MODULE 4A-5A SOCIAL APPS

Please look through both Module 4A (APP World) and Module 5A (Social Media)in hindsight this will should all be in 1 set of panels.

The first key takeaway actually goes back to the ‘history’ section at the beginning of the semester—the stunningly short time that all this has taken to kick in.

The second key takeaway is the ubiquity of many of these APPs—most notably Facebook.  From Zero to over 1.2 BILLION in less than 15 years.  Compared to any technology it’s a stunning number, especially in such a short period of time.  Even more shocking is that it is the social APPs that dominate—the technology by which we communicate with others and present ourselves to the world.  If there ever was evidence that humans are social animals, this is it.

Another striking example of the accelerated rate of change is that WeChat presentation on Vimeo mentioned in the group post (at https://vimeo.com/201455689).  Not only is it an excellent analysis, but I think for most American users it is always a shock to realize that we are way behind the curve in many of these technologies, especially the social ones.  Try to envision some of the economic and social (especially economic) impacts if WeChat comes to dominate here as in it does in China.  Your jobs-careers may be strikingly different from what you envision today in just a few years if the Chinese are any example, and I should note that the same phenomena can be seen anywhere in East Asia (South Korea, Japan, Singapore…).

You can see the same phenomena when you read your Miller’s Facebook as what was then new (just 10 years ago) is now almost passe.  As we’ll see in the next installment, all of this has enormous implications when you look at individuals and groups (including all of us) are trying to define appropriate social norms and behaviors while constantly running to stay up with technological change.

The complex impacts of hyper-accelerated change is having on people and relationships is both poorly understood and extremely difficult to study.  As a social researcher, by the time I develop the research question and figure out how to collect the data I need, the target has moved off onto another platform or another population.

As we will see later, this may have some bearing on the striking persistence of Second Life as a social virtual world—the fact that change is relatively limited—you can leave for a couple of years and then come back to ‘the same’ may be in part responsible for the continued (limited) popularity of the site.

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