News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Commentary


Anti-social media?
Why actually talk to each other
by WKSU's PAUL GASTON


Commentator
Paul Gaston
 
Courtesy of Twitter
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

With popular uprisings in several Arab countries, Cable TV observers have been giving more credit to Facebook and Twitter than to the common telephone.  But in everyday life, these so-called “social media” may not be so heroic.   Commentator Paul Gaston has been observing the rise of the social media and is wondering just how social they are…

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:39)


    Is it time to add the phrase “social media” to other perplexing terms such as “authentic reproduction,” “mandatory option,” and “elementary calculus”?
     For one thing, the phrase now covers a wide array of personal technologies aimed at a confusing variety of purposes. There’s Facebook, of course, and twitter. But there are also chat rooms and forums on the internet. Podcasts. Wall postings. Instant messaging. For the primitive, there’s still e-mail.
    We share photos on Flickr and Picasa and upload videos to you-tube. There’s linked-in if you’re serious about networking. Foursquare if you want your friends to follow every move you make. “Social media” now means too much to mean much of anything.
     But that’s not the real reason i want to throw out the term. I think it lies. Yes, the social media make some kinds of communication easier. They encourage superficial contact with lots of people every day. In the spirit of full disclosure, i have a Facebook page, i occasionally share photos with friends, and i use e-mail every day. Most of the so-called social media serve a purpose. As we have seen, in times of crisis they can provide a valuable platform for efficient communication.
They offer entertainment. They’re cheap. They’re fast. And they can be fun.
     But what they are not is “social.” if you’re tweeting what you’re having for lunch, you aren’t talking to whoever’s on the other side of the table. If you’re posting your location, you aren’t looking around to see who’s there. If you’re talking on your cell phone as you walk on the beach, you aren’t greeting other beachcombers. Sending a tweet can’t compare with saying good morning to the person ahead of you in the coffee line. And the less focused we are on thumbing text messages, the more focused we can be on what’s around us and on who’s there.
    In Colorado last summer, I spoke to someone standing nearby without realizing she was thumbing a message on her electronic device.  I said, “Beautiful sunset.” she turned and glared at me, pointed at her tiny keyboard, and said, “Do you mind?”
     Let’s call these services what they are: anti-social media. Electronic distractions from person-to-person contact. Barriers to a genuine exchange of feelings and opinions. Impediments to making new acquaintances. Detours around genuine communication. When we use them because they serve our purposes, we may find them convenient, informative, entertaining. But they are not “social.” and while we are using them, neither are we.
     I’m Paul Gaston.
 
    
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University