In most situations, I am fairly competitively. That’s is just the way I have always been, but its not the sole reason for my use of social media. I think its an element that could play into the way you choose to share depending who you are. I think competition is a positive in order to elevate the quality of content.
I am not saying that I only view pics that have high number of likes. But large number of likes has a tendency to catch my attention more often than if a picture has a low number. I think I use this tactic more when I am looking through random pictures.
Since I’ll be co-teaching this week and talking about the readings, I wanted to do something different. I spent some time writing a few haikus as a response to Cass Sunstein’s reading. These are my two favorites:
The Benefits of the Internet:
All of this knowledge
At my ready fingertips
Oooooh! Cat videos!
I prefer the web
To ballots when I’m voting
Search: how to vote right
I think the part of his article I had the hardest time with was reconcilling my concern that these one-to-many networks work hard to target specific demographics and try to pinpoint areas of agreement and push content to those people and interests. Specifically, Fox News works hard to demonstrate its agenda and, if you watch the Daily Show at all, you know they are willing to sacrifice a lot of the facts in order to make their demographic more polarized and consequently, more reliant on Fox.
Piggybacking off of what Betty said, the only competition I feel on Instagram is with myself, trying to take the best photo I can. I do think it’s the most basic medium however because it’s so conducive to snap-judgements based on “do i like this photo? yes/no.”
I think in general though platforms are making a bigger deal of the quantitative number of likes and shares for two reasons.
1. Everyone wants feedback. People want to know how good they are at social media or how popular they are, I think it appeals to our competitiveness as you were saying. Companies want data on engagement to drive sales and marketing pitches and make content that will spread better.
2. With news feeds curating everything for us, we spend less and less time writing on other people’s profiles, especially with texting, snapchat, messenger, and email. What’s the point of writing on someone’s wall if not just to get likes?
Recently, I came across a few old television shows that I have not seen in years, A Different World and Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell was not a show I watched consistently when I was younger, but my older sibling religiously watched, so I had no choice but to tune in. Save by the Bell was set in the early 90’s around a few high school friends who are going through the normal growing pains of teenage life. The basics of how to deal with a poor report card to figuring out a plan to ask your crush to prom were covered in this television series. The good natured image of the show was preserved by the predictable storylines demonstrating honesty is always the answer. The sitcom depicted a tight knit collective community that represents high school life during those times. The individual stories frequently involved student events such as pep rallies, dances, and fundraising events. These events would be considered collective action during those times.
With the added component of social media, the storyline for a high school sitcom would be very different. Modern high school students are much more advanced because of the social media and technology. Today’s high school students have many of the same advantages that college students have. The collective community that Saved by the Bell depicts would be much more open and individually based. Representing pep rallies and local school events would change to online postings on Facebook. Openly discussing rumors from last weekend’s festivities would change to viral videos on Instagram and anonymous messages on YikYak. How do you think you high school experience would have changed because of social media?
Also, many of the episodes revolved around the one the friends getting left out of a situation. Most of the time, this happened to the nerdy friend, Screech. In today’s world, Screech would have a much different role in their group. He would have many more options of friends on digital social media networks than he does in the bubble of high school. The environment for past high school life closely followed the three principles of Axelrod:
- A likelihood of meeting in the future
- An ability to identify each other
- A record of past behavior
High school attempt to create an environment that everyone can share in a while striving to be their best. “Axelrod’s “Three Conditions” describe what would be the most important conditions for ensuring cooperation among strangers in a competitive environment. I think today’s society has moved away from the need to create a cooperative environment and more so cultivating a space to discover specific interests and ideas.
Not all 14,000 users comment, in fact, most don’t and once you watch 50 or so games and you follow most of the comments, you see that the people you tend to upvote and who comment on your posts is a small contingent of something like 20-40 other users who are especially devoted to the community, however i’d imagine there are hundreds of lurkers who just enjoy reading our commentary during games.
I was surprised to hear you say that on pages with about 14,000 users you feel like your thoughts are heard and you see the same names pop up over and over again in the comments. That seems like an awfully large community to me! Is that 14,000 active users all posting comments, or 14,000 readers some of which who comment and participate?
It’s interesting to me that you find that the number of likes and comments drives your attention to more popular posts. I love looking at my Instagram news feed but I hardly ever like posts or pay attention to the number of likes/comments.
When thinking of the amount of online information we consume daily, it is human nature to prioritize in order to make this process effective. It is our nature to rank whatever we come into contact with, physically or digitally; we rank the information in regards to importance or reason to remember. Our minds work much like computers, but we have a less definite storage capacity. We cannot remember every piece of information that we consume, so we have a type of auto-delete process that empties out every, so often. I believe social media platforms are capitalizing on our need to prioritize information, but applied toward people’s profiles or online activity.
Social media platforms such, as Facebook or LinkedIn, provide extensive options to represent yourself through your profile information. Profile detail option such as music interests, or relationship status gives a quick extensive look at who the user is or who they want you to think they are. This type of profile driven platform emphasizes the identity of the user. The importance of your profile information and profile picture draw much more attention to the image your profile creates rather than contributed content.
In contrast, social media platform builds a community through shared content of users. Platforms such as Twitter or Instagram has very few options for the profile settings. It has a open blank format. with a low word limit (160 characters for Twitter profiles). Most Twitter profiles are only a few words, with no complete sentences, and a picture. You can quickly scan a profile and have no idea about the user. Twitter profiles have short self-description, but much of the time the area is used to describe the theme of shared content. It is used to broadcast what type of content should be expected from the user.
In my social media activity, I would say I monitor/participate mostly on Instagram and now again on Twitter. Instagram is based mainly on the content/picture posted by the users which fits the kind of style I choose to consume a large share of my digital content. I participate in order to continue to build my online presence amongst what I consider my closer-knit online network. I feel Instagram urges you to participate by the way they choose to visually display the content’s feedback. This is what drives all social media applications and most business. Competition is the driving force for many social behaviors and social media applications depend on this part of the human psyche to drive content and its curation. Instagram does this in an effective manner. Other platforms post multiple types of measures of favor such as the way Twitter post retweets and favorites, and Facebook shows the number of likes and number of comments. These ways are effective and provides large amounts of feedback for users and the platform. Instagram chooses to only post the number of likes position right above the screen name of the user. This is effective concept to quickly gain the attention of viewers. It really depends on the style you wish to consume your social media content.