It feels like social media communication can be dated back to telecommunication ever being invented. I don’t know how would other people define social media communications, but for me, you will be using social media one way or another as long as you are not talking to your friends face to face.
That’s why media is called media, isn’t it?
And with so many new technologies going into people’s lifes, how much social communication there is left in people’s real life?
Just see how many indirect communications we have: phone call, SMS, MMS, video call, voice message, online chatting, Facebook, Twitter, even Spotify is consider social media.
The thing is, we cannot make friends or build up connections with people without using any of the above. Getting in touch with someone you care instantly is crucial in nowadays. What’s more, with all those social media widgets, this becomes the the best way to get to know people.
Let’s say you met someone new in your real life, what’s the first thing you do after you told your name to this person?
One of my friends said she ask for the person’s shoe number as a start. Yes, shoe number, I mean, it’s a number anyway. After all social media also identifies people with a certain series of numbers. It was just a random thought of asking for shoe number, but I would say that’s a good implication for getting in touch with the person a bit further.
Anyway, back to my topic today.
It is a Social Media Era that the indirect/virtual communications converging with the real world. Social media such as Facebook is considered a semi-individual representatives of actual people in the real life.
But why ‘semi-individual’?
I know I keep inventing new phrases to fill in my literature, on one hand I am too lazy to look for the right term, but on the other hand, there might not be such a term and it’s time for me to bring in some new concepts into the media world.
A semi-individual social media representative can refer as a virtual disguise of an actual person in real life. Some people might argue a virtual disguise should be an individual as well, but if you think deeper, who are the people you presenting yourself to? And within the battle of ‘personalised Facebook content sharing’ and ‘privacy’, a social media identity online is no longer for yourself, it’s for your friends to find out what you like and share things with you on Facebook, it’s for your boss to know what have you achieved professionally on LinkedIn. And once an identity is attached to a communication network, this online ID does not just representing the user himself, but also the image he is hoping to present to the real/virtual world.
Or we can say it’s ‘semi-personal’ social media representatives. We can see a complex individual in the real social communications and then a reflection of combined outer force on an individual in the virtual social media communications. Technically, they are both the same person real and virtual, but philosophically, they are not the same person when you talk to them online and you talk to them face to face.
I hope I make sense to you today.