What is Social Media Even About Anymore?

Consider this question: What is the point of social media?

Many of us would say the answer is obvious. It’s for more convenient ways of connectivity and interaction, of course!

However, what we often forget is that large businesses, which have taken over and monopolized almost everything, also seem to have taken over social media. When we log into Facebook or go on Youtube, all we see are sponsored advertisements (unless we have the handy Adblock). Despite the fact that this may seem like a harmless ploy to get us to spend money, we need to acknowledge the fact that it is destroying the whole point of social media.

“Instead of connecting to one another, we are increasingly connected to and friended by the same old brands and institutions that the Internet once stood a chance of upending” — Douglas Rushkoff

Social media should be used for healthy peer-to-peer connections, not for us to “like” a company’s page for prizes. If we let large companies and businesses use and exploit us in this way, we are causing real bonds between people more trivial and less meaningful while strengthening our bonds with material objects.

In Digital Vertigo, Andrew Keen states that digital advertising businesses race to know as much about us as possible because we, the users, are the only assets they have to sell. Doesn’t this sound wrong?

The internet was made for socializing, but these days, marketing has reduced the value of our connections.

We just need to be careful with how we use the internet and remember that social networking is about bonds between people, not things.

The real question is, how do we do this?

To read Douglas Rushkoff’s article, “Why Marketing Threatens the True Promise of Social Media” click this link: http://mashable.com/2011/01/06/marketing-threatens-social-media/

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