Sunday, 2 December 2012

Exclusivity 2.0 - Social Media, Twitter, Facebook, and all that business

I was reading a book ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded: Dissent in the digital age’ edited by Tara Brabazon, and it brought up an interesting perspective on the effects of internet social media: that of exclusivity and the isolation and powerlessness that can result from it. The upcoming Web 2.0 and social apps like MySpace can be argued to be exclusive, just as much as they can be heralded as offering unprecedented access and freedom of communication. Social sites have a slightly up-scale, trendy affectation and can be complicated to manage and use, and the upcoming Web 2.0 may have the same problems.

Many people do not use these sites or even the internet because they do not associate with it or know how to use it, and some cannot afford it especially in Australia with our set of internet plans on offer. This could be stopping these people from being as relevant, politically or socially active as they might have been with usage of these technologies.

Some authors in the book argue that although the internet was supposed to be a revolution for change, the fact that not everyone uses it to the same extent, or at all, has tempered this effect. The internet is full of contradicting information and websites full of differeing opinions, and it can be overwhelming to try and understand how to use the internet to gain information and what you can trust. It requires a certain amount of tech savvy.

I personally think if people are not using the internet, we need to analyze why they are missing out on the opportunity to have as much relevance in society as they could have: If the barrier of entry is not too great, and people can access the Internet and can limit themselves to a few familiar sites and email without getting too confused or exposed; then it is their fault for not taking the plunge. On the other hand, if there is no way for them to access infrastructure to log on, and no way for them to start using the Internet, then this needs to be provided. In any case, the goal of achieving some kind of technological or social revolution will be realized to a greater extent than it has been, if more people get on the web and use it more deeply.

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:    

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