’s world, they have already been said by those who are far more qualified to say them.

This article written by John Gapper provided a new angle for my dig towards the perfect topic. He writes mostly about businesses that rely too much on their social networking, since a “like” on Facebook is really an empty button, supplying no actual support. He says that “people might tired of the wearying craze and pull back.” Regardless of how one feels about their social networking life, maybe it is just a phase?

Could it be that one day soon, we’ll all come to the realization that these networks from which we create our identities are actually suffocating our potential and from that take a step back to modify how we make that identification?

Curious, however, that the following quote is found at the bottom of this article:

 “High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article.”

Funny how they seem to be proposing the possibility that companies needn’t rely on such things, yet “High quality global journalism requires investment.”

They continue to say throughout the remainder of the article:

 “Mr Zuckerberg, who told Wired approvingly this year that “people are going to be sharing eight to 10 times as much stuff” by 2016, is part of a tradition of Valley rhetoric. “As long as information is produced and processed efficiently, the legacy of the Enlightenment is presumed to be in good hands,” writes Evgeny Morozov, the technology critic, in To Save Everything, Click Here.

Franzen is equally dismissive. “With techno-consumerism, a humanist rhetoric of ‘empowerment’ and ‘creativity’ and ‘freedom’ and ‘connection’ and ‘democracy’ abets the frank monopolism of the techno-titans. The new infernal machine seems increasingly to obey nothing but its own logic,” he writes.

Well, yes. And the logic of social networks is that, if they are big enough, they can burn cash and still be valuable. “There are many profitable businesses out there. There are only so many very large networks,” David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, the blog network bought by Yahoo in May for $1bn, told New York magazine this week.”

Gapper continues to describe the possibility that business’ reliance on this type of publicity could be short lived. It could simply be a phase amidst the new and exciting digital age. Could it be that we will be soon drawing back to our roots, perhaps to mend what communicative skills we have lost along the way? Would our means of expressing our interests find common ground outside the world wide web and exist in real life’s social settings? Despite the contradictory cynicism of this article, it is a new angle to propose that perhaps the internet doesn’t rule after all.

Gapper, John. “Online networks are too fragile to oppress us” The Financial Times, Oct. 2, 2013. Accessed Nov. 9th 2013.

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