Social Media: Overview

The sociology of social media is an important aspect of sociology in which the researchers emphasize on how social media plays as a vital medium in modelling, processing, mediating and facilitating communication and interaction and how it affects and is affected by social norms widely. Wikipedia defines social media network as a social structure made up of a set of social actors (that is the individual and organizations) sets of dyadic ties and other social interactions between these actors.  These individuals or the social actors interact, communicate and develop to form a society and this is what sociology is all about. The analysis of social network is a way of conceptualizing and describing society as groups of people linked or one another by specific relationships whether these are tangible as exchange network or intangible as perceptions of oneself and the others. How an individual life depends on large on how he or she is tied into the larger web of social interactions.

Among the social actors or the organizations as mentioned above exist people who share and value some physical and virtual space which is varied all over the world and sociologists use the term cultural diversity to capture these unique cultural varieties. These diversities are also prevalent within a region of a country. And social media is one vital platform for showcasing and communicating these diversities. The social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most prevalent sites for people to interact and voice out their unique and unheard diversity in every corner of the world.

social media and sociology

It allows people to be social, open and create a world that reflects the culture of immediacy which helps us to solve problems quickly and communicate more effectively on a broader scale than we had ever imagined before the advent of it(Social media). Moreover, it enhances people to think and act creatively.

The use of social networking sites as a platform for presenting oneself to a larger audience is a part of sociology we are analyzing. It provides a convenient place for the people connect with families, friends and other people they value. With just a click of a button, members and other users can share their life stories in the form of photos and videos, allows people of similar interest to unite and discuss topics of their interest and share it to the social audience at large. It provides a special tool for individuals to connect with people they have lost contact and maintain the relationship over a long distance.

The evolution of the social media platform has drastically and globally shifted the way every individual in a society interact and communicate and develop with time. We see the difference between the society before and after the evolution of the internet. It has made communication faster, easier, comfortable and flexible. It makes people access to information at an incredible speed. Therefore, has contributed a great deal in increasing the social web drastically.

As a social being, humans need to communicate and network locally and globally. It is one of the major aspect and sources of happiness and achievement. The more people interact the more people learn about million others and this gives a feeling of satisfaction. It is solely responsible for accomplishing these vital function and aspects of the human need for social interaction. Without social interactions as pointed out by French sociologists, David Emile Durkheim people begin to disintegrate and alienate oneself leading people to commit suicide which is of four types namely anomic, egoistic, altruistic and fatalistic suicides.

It is responsible for changing and shaping the society. With billions of people involved in the various hundreds of social media networks sharing their lifestyles, globally diverse events, occasions and waves influence and change is inevitable. It has been proven that conscious and subconscious behaviours are altered dramatically when people are involved in social networking.  The discussions that come out of the networking experience greatly affect the decisions that they make in life at personal and organizational life. These decisions taken by individual changes and influences a million others knowingly or unknowingly which shapes society in one or other way. Sometimes these changes may be positive and negative.

It had become indispensable in the social lives of people. There is not a second where the social network user does not check his or her newsfeed. Society has become too dependent on it. Many introverts and socially reclusive users place too much emphasis on virtual interaction and ignore the real world outside, such as the influence of social media that it has almost replaced the need for real conversation and interaction.

Society have begun degrading its value and morality. Cyberbullying and harassment on social sites have been increasing among millennials especially young girls, women fall prey to the online attacks. People exhibit unscrupulous behaviour uploading unethical videos, photos and many more which degrades the name of individuals and society as a whole.

Many people create pages on Facebook for meeting like-minded friends or for staying in touch for getting the news they feed to the outside world and the possible repercussion it would later have and not thinking that potential employers may view clues about someone’s characteristic apart from the resume and interview.

Read: Why do we want to share everything on social media?

It is believed and assumed that media, on one hand, plays a part of surveillance. Social media has another basic function of providing information(positive) but also has a negative effect because we are equally exposed to the news feed(negative) again and again. Therefore, on some part, we become immune to the news. There is always, some controversies and negative things on the news which will make us by default immune to it and lower our interest or curiosity level. Moreover, People won’t react much to the news next time when it is required for them to look into it. People are becoming more susceptible to negative impacts even in unintended ways.

People are more interconnected and It is responsible for acting as an intermediator. But people are so connected that they have become too obsessed with themselves. People tend to document everything they eat, every place they go, tweeting irrelevant stories and photos every second and even make videos of private moments for the whole world to view it on these sites especially YouTube. The meaning of the word privacy is on the verge of becoming obsolete and narcissists becoming more prominent. Is it turning into a society of narcissists or making is it more socially connected human race the world has ever seen?

It is all about people, it is a platform for showcasing people’s diverse lives, their lifestyles, cultures, a bridge for connecting people regardless of the place of the users. It had and is still having an impact both positive and negative. It plays as an important medium for modelling and mediating communication and interaction to society as a whole and how society in turn impacts on how it operates.

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