COM0011 – Blog 6 – All media is pretty much Social Media

Whenever I watch something on Netflix, I’m always swayed by its star-rating, and as a result, I always submit my own after I’ve watched it. I’ve actually come to rely on these ratings so much, that if a movie or tv show has less than a solid 4 out of 5 stars, I won’t even watch it. Some of the best series I’ve seen on Netflix were ones I’ve never heard of (often foreign-language, which is why I wouldn’t have heard of them) that I was surprised to see had a really good star rating which influenced my decision.

This is a good example of the pervasive reach of social platforms in our everyday life. I’m interacting with other Netflix users through the ratings system and it’s improving my experience and driving my choices.

Even traditional forms of media like newspapers have taken their act to the Internet, where users can easily read, share, and comment on news articles. Many live format television shows include social media interaction in real-time, or even refer to their users’ communications at a later date to react to their comments.

It seems as though all media is basically social media, with at least some form of social integration. So why are we still calling it “social media”, and not just “media”? Well, I believe this term will eventually become obsolete, as it’s starting to sound outdated already, and having typed it roughly a hundred times for the purposes of this course, I think its time is up.

Whilst trying to think of something that isn’t social (Books? No, books have become social now too) I’ve realized that everything is available in digital format through apps or otherwise, and we can act or react upon them all.

Even the terms used to describe social media tools have evolved over the years, with words like “network” and “channel” replacing such terms as “portal” and “gateway”. This suggests that we no longer think of our social accounts as satellites of our main website, but instead they are part of the larger picture of our brand. And our brand most likely includes an interactive component to participate in the world around us.

Ironically, I think that the evolution of social media will eventually make courses and programs such as this one obsolete. If everything will be represented digitally with interactive capacities, Social Media will be less and less of a mysterious specialty, and more of an early-ingrained way of life.

4 thoughts on “COM0011 – Blog 6 – All media is pretty much Social Media

  1. I agree with your points about pretty much all social media just being media in general. Having also typed the phrase “social media” into various outlets for this course (and its fellow courses in this program) so many times it makes my head spin, I can relate to your thoughts that social media as a term will soon become obselete as well. The point is, in a digital age where pretty much anything can be looked up, searched, researched, found and/or explained through the internet, courses like these and even other aspects of education (like university courses) will not longer require professors, doctors, etc. Eventually everything will be online just as everything can be FOUND online now. For example, for some aspects of the courses in AC’s Social Media Program, I have learnt more by looking up terms on the internet than I have during certain staged of the course; this indicates to me that, like you said, courses like these are likely to become obselete.

    What I also don’t understand is why people even bother to differentiate between “social networking” and “social media” when, in reality, any sort of exchange of words, ideas etc. over the internet or using the internet as a medium for such exchanges IS media. And it’s SOCIAL MEDIA, at that. Such phrases and terms will be replaced sooner or later with something new, just as many social media/networking platforms will be as well.

    I think the ONLY thing not available through the internet or social media, is human emotion. Social media allows people to hide behind their own line persona or brand and thus social media risks taking away any sort of “real-ness” about people that makes us individuals.

  2. You are correct in the sense that most websites have been interactive, and follow the social media rules. The least you are allowed to do is to leave a comment. But I still believe that ‘traditional media’ still exist. Social media is mostly free. Think of the TIME or NEWSWEEK websites, you need to pay to read. I also think that social media allow you to create groups, this is not allowed in traditional media. In other words, social media allows you to ‘push’ information freely and with large volume, while you can not do the same on traditional media websites.

  3. I agree that all media will become social media probably faster than I realize although we’re not exactly there yet. Traditional media like television is still very much push but I find live shows that invite audience comments by tweeting fascinating. Last winter I went to see a live ballet production from London at the movies and they invited people to tweet their comments. During the intermission you saw tweets from Russia, Israel, U.S., Germany, to name a few, all live. It was very powerful and exciting. Even newspapers, though regarded as a dying medium, have significant websites and apps. Reporters now contribute print and online articles, maintain blogs and tweet messages to their readers.

    On the other hand, I’ve been to lunch with colleagues who can’t seem to put their smart phones down for a minute. I met a woman at a marketing conference who was constantly tweeting, emailing and texting. Glued to her phone I asked her if she every put it down. She replied ‘never!’. I found that response sad. While I too have my cell constantly at hand, I make an effort to not look at my phone at certain times of the day and just enjoy direct human interaction or spending time by myself. I admit it’s not always easy. I’m also a big believer at work in calling someone rather than always emailing. It’s so much more personal and often you get a lot more accomplished and faster.

  4. You have made some interesting points. But I do agree with the comment above. I think of the Globe and Mail as another example, which you have to pay to read online and often the comments are moderated (for this any other sites like the CBC) – so readers are not as free to be as social as they may think.
    As soon as you mentioned Netflix – I thought of Trip Advisor (obviously making travel agents obsolete). I don’t look at hotels or restaurants that have not received more than average stars. Rating systems do have an impact.

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