A Myth of Social Media
In a recent article by Thomas Rogers, he discusses whether we’re experiencing information overload, and to a greater extent, if the Internet has transformed knowledge.
Rogers asserts the availability and access to knowledge has created a more informed and interconnected society, while wondering if this is dangerous.
The first part is likely true. A lot of the credit has to be given to the way people share and network, which has a lot to do with social media.
The second part of Rogers’ thesis reflects a great myth of social media: we have too much information at our fingertips.
In interviewing author David Weinberger, there was one thought that really stood out as truly defining for Rogers. According to Weinberger, there is no longer the “smartest guy in the room” because now it’s the room that is smart.
If ever there was an apt portrayal of social media, this might be it but to say knowledge can lead to overload is farfetched.
Social media has opened up information and data to every person who has even a modicum of curiousity. It would be a mistake to label this as dangerous when, if anything, it has the potential to be one of the great advents of modern times.
Rogers discusses information overload but the idea is dismissed and re-labelled as a failure of filters. I don’t see either.
I view the Web and social media as a tool; simultaneously a soapbox and a place of higher learning. This tool changes the way we learn and interact. It is an evolution in learning, not a detriment.
For some, social media is seen as way to overload our brains, as well as a way for some to learn at too mature of a pace. The bigger and more important point is it should be seen as a new frontier and an opportunity to learn and connect like we never have before.