The use of technology for communication in the modern society has changed various aspects of communication. Social media is one of the examples of the ways in which technology has been of influence on the nature of communication and the implication of the same. Social media to be specific has been revolutionary has it has really changed what it means to communicate and how people achieve the purposes of communication. One thing about social media is that it gives people the chance to reach out to greater masses than they could do before within the shortest time possible. The modern day use of technology, specifically social media, give users the ease of anonymity and power to influence a limitless amount of people through the creation of words and content. Whether users use this platform for a greater good, or to bring out hate and anger, social media has given a tool to shape the views of anyone with internet access.
With the extent to which digital media has been used in the modern society, rhetoric has been observed to be under application in various context. The main aim of using rhetoric is to convince the audience into believing or guiding them to the development of a certain perception. As far as the use of digital media for any purpose be it political, social, religious, or commercial, rhetoric is a common aspect of communication made in digital media. The use of rhetoric in digital media, however, comes in various forms. These forms are all determined by the intentions of communication and the audience that is being targeted by a digital media content as commonly seen in the various online platforms.
Social media has also completely changed the way people get their news and how they get their news. On a daily basis when people login into their various social media accounts, they always bump into news that can be either true or false. As far as getting news from social media is concerned, there are both the positive and negative aspects. From the positive point of view, there are many situations whereby people have gotten information on breaking news through their social media accounts making the breaking news spread faster than it could have spread without social media. The greater the network that an individual has the higher the number of peoples that they can get the information to. Some of the information might include sensitive information that might need immediate response such as the occurrence of an accident with the victims needing a quick blood donation.
From the negative point of view, the social media platforms have often used in the propagation of false news. It is common for there to be false news about the death of a celebrity. This is an action that is often worsened by the fact that social media users often spread such news not knowing that they are false, with some sending their condolences to the families and the loved ones of such individuals. Such situations can be confusing for those whose deaths are being announced because they never know the intention of the people who create such fake news. This is further attributed to by the fact that technology allows people to create such news anonymously. They do not have to worry about the possibility of being identified as the individuals behind the fake news.
In some cases, the social media has been used in the propagation of hate speech and defamation. Humans are always quick to believe the information that they get on social media and the other internet platforms and always go as far as sharing some of this information. As soon as some information, especially one that touches on a popular individual, everyone has the opportunity of sharing the same. Some of these messages are always damaging to the images of the individuals who are targeted and can take many years for them to recover from the impact of defamation. Some people never really recover from defamation (Lankes 118). The social media has also been used in the propagation of hate against certain groups based on stereotypes. For instance, online hate speech against Muslims can be common in parts of the world such as the US. In developing countries, hate speech on social media has always been used to create ethnic division by politicians so that they can benefit politically.
Social media has been revolutionary in the manner in which people share information. The level of information sharing has proved to be on a level that it has never been before. Business organizations have particularly been on the frontline when it comes to influencing the consumption decisions of social media users. Most of the business organizations in the modern society have their social media accounts which they use to give information on their products and services with the intent of convincing the potential customers to buy. The result of such endeavors has been highly positive as most of these organizations have been able to communicate with customers so that they can know the areas in which they can improve in so that they can meet the expectations of the customers.
Since social media was introduced, there has been in constant increase in the number of people who are able to access social media. In the modern society, social media have turned to be highly effective platforms of communication. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages of the rise in popularity of social media (Van Laer and Van Aelst 1157). However, one aspect of communication that has been observed to be common with social media is the use of overstatements. Communication in social media is all about the creation of an impression, and that is what most of the users of the social media have been doing. Notably, social media users do not have to back anything that they say on social media with evidence. Therefore, the number of individuals in a person’s network might be directly proportional to the number of people whose perception they can potentially change.
An example of the ways in which online overstatements have been of influence on the society is on the exaggerated intimacy. People often tend to give an exaggeration of how intimate they are thus leading to a situation whereby people are misled on what relationships are about (Young 39). Therefore, some people might have misplaced goals when it comes to the determination of whether they are doing well. Overstatement does not only come in intimacy but also other aspects of life such as economic progress. Such overstatement might lead to pressure on some of the people on social media who might have the wrong idea of what it means to be successful.
Social media has also been associated with a number of ills that are associated with the sharing of information with masses. For instance, there have been people who have been using social media for cyberbullying some of the people who have been victims say that it affects them psychologically. In some cases, the victims know the people who are involved while in other cases they are not aware of the person responsible. The fact that people can post negative information about certain individuals anonymously has highly contributed to the rate at which people are suffering from cyberbullying in the hands of social media users from various parts of the world (Ronson 9). What makes matters worse is the fact that other social media users would often join in and bully an individual who has been a victim of such occurrences. This leads to the feeling that the entire world is ganging up against the victim.
Evidently, social media has given a tool to shape the views of anyone with internet access. People share a lot of information on social media. The high number of people who use the social media increase the number of people that can be influenced by the information that is shared. Given the discussion herein, the influence that the information shared on social media has can either be positive or negative. The negative aspect is mostly attributed to by the fact that people are able to post messages on social media without giving their identity. However, in the recent past, there are technologies that can be used in revealing the identity of anyone who shares any information anonymously. This is an implication that there might be a decrease in the rate at which people share information on social media with ill motives.
- Lankes, R. David. “Trusting the Internet: New approaches to credibility tools.” Digital media, youth, and credibility (2008): 101-122.
- Ronson, Jon. So you’ve been publicly shamed. Riverhead Books (Hardcover), 2016.
- Rosenblum, David. “What anyone can know: The privacy risks of social networking sites.” IEEE Security & Privacy 5.3 (2007).
- Van Laer, Jeroen, and Peter Van Aelst. “Internet and social movement action repertoires: Opportunities and limitations.” Information, Communication & Society 13.8 (2010): 1146-1171.
- Young, Kirsty. “Online social networking: An Australian perspective.” International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 7.1 (2009): 39.