Communication has been a significant part of human existence right from the stone ages. There exist diverse means of communication that has culminated in shaping our contemporary world. Tracing the historical use of tools of communication it is seen that the same pattern of transmission and reception has always been a constant factor; though advancement in technology has speedup the time of transmitting and the mode of transmission. For instance the use of telegraph in past era is transmitted via electronic means and the receptor receives sent information and could send reply which could take several days. According to Standage, cited in Lievrouw & Livingstone (170) “telegraph, with its two-way wired communication, was a precursor to the Internet”. This means technology advancement in the invention of Internet was a development in technologies used for telegraph.
However, in contemporary times, the use of internet facility communication is done in real time, instant messaging through social media platforms and electronic mail exchange. In contemporary communication, using social media and online communication development of user software is significant and make the process of communication go seamlessly. According to Gallivan and Keil ( 1) posited that “ Most research models indicate that user participations implicitly assume that when users partake in communication system development between users and software developers that is significant for clear requirements definition to take place”. What this means is that modern use of media to communication and disseminate information is made more effective by the development of tailored software that enables seamless and uninterrupted communication.
Comparison between telegraph and social media
The use of telegraph in disseminating information and for communication was an innovative breakthrough in technology in the 16th century. Prominent inventor like Samuel Morse is tied to the success of this innovative media tool in that century (Elon University, 1). The process of transmitting messages through the telegraph, in earlier part of the invention entails the use of trained code users. However, from 1914 automatic method of transmission was invented. “The revolution of the telegraph allowed for instant communication across long distances the technology was particularly useful during wartime to transmit pertinent information”. What this implies is that the invention of telegraph at this era is an innovative technology that had not been seen before. Also, it is pertinent to state that the similarity between telegraph and social media is that they both allow instant messaging. However, the social media lit Twitter and Facebook have instant messaging tools that allow real time messaging. What this means is that as someone from another end is typing messages and sending them the receiver from another end will be getting such messages instantly. However, telegraph needs to be processed and the delivery of the message is not as fast as those of modern instant messenger in social media and other websites’ messengers.
Social media are online platforms for communicating, networking, interacting and knowledge sharing and transfer. The term social media involves two unique words, social and media. This entails using a platform for mass interactions and connections. There are tools that social media use to make networking and interactions very effective. These social media tools include chat or messenger, wikis, blogs, social bookmarking, etc. Earlier online tools like emails, websites, and messengers were not called social media, even when they helped in making people interact.
According to Leistner (2) “the difference between email and other interacting technologies and social media lies in the focus of social connection”. While email allows people to communicate and engage in sharing information, social media (including its tools and platforms), on the other hand, give a more permanent link and networking connection between people. For instance on Twitter, when people choose to follow each other they have formed a permanent bond where the information or knowledge shared by those being followed will continue to be transferred and shared among themselves. Also, this applies to other social media. For Facebook, when a person ‘likes’ a page, all information shared by that individual or business will continue to be transferred and shared with everyone that have ‘liked’ the page.
However, one noticeable different between telegraph and modern social media like Twitter is that, telegraph is not transmitted directly and during a chatting Twitter. There is point-to-point delivery of sent messages. In this view, Winston (24) says “the existing electrical signaling system, the telegraph, did not follow this pattern but had been developed as a point-to-point service with final message delivery being accomplished by hand.” In such case, Twitter and other social media have more advantage over telegraph in term of real-time speed delivery.
New media effect
The social networking goal is to interact, converse and create conversation: search conversations, begin new conversations, set alerts to monitor individual’s name, find new ways to connect. Recognize social networking is a marathon since it will take time to build relationships and grow a user following. Investing in relationships can build loyal fans.
There are many Social Media Tools that the organization can use. It all depends on the Organization’s objectives and what they need to accomplish. The classification of each group will help the organization decided what is best fit for their needs. “Social media options including YouTube advertising videos, banner ads, branded content on Facebook and MySpace social network sites, and digital self-expression via meta verses like Second Life and Zwinktopia” (Steenburgh and Avery).
