The effects of “New media” and “Social media” has on today’s society
The days of getting access to current affairs only from newspapers or television are a thing of the past. The world has become engrossed with the web and internet. People no longer make friends like in the old days or talk and interact, there is facebook, whatsapp, which are social networks that people use to interact. There is rarely a need to talk face to face. It is hard for anyone to say they have genuine friends. This is all because of new media and social media. Media plays a vital role in everyday life. Today many people, eat, drink and sleep media.These media's are important and they have both a postive and a negative effect to them. Both these media's exist in South Africa because of Democracy.
New media is defined as “websites and other digital communication and information channels in which active consumers engage in behaviours that can be consumed by others both in real time and
long afterwards regardless of their spatial location”(sage publications).
Social media on the other hand is defined as, “media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies (networks) e.g. Facebook to transform and broadcast media monologues into social monologues” (Wikipedia).
The pro of new media and social media is that when people go online, "they are able to construct new identities for themselves. This means that in chat-rooms, one can become free of gender, age, nationality, race, since these are not seen by the people that you are communicating with" (J.P.Wade). The con of creating a new identity is that criminals as well are able to create these identities and use them for their criminal activities, therefore making it hard to be able to arrest the real culprit.
Another pro of new media and social media is that it is able to reach millions of people at one go. For example newspapers (old media) cannot reach every one; they can only reach certain people at certain areas. New media on the other hand can reach millions of people especially over the web. The con of new media is that old media e.g. newspapers are slowly but surely becoming non-existent. Most newspapers today have online websites where people are able to access news.
Also with social media and new media, it has improved citizen journalism which is another pro in my view. People are now able to produce their own news and stories from the comfort of their homes. Technology such as hand cameras, cell phones, and internet blogging are allowing people to tell their stories they own way. Another pro of new media is that, it is not as costly as old media to create news. The con of new media is that, only people with access to the internet are able to access it and most people who can access new media need to be literate to use the gadgets, unlike old media.
Another huge positive for social media, is that it is a way of communication for people all over the world. There is no language barrier. It also helps with people who have families in different countries.Some people even mange to find their soul mates on social media. The negatives of social media are also rapidly increasing as well. The first negative of social media that I can think of is ‘invasion of privacy’. I mean on our facebook pages, we put pictures and information that in real life we would actually never give away. We think that our social pages can be accessed by only our friends but unfortunately that is just not reality. Another negative of social media is Isolation, seriously people are spending more time on their cell phones and computers then physically interacting with other humans beings. Another negative of social media is ‘stalking’; since personal information of individuals is easily accessible. The positive of social media is that people can use the platform to fight for worthy causes that they believe in.
Both these media’s have both the good and the bad of them. Democracy has allowed many South Africans to be able to take part in both new media and social media. I’m personally for them as I have only experienced the good effects of them. Social media and new media is the future for journalism.Media is an important asset in a Democratic Country like South Africa. Whether it is the crimes, the election campaigns or just moral responsibility the Media is playing an important role to cover the news.
1) Wade, J-P. 2012. Lectuer at UKZN.