My son interviewed me on social media for a college course he is taking. The main topic the class is discussing is “digital dualism” – what is social media, what is “real life,” and how do they intertwine? He was required to interview someone who knows about social media, and I was pleased as punch that he picked his mom.
Social Media Questions
Here are the questions he sent to me. Feel free to answer any you want in the comments. I’ll give my answers at the bottom (I wasn’t required to answer all the questions, and I was allowed to pick from these).
1) Is the idea of digital dualism a modern phenomenon or something that has previously existed, but only just entered the public focus?
2) What exactly is social media?
3) What is the appeal behind social media that has made it so popular?
4) How has social media changed interpersonal relationships?
5) Is there an overreliance in modern society on digital interaction as opposed to physical communication?
6) Is it important for people to stay connected to social media professionally?
7) How have businesses and politicians attempted to use social media to promote their products and ideas?
8) To what extent has social media helped to shape world changing events such as Arab Spring?
9) What, if anything, is the difference between “digital life” and “real life?”
10) How will interactions involving social media evolve in the future?
Social Media: Leora’s Answers
What is social media? One often thinks of Twitter or Facebook when thinking of social media – really, it can be any online place where people interact. So that can mean blogging (where one has the possibility of leaving comments and sharing posts), YouTube (likewise, anyone can put up a video and others can comment or share), Google chat or hangouts (my ten-year-old daughter is fast becoming an expert at those) or online forums.
How has social media changed interpersonal relationships? Motherhood, to give one profound example, has changed greatly as a result of social media. In my mother’s day, if she wanted to share with other moms, she needed to go out of the home and find a place where there were other moms. If she wanted stimulation beyond talking about mommyhood, she needed to find someone to watch her children in order to go to a job, attend a class or learn more about any subject. With the web and social media, there are vast opportunities to learn online or to work online. It’s easier to balance those opportunities with one’s children’s schedule, so it’s easier to do work or learning from home.
One doesn’t even have to go back to the 1970’s to see the differences; when my sons were little in the 1990’s, there was no Facebook or Twitter (although there were online social groups, but one had to know about them and have computer access, still a rarity at that point). Compare that to the vast amount available nowadays.
Is it important for people to stay connected to social media professionally? If one does not learn how to make use of social media, there are many lost opportunities. One can learn about a new career or about opportunities within a current profession. One can make contact with people in many different countries, cultures, and outlooks. If someone has tried it and it hasn’t worked, it may be a case of need to improve social skills or needing a better sense of direction. Social media activity is not going to answer all one’s issues professionally, but it can certainly serve an important role in networking and improved professional knowledge.
Social Media: Your Turn to Answer the Questions
So, now it’s your turn. Pick a question or two from above and let us know what you think.