The Internet and social media have proven to be powerful tools for mobilization. It is not the technology that makes it possible for social media to play an important role in social protest.
New technologies for communication have had a profound impact on culture throughout human history. It was not difficult to see how these innovations would impact culture in the initial stages of their development. Plato used Socrates’ voice to warn about the dangers posed by the inventions of writing and reading. Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus denounced writing and warned that it would weaken the mind and threaten to destroy memory.
The invention of the printing presses was also seen as a threat for European culture, society order, and morality. Francisco Penna, a Dominican Defender of the Spanish Inquisition, lamented that “every since they began to practice the perverse excess printing books, the church was greatly damaged.” Similar concerns were raised after the rise of electronic media. Television has often been portrayed as a corrosive force on public life.
Plato’s reservations about the impact of new media on culture continue to influence current discussions on the Internet’s and social media’s influence on culture. Maryanne Wolf, an American cognitive neuroscientist and the writer of Proust and the Squid, The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, frequently draws from Socrates in support of her argument about the damaging effects of the Internet on the so called reading brain. She has a lot of Socrates discussion because she believes that Socrates’ warnings about the dangers of written text are especially relevant to thinking about digital media transition and the impact it will have on children. “Socrates’ view on information and culture haunts me every single day, as I watch my sons use the Internet for homework. Then they tell me that they know all about it.”
Concerns about the effects of social media on children’s brains are easily correlated with the alarmist accounts of pedophiles and predatory hackers, identity theft, phishing scams and Trojan horses, viruses, and worms. The Internet is a metaphor that communicates wider cultural and social anxieties. Many critics see the Internet’s negative impact on offline culture as a reason why it is so controversial.
The Internet is, as you can see, a subject of praise by technophiles. The Internet is changing human existence towards a more creative and enlightened state. It is often said that Big Data and Internet of Things will revolutionize human existence. Digital technology claims will revolutionize education and the way we interact with each other.
Technology and Culture
It is clear that social media and digital technology have had a profound impact on culture. Artists sought to capture their subjects at the end of 19th century through portraits of people who were completely absorbed by the act of reading. The 21st-century subject is best represented by photos of people standing in a crowd and captivated with what they are reading on a smartphone.
Social media and the Internet are powerful tools that influence and shape people’s behavior. Recent social protests and resistance have been largely fueled by social media.
Social media was heavily involved in the rise of Occupy protests, Arab Spring, and the mobilization against the Government of Ukraine or Hong Kong. Many people believe that social media has the potential to increase public participation and engagement in a connected world.
It is clear that the Internet and social media are powerful tools for mobilizing people. It is not the technology that allows social media to play an important role in social activism. The creative use of social media is not a response to pre-existing or even existing without it. This technology should be viewed as a tool that social and political groups can use to promote their cause.
Consider the West’s radicalized jihadist youth. The Internet is often seen as a powerful technology that encourages young Muslims to radicalize. The term “sudden extremism” is often used to describe the ability of social media to quickly convert young Muslims to extremist jihadists. There is ample evidence that young Muslims who visit jihadist websites online have undergone self-radicalization. They have already been drawn to radical Islam and are seeking a way to share their ideas and interact with others who share them. These websites are meant to confirm, deepen, or harden the sentiments of their visitors. While young Muslims may find the Internet inspiring them to take unexpected, radical steps, these people already have attitudes that are ready to make such a journey.
Social media and radicalization are both dynamic and interactive. Social media allows pre-existing sentiments to gain clarity, expressions, and meaning. It allows for interaction that can lead to new ideas, symbols, rituals, and identities. It has been a catalyst for the emerging Western jihadist youth subculture. And its online expressions may have had a significant influence on its offline trajectory.
The Internet and Everyday Culture
The Internet has influenced the culture of daily life. Online dating is a shining example of how social media can be used to build meaningful relationships. Online dating has been used in many Western countries as a temporary solution to problems created by a more fragmented and individualized social environment. These online relationships are a result of the desire to find solutions for some of the issues that face life offline. The popularity of online encounters has had a major impact on how men and women manage their daily lives. Modern culture is characterized by the intertwining of the real and the virtual. Check here for more details on digital marketing and internet marketing difference.
In the transformation of young lives, the Internet’s impact has been the most important. Their digital bedroom represents a childhood that is mediated by social media, mobile phones, and the Internet. Peer-to-peer relationships and friendships are becoming increasingly online or via text messaging. These interactions have major cultural implications. The evolution of language has been influenced by online and text messaging. They have created new symbols and rituals, and they have had a significant impact on identity for young people. People’s identity and status are often shaped and reinforced by mediated exchanges. Therefore, what people do online has a significant impact on how they perceive themselves offline.
Like the case with political mobilization, digitalization of childhood can also be seen as a response of a pre-existing need to use new technologies. The growing trend to move children’s activities indoors to the outdoors led to the creation of the digital bedroom. Paranoia-like, risk-averse attitudes have emerged as a key feature of modern child-rearing culture. Children’s outdoor freedom has been restricted due to concerns about their safety and health, especially regarding predators sex. The rise of the bedroom culture has been linked to the confinement of children inside. This was not due to digital technology or social media. It was the development of an indoor childhood culture that drove this phenomenon.
The Bedroom Culture
Bedroom culture is a result of two different, sometimes contradictory, developments. The adult initiative is responsible for the confinement of children inside. Many surveys show that children prefer to be outside, and especially play with their friends. A series of interviews with English children revealed that they prefer to be outside: shopping, hanging out on the streets, playing sports, and then back indoors. However, bedroom culture is often influenced by the desire of children to have their own space and to feel free from adult supervision. Some people are attempting to regain the freedoms they lost through digital technology.
Bedroom culture is the antithesis to family-centered TV viewing in a shared room. The privatization of media usage is increasing and children have a significant role in creating the new media home environment. Many bedrooms of children are media-rich spaces. A growing number of children have internet access and computers in their bedrooms. Children are driven to create an independent space for their children where they can explore and express themselves. As young people seek to create a world apart from their parents’, the rise of bedroom culture encourages privatization of media usage. Young people seek to personalize media so that it relates to their interests. This project is often pursued alone from family members.
Intergenerational ties have not been strengthened by the re-positioning and indoorization of childhood. The rise of bedroom culture is a sign of the trend towards privatization and individualization in family life. The new media are seen by children as a way to distance themselves from their parents and to establish connections with others. Children also want to keep their interaction space safe from adults’ eyes. Media technology, in this view, is not to be shared, but can be customized and personalized to your liking, so it is private and out of sight of adults.
The Internet allows for the reframing of social experiences and gives them greater momentum thanks to its technological power. The immediate impact of the Internet’s technological dynamic on daily culture is the amplification and intensification social trends. Digital technology is expected to not only intensify cultural trends, but also offer resources for interpreting their meanings. This precedent can be seen in the example of printing.