In an organizational setting, the guidelines have a different approach. However, according to Breakenridge (25-27) the development of organizations’ social media guidelines as follows: First, choose five or six strong social media policies that are in the same industry for guideline adoption. Second, use the results of your social media profile audit to guide you in the policy writing to identify weaknesses and tell which areas needs focus. Third, select relevant parts of social media policies that are created by other organization in the same field, especially the guidelines that you feel pertain to activities within your organization. Fourth, find similarities between what different organization, in your industry, use in their guidelines. Fifth find a particular section or guideline that is used by at least four of the six guidelines that companies should highlight as one that may appear in your policy. Finally, Social media (SM) policy should include an introduction to social media, SM policy ties to the company’s Code of Ethics, Potential legal concerns of the organization (e.g. Consumer Protection, Disclosure/Confidentiality, Invasion of Privacy), Responsibilities for the account management, and Rules for engagement with explanations. This method can provide the organization with the infrastructure for your SM guidelines.
Mass media role in propagating news with telegraph and social media
Media as a form of communication and broadcast has undergone significant changes over the decades. The mass media has far-reaching effect in shaping societal opinions and stands as an agent of change. “Media are not technologies, but techno-social systems” (Fuchs, 37). What this means is that media is a technological effect of impacting on social activities of people and creating knowledge that aid in the advancement of social live.
Another point is that both telegraph and social media have been used as tools for propagating news information. “Prior to the telegraph, politics and business were constrained by geography. The world was divided into isolated regions. There was limited knowledge of national or international news, and that which was shared was generally quite dated. Telegraph brought changes to this pattern by making information flow easily like water” (Elon University). Also, Winston (28) said “newspapers became avid consumers of telegrams, which had a considerable effect on their contents”. This implies that both telegraph and social media like Twitter are tools of disseminating news information. They aid wide access of breaking news faster than the mass media itself.
In addition, just like modern times where social media has become a threat to the existence of newspapers, during the era of telegraph it was seen as rival to the print media. “By the 1850s, predictions about the impact of the new medium (telegraph) began to abound. The telegraph would alter business and politics. It would make the world smaller, erase national rivalries and contribute to the establishment of world peace. It would make newspapers obsolete” (Elon University).
Social media has turn out to be a very useful tool for networking in the 21st century. Individuals and corporate organizations have embrace the usefulness of social media in creating and building profitable relationship between friends, colleagues, customers, employees, rivals , and this list goes on. Some management factors responsible for slow adoption rates of internal corporate social media are: the lack of incentive to staff to make them utilize networking for the company benefit. Some corporate organizations don’t see social networking as part of core of their business and are not in a hurry to push workers to adopt them. Also, technological-wise, many companies have internal social network features that are not useful and appealing to the workers. Organizational factor has to do with the lack of analytical capacity of many companies to measure performance and value of this social networking to their corporate benefits.
The described successful companies were able to attain this feat in social networking because they have made the process available to every cadre of their workers. Also, directors and top executives in these companies have led by example, by using the social media for the advantage of the companies. Having a culture of building and sharing knowledge has led to innovative development for these organizations. The constant innovation and introduction of easily friendly user software have contributed immensely to the successes of these companies. Lastly, the innovative development has made entry cost very low of introducing workers to this social networking.
All companies should operate internal enterprise social networks because this tends to create a bond among workers and give them sense of belonging. Also, internal communication can flow easily from top to bottom levels of workers in the organizations. Those workers who are shy or not sociable will be encourage to leave their shells and become vibrant and sociable, this would add to these companies advantages, especially for those in the marketing of goods and products.
There exist a negative usage of social media as a tool for bullying and impersonation. Some examples of this in recent times have shown some teens been made to commit suicide because of bullying from social media and many have fell prey to serial killers and rapists. Also, impersonation of celebrity profile and accounts is becoming prominent in social media like Facebook, Twitter and others. For instance, the present Miss International, Ikumi Yoshimatsu, recently sued a Japanese company that was using social media and press to try to ruin her career. The agency, Genichi Taniguchi had problem with the pageant celebrity, instead it adopted the media as tool for victimization. The celebrity in turn made use of the social media like Facebook, Twitter to solicit support in condemning the agency’s actions. “Research in this field has been increasing dominated by anxieties about the negative psychological, moral and behavioural effects of computer games. “a much more negative account of the impact of these new media on children’s lives” (Lievrouuw & Livingstone, 81, 153). However, such use of telegraph may not have been directly linked to bullying in the case of contemporary social media is utilized. There are similar negative uses of telegraph for propagating messages against warring opponent during military combats. Such propaganda is a modified version of using social media for bullying in contemporary times.
