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.

Greater Akron Chamber

Meaden & Moore

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

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 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