Social Media Really Changing Things?

This Wired writer answers: Yes and no. “Acts of communication, by themselves, aren’t especially interesting. We’ve always had protests, riots, and revolutions, and the people who carried them out have always found ways to spread the word. If the medium for those communications shifts from word of mouth, to printed flier, to telephone, then to texts and Twitter, what does it really matter? Technology becomes an important part of the story only if it’s changing the nature of the events — and the nature of the social groups that are carrying them out.” I would add: texting and tweeting add a whole new level of self-importance to the protests, just the way that texting and tweeting have added a whole new level of self-importance to everything else in life. (As in: the text I just received is too important for me to focus my attention on our conversation.)

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