Collective Identity

A recent study called “The rise and fall of collective identity in network movements: communication, protocols, Facebook, and the anti-Berlusconi protest” explores how various communication protocols help develop a collective identify across social media.

One of the most intriguing parts of this piece was in Section Five: Analysis and discussion; they break down the phatic vs. the instrumental information communications in the “Excitement Period”. 94.28% of comments are described as phatic effortless forms of communication, while only 5.72% is instrumental information. This is a scary statistic when you consider how these social movements have led to the firing of multiple members of the media, boycotts on companies, and even violent protests in the streets.

Most companies don’t wait to make personnel moves, so most of these “movements” never move past the excitement stage, but even if they did the phatic communication would actually rise to 94.85% by the time it hit the institutionalization stage.

People’s eagerness to be a part of something continues to lead to false crusades. The desire to be part of something, without the effort of gaining knowledge, has become a dangerous epidemic in this country.

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