Media ecology is the theory that media not only is prevalent in society but profoundly enhances society, as well as affecting human perceptions. Media ecology also has much to do with the idea of environment, but I tend to focus more on impact rather than something like structure in a short blog post.
The idea of media enhancing society is something that I question when so much happens via social media. I just read an article about a rap artist, and from what I gathered (I don’t believe it was explicitly stated) randomly chose an address and told his 1.1 million twitter followers to vandalize this residence. With this story fresh in my mind while I write this blog post, I can’t help but deny the theory that social media is making our lives better, or at least not exponentially better. It is so much easier to hide behind the screen as this person has done, and not accept any guilt, because honestly it’s really hard to say that he did anything, even though it was instigated. Word of mouth doesn’t seem to travel as far, and people would probably understand the ludicrous nature of what was being said, if he started yelling out an address for people to vandalize.
“140 Characters a Style Guide for the Short Form” by Dom Sagolla references retweeting being considered by some “the Devils Work” (53) and in some cases I can’t help but agree. Although I primarily allow others to speak for me and enjoy retweeting things I believe in, when you think about the Chief Keef vandalism case that I mentioned above, how far does it have to go before it starts to really become detrimental? How far can we continue before social media truly becomes a demon?
I think the video above might be extreme, but it’s eye opening to how much we can miss when we are too busy trying to be liked or shared. It’s always a huge problem for me sitting with friends while they sit and scroll through their Facebook feeds. I am never quite sure when myself and a friend lose the ability to communicate, but often it happens, and it isn’t until it’s pointed out that it changes. How many people we can meet when we forget about Facebook friends and focus on having real private moments?
Bashing social media aside it’s important to look at the benefits as well. When I don’t agree with how often and how focused we are with social media and technology, I admit that without it there are many people I wouldn’t keep in contact with. Many companies (like our community companies participating with Giving Hearts Day) I wouldn’t have any idea of and that is also the ecology of media, the ability for it to affect our lives in a positive way, which conflicting with my previous thoughts, I agree with. I wouldn’t even know what media ecology was without Google and a little side research. Do I believe we are controlled by media? Yes. Do I think this is 100% the end-all-be-all and we are sure to live as mindless robots? Eh. That I am not so sure about. I do know that my pros and cons of social media go hand in hand, and while I hate it, I love it at the same time, and I am still trying to figure out how that could be (inserted Perks of Being a Wallflower reference).