Mass Media has over the years, as the fourth arm in the realm, has enormously helped in propagating ideologies, to the society. Often times, politicians and influential personalities have capitalized on this in pushing their party or personal interests through the media. This hegemony has crept into contemporary media industry. Frontline mass-media are known to have utilized this method of hegemony for their selfish interest. Through their created ideologies these media houses tend to introduce them to the consciousness of the public. The mass media through its opinion commentaries, editorials that are covertly covered with parochial interest, have many times used the public to propagate these ideologies unwittingly for its selfish motives. Most times, these ideologies are from elites in the society, who uses the media as springboard in propagating them. According to Gramsci Antonio, quoted in Lull (34), “mass media are tools that ruling elites use to perpetuate their power, wealth and status, their own philosophy, culture and morality.” As elitism connotes consensus among players not to accommodate new members to their social circle, hence, to continue to maintain this high class, everything is done to propagate their interests and ideologies via the media. “The most potent effect of mass media is how they subtly influence their audiences to perceive social roles and routine personal activities” (Lull, 34). Hence, both the old media and the new one have significant role of augmenting mass media in the propagation of news stories.
Acquiring knowledge and building literacy with use of these media
In the proper usage of both the old and the new media, users are required to learn the process and how to communicate effectively. In the case of telegraph special code reader were initially trained to interpret signals from transmissions, before more advanced automatic code reader was invented. However, in our present digitalized world, computer literacy is required. According to Cassie and Sarah, “Digital literacy is a crucial right for every young person as digital culture keeps increasing”. The reason is that it furnishes both young and children with skills, understanding and knowledge that will enhance them in taking full and active role in cultural, social, civic, economic and intellectual life presently and in the world to come. Digital literacy also involves crucial engagement in technology and how to develop a social awareness on how numerous factors such as commercial agendas and cultural understandings can restructure the ways by which technology can be used to extract information and their meaning (Becker). However, the book on “Developing Digital Literacy” support that the successive UK governments interpreted digital literacy as a responsibility of the entire education system and indeed to the whole society. This required ICT/Computer literacy, information literacy, media literacy, communication and collaboration, digital scholarship, learning skills and life planning (Developing Digital Literacy). Digital literacy offers each individual and organizations the ability to respond affirmatively to changes which include the changes in the digital tools and services. According to troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner, it was very clear that digital literacy offers opportunities for the inquiries that will develop the skills such as how to create and share across time and space, how to co-create and collaborate to solve problems, how to preserve in light of setbacks and how to maintain flexibility. According to Robert (20) “the steam engine and the telegraph were certainly revolutionary technologies, but it was decades before their influences rippled out into society more generally”. This means that modern social media are quicker to be accepted in the society than telegraph, because of the more appealing and easy to use features it has.
Today, digital literacy should not be something that can be discarded (Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy). Children’s practices involving media and ICT pose new challenges for the digital literacy of the pre-school teacher professional. There is a lack of knowledge and the status in the content and extent of teaching and the use of ICT in pre-school teacher education. Therefore, it still seems reasonable to assume that there have been major differences in how the students’ needs for digital literacy have been met (Sjohelle, Taarud). The development of digital literacy in kindergarten and pre-school teacher education has been intended to be promoted by the ICT center (Bolgan, et al.). Digitally literacy person possess the variety of skills both cognitive a technical which required to find, understand, evaluate, create and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats (Digital Literacy Task Force). Besides, a digitally literacy person is able to use diverse technologies appropriately and effectively to search for and retrieve information, interpret search results and judge the quality of the information retrieved. Digital literacy is now becoming the central enabling agent in the educational world due to the numerous available trends (Journal of eLiteracy).
The report has shown the both old media and the news have many areas of similarities. They both have same pattern of transmitting information, sender and recipient method, learning process, negative usages, augmenting propagation of news, standing as a threat to traditional media (print media). The differences observed are in the level of advanced technological way of contemporary social media, rate of societal acceptance, delivery process. The high speed and real time exchange of information using the new media also stands to differentiate between media usage in the two epochs. “They can range from the objective requirements of changed social circumstances through to the subjective whims of perceived needs, such as the introduction of new consumer technologies to fulfill essentially the same function as those filled by previously diffused consumer technologies” (Winston, 6-7). To interpret the above statement, it is seen that the consequences of introducing a new technology over an old one is brought about because the societal needs. In other words, the old media and the new ones are of the same, but modified for more effective usage.
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