Social Media, Omni-directionality, and the Novel of the World

The key to the internet comes down to bandwidth; not simply how fast the internet seems to stream, not in the kilo, mega, and giga bits traveling from creator to audience. The key to the internet relies on a special type of bandwidth that transcends uni-or-bidirectional modes. Traditional ideas of information transfer normally focus on author to audience and possibly the reverse. While this type of speed certainly increases with the rise of the web, it contains only a portion of the web’s potential for communication. The advent of social media allows nearly omni-directional access to information and ideas. A social media user who post anything publicly on facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc might have an intended audience. However, this public content can be used again and again by an audience never conceivably meant by the progenitor of the content.

In the wake of this year’s polarized political season the use specific themes seems to spiral into all avenue of social media. After the results of the Tuesday election, and the rise of Trump presidential era, Americans as well as citizens of other nations have flown to social media to make sense of the result. There are essentially three types of responses. The first finds its roots in confusion and dissatisfaction.blog-post-5-1

Above is the most recent and top post on the facebook page for The People for Bernie Sanders 2016. It shows one type of reaction to the events of yesterday’s election. A sense of hopelessness and disappointment adds a type of river to the ocean in the social sphere. For many of different ideological groups resentment seems just as high, if not higher than, the pre-election dislike. Across social sites this type of mentality seems reflected in a large portion of Americans. This seems to be an attempt to find someone to blame.

However, there are two other ways trending in the social sphere. The second seems to be a common acceptance and optimistic hope for reconciliation; wishing for America to heal its wounded people.blog-5-2

The third seems to be a type of active anger centered on the political system resulting in a series of protest and other civic activism.   blog-5-3

Ultimately the upheaval from the election echoes across social media. The types of crossover can specifically be seen in the below latest reddit page reflecting the political schism in the American populace. Not only can those three general trends be found in the below page forming sub-reddits, but specifically on the reddit board associated with Bernie Sanders is the headline “The Democratic Party Establishment is Finished. What a Joke.”blog-5-4

It is mirrored on sites like facebook and twitter (inserted below). This shows a type of convergence and overlap that traditional media seems nearly incapable of matching. Not because they are covering three social media sites are covering a news article (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_democratic_party_establishment_is_finished_after_trump.html) because that has been done by news stations covering three stories. It is unique because these three sites are being used to repost the material but possibly alter the message. It is unique because of the speed of accessibility and alter-ability.

 

A wonderful example of the omni-directionality of the internet is in fact this blog post. As I compare and contrast the different public social media content in an attempt to provide evidence for my own argument, I bypass or expand the communicative nature of the original author beyond perhaps their intent. In opposition one might find fault believing that other forms of media already contain this seeming omni-directionality. An example might be a teacher discussing a book with a classroom full of students. While the students and the teacher certainly engage with the novelist’s ideas, they are the few commenting in an isolated bubble in a specific time and location. Only those within the bubble gain the benefits of the communications. The internet provides a unique aspect seemingly ignoring the traditional problems of space and time. In this way I can use different sites to visit and participate in the reception of specific material. Social media through the internet opens the access of bandwidth omni-directionally allowing for a collective (almost simultaneously) unique autobiographical experience for the world. As if we were writing the novel of the world one post at a time.

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