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The Changes Social Media Has Had On Society

Published on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in

Over the past few years since a much wider audience has adopted social media many different people have said the opinion that it is damaging society.  This viewpoint has been written about in prominent newspapers like the New York Times. One such article named "The Twitter Trap" can be summarized in one such quote that was given, “The generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.” It is perfectly logical for a person to not be readily accepting of something that is new that can effect their life.

Just like the article that was mentioned previously mentioned some people have a tendency to form an opinion about something and feel strongly about that viewpoint without needing evidence to support it. Finding and looking into the positive and negative sides of the use of these tools is the objective of this blog post.

A recent report that was published by Eurostat, which correlated the online activity of an individual and the education level showed an interesting data pattern. The study clearly showed that the education level increased when there was more online activity. This study doesn't really prove that increased activity is the cause of the higher levels of education, but it is interesting that more intelligent people had more activity online.

A graph from the study below:

Moving on to the political side of things a report that was release in 2009 by PEW showed that social networks getting younger people more involved with politics. Seeing recent revolutions in the Middle East it is hard to believe that those events would have happened with out the organizational power that social media provided. The Middle East being an area with a much younger population than most other places in the world.

An image showing the new tools of a revolution:

Egypt's Protest Network, Mapped With Google Pagerank - The link has a bigger view of the below image





So the conclusion that looking into changes that have happened to society since the introduction of social media is seemingly entirely positive. Being more connected and social with your friends and acquaintances can only be a good thing. Sure people do need to be careful as to how they use the tools just like everything, but the current benefits far outweigh the cost.

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12 Response to The Changes Social Media Has Had On Society

September 14, 2011 at 5:18 AM

Good work and conclusion;)

September 14, 2011 at 6:16 AM

Interesting article, easy to read. I guess the only people not happy about these developments is the autocratic governments themselves. Maybe that's content for a companion blog post? :P Who and how they try to block these technologies

September 15, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Thank you Tomomi :)

September 15, 2011 at 12:43 AM

@mome Yea, It is interesting how social media played a key role in setting these revolutions off.

September 15, 2011 at 1:49 AM

I like your photo choice for this article

September 16, 2011 at 2:36 AM

Thank you Fearow!

September 18, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Thorough post full of information, must have taken you a while. I still keep seeing these articles, like the New Yorker magazine in their cover had a bar tender and costumers all on their electronic devices facebooking, the title "The ANTI-social network." All these articles sound the same.

If you recall the American revolution was also plotted in the haven of a secret forum, mainly at Freemason lodges. The French also mimicked this and had their revolution plotted at social congregations. So did scientist to avoid the churches back in the 17th century, which brought upon great scientific theories and advancement. The truth is, humans have always been that way and social networking in the internet is just another tool we make use of.
Great post, man.

September 22, 2011 at 4:43 AM

Thanks for your comment.

I didn't know the American revolution was plotted at Freemason lodges.

I think the key part for the reason why social networked fueled these revolutions is gathering in these places openly was suppressed. If you watched the video I linked it says that social networks were not taken seriously, so the government didn't limit their use). I agree that these revolutions might have happened eventually anyways.

September 24, 2011 at 5:38 AM

Yeah, I heard that in the video, and now governments are definitely taking the internet seriously after all these events, including the "Wiki leaks" scandal.
Numerous bills have been presented at congress in the US to limit internet use, such as The Internet Blacklist Bill -- S.968, formally called the PROTECT IP Act, and other ludicrous laws restricting internet usage and privacy after Sep. 11. You'll commonly hear political parties stress these bills, but regardless of political affiliation, they're there.

As for freemasonry lodges involvement in the American Revolution, I wouldn't know where to start. There are relevant events with curious history with extensive readings on it, full of contradicting views and interpretations. It's easy to fall into this "Conspiracy theory" Subculture that has always been around and now emphasized after the 9/11 events. Most people captivated by by all these theories lack higher education or reliable sources. You might enjoy reading both opposing views on the matter, you can find plenty articles in the Temple library in the online portal. Here's a neutral one to get started on:

Neil L. York, "Freemasons and the American Revolution," The Historian Volume: 55. Issue: 2. 1993, pp 315+

It's opinionated extremes of the spectrum on the subject, where Freemasons propose a lot of involvement in the "Age of enlightenment"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

and anti-freemasonry opposes this allegations.
Can't site my sources, but you'll find that scholars agree the plotting of the revolution took place in Freemasonry lodges and havens, mostly attended by non-Freemasons, ironically ;)

Aside from loving history, I was enticed into this matter during Marine Corps training, where we learned the birth place of the Marines, after looking it up, found out is full of American heritage :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tun_Tavern

Unfortunately people stop researching opposing views and end up paranoid and indulge in all these conspiracy theory schema, which is why I wrote a lot ;P Sorry!

September 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Speaking of the Free Masons, my great-grandfather was one. He died when I was a teenager. He used to do sleight-of-hand magic tricks for us kids when I was young. When we asked him to show us how the trick works, he told he couldn't. He said he learned it at the Masons and was sworn to secrecy.

He never did mention anything about political intrigues or global control conspiracies though.

After he died, I got his Mason's ring. Apparently he'd obtained a high order in the organization.

Sorry for not responding directly to your informative and well written post Jessie. Sometimes the discussion threads go off in unintended directions.

September 26, 2011 at 7:55 AM

The whole decline of the nation state and the power gains that NGOs etc are having is an interesting phase we are going though. This time is going to be interesting to look back on in 20 years.
Yea the the effect that 9/11 had on how we viewed the worth of our freedoms and also how much we are willing to give up. A really interesting thing to think about when I travel now is comparing all the other countries' airport security to what America has now. It is really amazing how intense the security is now.

I haven't really studies the American Revolution in a University class ever, but the details as to how it all came about I bet are interesting. The 9/11 conspiracy theories are so annoying. It seems like people believe things based on their preconceived ideas and not after looking into the evidence a lot of the time (especially if they lack higher education).

Thanks when I get the chance I will read up on it.

It makes sense that the birth of something like the Marine Corps was in a Tavern given how much of a social place it was for men back then (seems like much more then it is now).

September 27, 2011 at 1:38 AM

LOL, The story goes that the first recruiter, Robert Mullan, was the tavern's owner. Once the decision was made to have "The Continental Marines" for the colonies, he gave out free drinks. Once the men were drunk/tipsy, he'd give them a hearty talk about protecting the colonies. They ALL joined! Haha! Marines were born in a Tavern, getting drunk!

P.S. Their first mission was getting on a ship to the Bahamas and taking their rum ;)

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