When I think of social media and how it’s evolved, I think of the change from Myspace to Facebook, then Facebook to Twitter, and so it goes with more and more networks being added for us to indulge in. As technology expands, it is natural that our media capabilities, both social and news, will grow at a similar rate.
My predictions for media in general is that, barring government intervention, society will have an even greater influence in gatekeeping. Already, we have seen that today’s technological society has taken the reins and put their mark on the news we receive. However, as media changes and our ideas of it shift as well, we will see an even greater increase in blogs and social news, but I believe the “authoritative” voice of the newscaster or journalist will remain as a staple in society.
With kids as young as 3 using technology, as intuitively as any of us, we can expect the growth of technology to affect their lives in a way we can’t imagine. Having grown up before much household technology was around, it is amazing to me how attached I’ve become to my smartphone, and how attached I see my 11-year-old niece is to hers. She has never known a world where assignments weren’t typed up, or where cell phones didn’t exist . To that point, I can see social platforms being targeted at children of younger and younger ages. They will know more “stuff”, but it won’t necessarily be “news” in the traditional sense.
I think civic action will stem from the growing phenomenon of advocating for a cause on your social platform, maybe even “liking” an organization on Facebook, but will not be taken to the physical level of donating time through volunteer work. Yes, there will still be good samaritans, but the way to attract more people to a cause will be through their social media, rather than, say, tabling outside of a grocery store for canned goods, or getting signatures for a petition from strangers on the street. Just check #civicduty on Twitter to see what I mean.
All we can hope is that media continues to be a positive presence in our society that informs people, and that social media continues to give us the power to do our own gatekeeping…and maybe that people learn to use a proper hashtag #itsnotgoingtoturnupsearchresultsifnooneelsehasusedit.