phd Isaac Newton / Writing on the wall 2

I need two discussion post answers – 150 words each 

Writing on the Wall – Part II

Standage not only suggests that “there’s nothing new under the sun,” but he asserts that we’ve recently returned to a more democratic (and, he implies more positive) social media environment after 150 years or so of more authoritarian one-way communication. 

Not everyone agrees with his analysis.  One Amazon reviewer, for example, had this to say about Standage’s thesis:

Many now believe that social media has democratized media and communications. This I believe is largely untrue. For a short time, in the early 2000’s, social media may have delivered on the promise of conversation but it missed the opportunity. All too quickly it became big business and fell into the hands of traditional marketers, advertisers and media professionals who were only comfortable with what they knew best and that is control. As a result, social media is now little different from radio, print and television.

It is blaringly loud, aggravatingly intrusive, and only episodically relevant. It is a channel of communication that flows one way like a fire hose. People are tricked into believing their posts, tweets and likes give them power. In reality, they are pinging and sharing what a small handful of people want them to. It is more “what you get is what you share” than “what you share is what you get”.Social media is a parlor trick. It only gives the appearance of being highly personal and individualized. What could have been “the masses’ media” is mass media plain and simple.

Now it’s your turn to weigh in on the argument.  What do you think about Standage’s theory that we’ve circled back to a more horizontal (and more democratic) social media infrastructure after a period of vertical (more authoritarian) mass media production?  How might Standage respond to this reviewer? 


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