One of the concepts that captured my interest was the idea of the networked self and the many facets that play into how a person portrays themselves online when compared with their “real life” persona. Technology itself wouldn’t be enabled without people; it needs us to function and work.
If you consider it, we are a customer of sorts in using social media and the Internet. Without the people who tweet on Twitter and if no one used Facebook, the “product” (or social media itself) would serve no purpose, it would just be sitting there. Because people use it (most likely daily), interact with one another, and dedicate a reasonable amount of their time to it, it has value. For many people, social media is what they start and end their day with. It’s been integrated into our lives as a part of us, as we put little bits of information, photos, etc. on different medias and use them to interact with one another. It provides a sense of participation and community.
In Convergence Culture, Jenkins discusses the new ways in which convergence has opened doors for participation and collaboration, and social media in general. He ends his conclusion with the sentiment: “Welcome to convergence culture, where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways…Consumers will be more powerful within convergence culture—but only if they recognize and use that power as both consumers and citizens, as full participants in our culture” (270).
So do those who use social media really participate in anything? Or are we under the illusion that we feel like we’re contributing or participating in something? Will social media always be used for just social aspects, or will we continue to add more and innovate it for other purposes?
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture. New York UP, 2006. 270. Print.