Looking back over the past few weeks, my investigation within the media as a whole has broadened my understanding of many new concepts and ideologies I had never thought about before. The things people blame the media for, the connotations received from images in the media, how ownership of the media effects our opinions, and the ideology of a mediated public sphere and how this allows us to voice our opinions and exchange ideas, have all been investigated by myself as a blogger.
My opinion on “social media” has not so much changed, but is now much more informed. Every form of social media has a list of pros and cons and it merely takes the researching of case studies to see how the usage of these can easily be abused. The fear of a “moral panic” outbreak as a result of this abuse of power within the mediated public sphere is what brings people to hold such negative connotations with the ideology behind social media. It has clearly, over time, become a large generational aspect that will continue to grow in disparity. Parents constantly condemn their children for using their phone too much, or spending too much time and energy on Facebook. For them, they see the negative aspects that are blown out of proportion (sometimes) on the news. For us as users, we are able to have constant contact with our friends, no matter where they are in the world. If we see something funny that we know a fellow friend will also enjoy a chuckle over—we share that image or clip with them. The “moral panic” of today, is that social media is separating us from the joys that are real and true in our actual lives. But what do we say to this, when social media has become something so heavily prevalent in our lives, that we’re not necessarily avoiding the beauty of life or it’s real issues, we’re just partaking in a whole other aspect of it?
That’s the main question I’ve learned to ask myself over these past few weeks of blogging. A lot of people these days put so much energy into hating the media, but social media has allowed us a whole new entry into the public sphere and I don’t think we should overlook it’s many positive aspects. Embrace the beauty of communication.