I am an undergraduate student at Western University, London, ON, pursuing an honours’ degree with the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Currently, I am in my third year and love what the faculty has to offer! Although it is a media program, it’s more than just studying what’s on TV. It takes a critical perspective on the contemporary media environment, analyzing and critiquing the different ways that information can flow across our globalized and mediated world, essentially questioning the way things are today. We should always be questioning the way things are, because, in my studies, I’ve developed one basic rule that I think everyone should live by: there is always more than one perspective.
This can mean a lot of things. Usually, it means that the dominant perspective will always be reinforced while the minority is often displaced by the needs of what’s popular. Whether this is a product of our mediated perceptions, capitalism’s appeal to the lowest common denominator, or just a byproduct of human association, is yet to be determined. But what can be determined is the fact that any message will undoubtedly promote one perspective more than the rest of them.
What this comes down to is the need for more outlets, and more inclusivity. We know that our existence is always limited; the twenty first century is more than ever determined by the needs of capital and that powerful, yet invisible, one percent who control it. I’m not trying to make a political statement here, I’m just trying to point out the fact that life is a power struggle; it’s a battle between those in power and those that seek it. I like to believe that the latter has a standing chance, but they need to be given the opportunity to express their perspective.
Hence, the Internet. I know this is a problematic statement, but just give me a chance. The Internet was designed with the notions of openness and community in mind. Anyone from anywhere can access anything that the Web has stored on its seemingly endless stacks of gigabytes. However, the Web is evolving in a pattern that looks similar to that of other media forms. It is being confined and controlled by the needs of capitalism, destroying the open community that the Internet could one day host. Nonetheless, the Web offers people an outlet; it gives the ordinary person a means of voicing their perspective, something that simply didn’t exist before. Take me as an example; I may just be another ordinary guy typing away into the chaotic abyss that is the blogosphere, but twenty years ago I never would have been given the opportunity to voice my perspective!
The Web can host more than just a network of bloggers, it hosts community. Social media provides people with a meeting ground that could never be established before in human history. Social media is a means of conversation, period. Without the ability to communicate, people would be subject to whatever reality they are born into; ie. the way things are. This is why I believe that the Internet, and social media, can alleviate the imbalances of power that our current state of society supports. I’m more than eager to find out where this mediated world of interconnectivity will take us, but like the rest of you I’m just going to have to wait. Until then, all I can do is voice my opinion and use social media, like this blog, in an attempt to offer one more perspective to the conversation that is the Internet.
So here it is, my blog: SocialOrgs. Find out what social media can offer you by following along and consuming something other than the way things are, or, in other words, my perspective. Enjoy!