Pleading for the Elimination of Social Media from our Dictionary.

Social Media is a hot topic nowadays. Maybe it’s even too hot. Every single one is talking about it: from marketer over IT manager to adolescents. And yes, sometimes people ask me: “what do you think about social media?”. As from today, I will reply those people by saying something like: “well, actually, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Social Media is not in my dictionary. I can say a thing or two about social. Or even about media. But I don’t speak about social media.” Below is why.

Social Media as a term is framing the whole thing in a false matter.

Toffler, Third Wave, 1980.

Toffler, Third Wave, 1980.

Social Media is an all-encompassing term. It points to digital platforms in which the users are responsible for the content – without any or minimal intervention of an editorial team.

Looking at the very concept from this media-centric perspective results in a very narrow view on the nature of what we are experiencing. Social media are a lot more than a bunch of media. It’s a profound change in society. The drastic impact is brilliantly envisioned by a guy named Alvin Toffler. And he already forecasted this back in 1980. Waw!

Toffler, Third Wave, 1980.

Toffler, Third Wave, 1980.

Social is change.

As Toffler’s quotes made clear: Social isn’t just an innovative medium that continues along the lines of previous “old” ones. When Toffler speaks about an altered info-sphere and a “Source” organizing people around shared interests in communities, one instantly thinks about the so-called social media we know today.

My Twitter account is a very good example of this altered info-sphere. It’s constructed as the best-in-class virtual professor. It’s build for personal development. It’s constructed to learn. It also acts as a networking platform but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Structural Change on Multiple Levels

Social brings along structural change on several levels of society: personal, business, Ngo’s, governments, etc. all are to transform into something social. The position of the (social) media (platforms) is just to ease this change. It’s not about technology. It’s more about change and (re-)integrate social into the world.

How and where is “social change”? And what are its main challenges for “adoption”?

Social Media is Change.

Social Media is Change. Change has a challenge.

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