The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever

“The democratization of social media allows for more participation and interaction related to the news than ever”

We live in a world that could not be conceived a couple hundred years ago.  In the past there was not, and could not have been, the advanced spread of knowledge, media, and ideas that there is today.  Back in the day, the telegraph was revolutionary because it allowed text communication faster than sending physical letters previously would have even once the use of trains as mail transportation was introduced. The text on Media and News Literacydiscussed how the world we live in today allows us to share all types of information and media faster than ever before. It went into further detail to discuss how #metaliteracy allows us to use this information effectively while gaining a greater understanding of information than could have been had before the new methods of social media and information sharing arose. 

One of the positive sides of this information sharing is that people today get to see things that would not have been possible without physical travel in the past. For example, I can use Google Earth to view pyramids in Egypt and gain knowledge about what they actually look like.  However in an age before the internet, this would not have been information that could be gained unless you received a photograph or went to physically see this site yourself.  In other words, information is readily available at our finger tips. Another positive of this increase in metaliteracy would be that information sharing, and communication in general, has increased exponentially in its speed. Where letters used to take months or weeks to reach across the country/world, we can now communicate with anyone who has internet access in a matter of seconds. This allows us to build personal bonds with people from other cultures and walks of life. It allows us to stay current on the news and world events within the day that they happen, just like the article Media and News Literacy talks about. 

However, I view this rapid information sharing as a double edged sword with a negative side also. This rapid information sharing, allows for a growth of knowledge but it can also create massive problems when information is spread that is not correct. I remember reading an article a while ago about a hacker group called Anonymous that hacked the AP Associated Press twitter account and tweeted that President Obama had died. This caused computers that control micro trading on the stock market to react and the market crashed 400 points in 15 minuets (a massive drop), once the mistake was realized they made other trades that caused the market to rebound.  This shows a clear problem on the reliance of a perceived metaliteracy, where people think they can decipher information correctly and use it properly, but in reality they simply believe anything they hear or read and this causes problems as demonstrated before. The second negative would be that the social aspect of this information sharing through enhanced metaliteracy.  Having personal relationships via Facebook, Twitter or other wise seems to degrade real relationships in person.  You are able to learn so much about a person online, without ever meeting them, almost making it awkward to talk to them in person for how much you know.  You can know what they had for dinner, where they’re from, who they are dating, all from simply looking at their profiles without ever communicating with them.  In this way, increased metaliteracy has become about strictly information sharing and has been lacking greatly in  the communication aspect between human beings.

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