Despite no one with social media informs - but could inform more

Jul 14, 2011
social media
Despite the lack of informative social media, younger generations prioritize socialization over information, impacting their perception of news and valuable knowledge.
In an archetypal fable for Western culture, the cicada described by Aesop invested all its energy in enjoying life to the fullest, while the ant prepared for harder days. The moral lesson may have lost its meaning at a time when success is increasingly dissociated from the capacity for work and linked to inheritances of social connections. The informative socialization to which The Economist refers in last week's edition, however, seems far removed from the reality of younger generations as it does not take into account that new generations of students do not see social media as a tool for information, but for socializing. Connection is still a status toy. Even informative by force (people hear what is happening through the comments of others), the network still has a long informational potential to explore.
This is not just a pure and simple generational critique. Throughout history, being well-informed has been a differential, but the transformation of journalism into entertainment and the overvaluation of the futile culture of sub-celebrities has redesigned a hierarchy in which it is more important to know that the fantastic actor, Nobody da Silva, was on the beach with a random woman (in this case, whose social locus was that of "nobody's girlfriend") than to pay attention to the approval of secret budgets in government by a visibly dishonest minister.
A very interesting article by an American journalism professor raised the subject of the relevance of being well-informed in the life and priorities of younger students. New generations have hundreds of thousands of times more conditions to stay well-informed than their parents did, broadly speaking. However, knowing about Nobody's private life is more important, since the focus of the entertainment media (yes, because following Nobody through the streets is not journalism) is on this, it makes more money, creates icons, and feeds the entire entertainment industry (which sometimes likes to pretend it is journalistic, because it gives a less futile air to its production) again.
Having made the digression of lamentation for the new order of importance in the priorities of students, there is a positive reflection to be made, which is that, no matter how futile, irrelevant, and insipid the informative menu of a connected teenager may be, they will still be subject to receiving information even against their will. In the Mediashift article, the professor comments that he found out about the death of Osama bin Laden on Facebook and went to inform himself on CNN. Symptomatic. Other risks appear: how to guarantee the truth of what was heard? Who controls the hoaxes that may arise? Can the informative agenda that a person follows be only that of the choices of friends? The maturation of the new model will be responsible for answering these questions.
Of course, the premise does not apply to journalism and communication professionals. The role of information gateways, which filter relevant and non-relevant information to feed other professionals and the general public, requires that Nobody's life be left aside (perhaps journalists specialized in gossip can happily continue following Nobody under professional pretext, but this is a drama that concerns only him, the sectorist of Nobody). The connection and ability to let information seek its audience that social media have are vital in the work of the journalist who pays attention to what they are doing and does not get carried away by what the tide is indicating - also because the role of the opinion maker is to dictate this path. Otherwise, it ends up becoming nobody - with an even lower case letter.

© Cassiano Gobbet 2023 - 2024