This is NOT social media

Over the last couple of years I have been intrigued by the growth of social networks amongst young people and especially the impact of social media as part of the culture that young people create and occupy. One website that has provided me with a huge amount of insight and background into this is mobileyouth.

Here’s what I have learnt…

  1. social media like facebook, twitter etc is not a complete waste of time. Perspective is key here.
  2. lots of young people now have social media connections on their mobile phones. 
  3. some aspects of social media, like all media, will be abused for bad purposes… when those who are trying to work with and alongside young people want to interact in this space, care should be taken (read this – section  2D)
  4. social media is a space for connection – the medium is not the message.
  5. social media is about connecting those who have real social meaning offline
  6. those wishing to use social media to connect and broadcast their message to young people are missing the point!
  7. social media is about interaction not simply a place for people to broadcast their message without any desire to reply.
  8. authoritative institutions have missed the point with social media as they are don’t care about creating space for meaning (they’d rather sell product or push propaganda) and are not interested in full interaction.
  9. companies that give people the space to belong and create are those who understand social media
Here’s a useful slide presentation (by Graham Brown) about social media that explains more about the nature of it… in typical postmodern terms it starts to explaing what it is not.