How digital media narratives lay impact on the modernity? The Case on Twitter
In the present times of great international crisis and immense human devastation is impossible not to ask ourselves the question in which direction the human kind is going to? Only in March 2016, there were 121 terror attacks which have held in more than 20 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America. I believe that there is no excuse for the commitment of such crimes, neither an easy solution which to bring peace in those regions.
Still, it becomes more evident that despite the dreadful events, the digital media continues to have significant role as information contributor and basic communicator in the course of public active participation into the current policy practices. In this regard, I claim that the digital media narrative unites the modern societies by allowing them to freely defend their views of equal democratic rights and opposition against the collective injustices, especially in crucial social periods.
Digital Media as part of Human Evolution
Initially, the human evolution is grounded on the process of aggregating matter in which both individuals and societies represent the forces that aggregate this matter (Turner et al. 2002: pp. 54–89. Currently, such forces appear to be the events related to use of power, patterns of conquests and immigration since they motivate the humanity to remain active participant into the contemporary global activities and thus to remain determinative factor for social development. Since the public passions and emotional status are based on universal principles of interconnections, they become decisive part not only of the contemporary policy practices but of the overall global progress as well.
The introduction of information and communication technologies (ICTs) during the 1970s has leaded to stage of human evolution in which the improvement of well-being and living standards has become major factor for the evolution of modernity. The quick expansion and growing use of computer devices, telecommunication systems and Internet in the mid-1990s have made the new media outlets including websites, online newspapers, blogs and social media platforms major factor of the civil progress by increasing both institutional and public awareness concerning urgent topics related to wealth, peace and sustainability merits (Bradley 2010: 2).
Moreover, the invention of mobile technologies has enabled the social media to become exceptional part of the citizens` daily routines by providing the latest information updates to their mobile phones and portable devices (Rosenstiel et al. 2012: 3).
Approximately half of the news consumers nowadays are getting information for events and urgent topics on their tablets, smartphones and laptops
This new form of universal media consumption has transformed the traditional media narrative worldwide by making it more complement regarding the immense variety of local and international socio-political and economic stories (Scott 2005: 89). Due to this, the news media has become more explicit in relation to the present aspects of democratization and has been elaborated as basic tool for public expression and collective mobilization in times of active civil tensions such as social movements, riots, protests and conflicts.
Twitter as Media provider of Social narratives
Originally, the social movements define collective actions, group campaigns or activist networks that are pending against the leading authorities and that are mainly inspired by political and social issues in modern nation-states (Della Porta et al. 2005: 1). The social movements have emerged as result of the social, cultural and geopolitical changes in the 1960s which have leaded to increase of public participation into the democratic traditional practices. Considering this, the universal dialogue between citizens and institutions has been further elaborated regarding the objectives related to transnational social rights, global justices and cultural inequalities as well as the peace and war conditions.
Meantime, the changes into the modern policy matters have facilitated the social media to become closer to its audience though the establishment of intense news coverage of events in which the vulnerable civil groups demonstrate their direct experiences and sentiments in times of collective attempt of resolving socio-political issues. This is the case of the digital social platform Twitter.com that provides free news, information and communication exchange to millions of people worldwide through the use of computer and mobile devices (Huberman 2008: 2).
As part of the contemporary media field, Twitter is preferable digital social network due to its ability to provide free interaction among users based on public posting of short messages and direct following the updates made by other users.
Twitter functions as broadcast tool that creates discursive environment in which the type of conversations vary, depending on the content and the participants involved in the discourse. Among all participants in the media outlet, the social activists or the users who post and discuss cultural and political narratives are form simultaneously tight crowd networks, in which the discussions are conducted by highly interconnected group of people with the intention to share their experiences and to seek mutual support, e.g. #RhodesMustFall in South Africa (Bosch 2016: 1–12) and community clusters, in which multiple small groups debate essential topics and which have the potential to expand to medium-sized groups with own audience and sources of information, e.g. #Occupy Wall Street in North America (Gleason 2013: 966–982).
Media narrative — the Most convenient way to Shape the Modernity
The growth of digital media consumption is emblematic regarding the contemporary tendencies in social behavior. By taking this fact under consideration, we can forecast the future outcome of certain global events and to obtain deeper knowledge concerning the rich types of social participation into the current institutional practices. The digital media has transformed the manner in which the people communicate and this evolutionary shift appears to be inevitable step in global extent due to the convenient nature of ICT and mobile devices.
The case on Twitter demonstrates that global societies are no longer simple recipients of information content but there are both active creators and distributors of public awareness towards their surrounding environment. In this sense, we should consider the digital media narratives as global behavioral shift in social practice of laying impact on the modernity.
Bosch, T. (2016), “Twitter activism and youth in South Africa: the case of #RhodesMustFall”, in Information, Communication & Society, pp. 1–12
Bradley, G. (2010), “The Convergence Theory on ICT, Society and Human Beings — towards the Good ICT society”, tripleC 8 (2)
Della Porta, D. and Tarrow, S. (2005), Transnational Processes and Global Activism, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Gleason, B. (2013), “#Occupy Wall Street: Exploring informal learning about a social movement on Twitter”, in American Behavioral Scientist, 57, pp. 966–982
Huberman, B. A., Romero, D. M. & Wu, Fang, (2008), Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope, US: Social Computing Lab and Cornell University
List of Islamic Terror Attacks. 2016. What makes Islam so different? <http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/attacks.aspx?Yr=2016> (28.03.2016)
Rosenstiel, T. & Mitchell, A. (2012), The Future of Mobile News. The Explosion in Mobile Audiences and a Close Look at What it Means for News, Washington D.C.: Pew Research Center`s Project for Excellence in Journalism
Scott, B. ‘’A Contemporary History of Digital Journalism’’ in Television & New Media, Vol. 6, No. 1, February 2005
Smith, A. M. et al. ”Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters”, Pew Research Center, February 2014, <http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/20/mapping-twitter-topic-networks-from-polarized-crowds-to-community-clusters/> (28.03.2016)
Turner, J. H. et al. (2002), The emergence of sociological theory (5th ed.), Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning, pp. 54–89