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Social media explained
by Jay Gutman
2014-11-21 11:35:05
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I often wonder whether anyone has ever got a job, made money or got any benefits from social media. Of course, jobs are advertised on Linkedin, people make money through Facebook and Twitter. Instargram, Reddit, Blogger, Wechat, Youtube or other forms of social media have helped people make a living out of the content they upload on those websites.

But what is social media? In the old days our social media was the phone, fax, radio and television, newspapers followed by email and blogs. Our conversations used to be private, or censored and distorted. Radio and television hosts used to interrupt us all the time if we went out of bounds, and our friends never quite reported exactly what we told them. Social media is a world where everyone talks and no one listens, where everyone posts and no one wants to read other people's posts.

So let me explain briefly what social media is.

Facebook: Facebook is a platform where all your friends from all walks of life are united. Everyone has access to your posts: your friends from the vacation you took in Bali, kindergarten friends, elementary, middle and high school friends, college friends, friends you met at that conference, book club friends, gym friends and friends you met interacting in Facebook groups.

While Facebook still allows you to group your friends by category, no one does that. Facebook does allow some people to have access to your posts while others access other posts destined to them, but no one has time for that. It would be more appropriate to post about working out to your gym friends, about books to your book club friends and about high school memories to your high school friends, unfortunately posting on Facebook is not a full time job and Facebook does not pay for posting.

So there you are moaning and complaining about life in general, when your book club friends and your gym friends wonder if that's even their business, and unfollow you. You notice your gym friends no longer "like" your posts, you go to a new gym, and the vicious cycle continues.

Twitter: Twitter is the platform where you follow politicians, rock stars, radio stars, television personalities, companies, entrepreneurs and where spammers follow you so you can follow them.

Twitter is a platform where your posts are limited to 140 characters and no one reads them, except for your potential crush. As for that event you wanted to promote, your realize there's nothing better than word-to-mouth.

Linkedin: Linkedin is a public place where you post your resume. Three people read your resume a month, often people who never met you and who were randomly browsing the site, and who have absolutely no intention to hire you.

Jobs get advertised on Linkedin, but such jobs are advertised elsewhere and the person who ends up being hired is often a friend of a co-worker who recommends the person. As for your Linkedin profile, people will read it quickly before they go back to their profile and admire how much more experience they have than you do.

Blogger: So you have that new job, you visit that new country, or you are simply passionate about food, culture, travel, languages, politics, music or entertainment. The bad news is millions of others have exactly the same interests and are blogging about it.

You often hope that millions will end up reading your blog and a movie will be made about your life. You notice you have 2 visitors a day, only to notice the 2 visitors were actually yourself. You also realize that thousands of others have been posting exactly the same thing. You soon give up posting.

Conclusion: Social media is the place where people are too busy creating their content to look at other people's content. I miss the world where passionate people created informed content and readers actually learned something about it. I hope we won't end up living in a world where everyone talks and no one listens.

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Emanuel Paparella2014-11-22 05:16:38
Indeed, when it comes to social media and cyberspace, there seems to be an inverse proportion formula at work, namely this: the faster the means of communication get the less reflection there is on content and the more banal the language and the dialogue become. Some time ago people used to actually read books and articles and in the process derived substantial and vital notions from their content. The good news is that fortunately, despite the prophets of doom who predicted their disappearance, books are still around and publications such as Ovi magazine promote both books and serious content. Some call it a rear guard operation, but it may be indicative that civilization as we know is not dead, yet. In fact, without it we would be assuring the disappearance of the intellectual life, what the Greeks called the realm of the intelligible. The disappearance of that realm would be ominous: it would portent dehumanization and a slow return to barbarism.

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