I started out writing a totally different blog today but then boom boom crash! Everything got turned upside down the same way it has for the past month. In good ways, but still, disruptive.
But in the middle of my disrupted day I had to sit, glued to the laptop and Internet, which is something that does not happen much anymore. I tend to touch base with everything via my mobile phone or other computers scattered about as I go from place to place. But here I sat – cat in lap (cat in hair, cat gnawing on foot, cat on keyboard) and had to stay in place and do one thing.
Which meant I did about 12. That is the average amount of tabs I have open on a single computer and I typically run two if I am in and working.
Which let me follow two discussions, or rather events, on several different social media and news platforms. One, the denial of clemency for Troy Davis. Two, the simultaneous publication of several articles that google+ is dead along with the announcement that google+ is now open to the public.
Troy was more of a topic on FB and twitter. The status of google+ was more popular on, well, google+.
A large part of this has to do with demographics, both in the positive and realistic way and in the negative and realistic way.
The nature of the restricted google+ invitations has led to a more tech heavy crowd, but that is how new social media begins. FB and twitter have a broader public base so more of a broader slice of public life comes into view. Now that google+ is open to the public, I give it about a year before it provides the same kind of representation. All the platforms have their good points, and all of them have their failings.
But one thing that is very indicative of a rising trend is that social media is not being “raised up” as social media. One thing the BBC recently commented on in a discussion of whether or not there will be a social uprising in America is that “no, the people that suffer the greatest are too demoralized and there is no social activism organization that has affect.” The article went on to say that Americans have lost the impetus to raise their voice because they know there is no one of import and persuasion to hear and respond to them.
One of the other google+ threads that has been running strong (besides the nymwars) is about the algorithms of searches that places like google and facebook use to tailor the information you receive. It is not so much about fishing for keywords and demographics to direct ads to your page, but based upon the friends you network with, their location, keywords and the types of links you click on and post – changes the search results you see when you look for information. Rather than being a neutral search result, it is tailored to your tastes and opinions.
Rather than being the last bastion of the free press and freedom of information, the Internet is becoming the castle of close-mindedness. Unless you spend a balanced amount of time searching, clicking and interacting with people with opinions different from yours – you lose out on finding information that may educate you, illuminate your own opinions or maybe even facts that will change them.
I am going to do my Faith Popcorn impersonation now and make a prediction. The future of social media is only in being social and self reflective. It will become a limited means of outreach, advertising and education because it will become as passive a form of entertainment as the television. I predict the rise of the epress as a means of interaction, and if you can’t imagine what I mean then think about way back when the greatest thinkers of our times had their debates by publishing monographs, books, essays in response to each other. Right now the ebook market just throws crap out there, but I forsee it becoming more directed. More interactive, more passionate and influential.
Social media is a dead end. Not now, it still can rake some money in, but money is becoming useless. Thought and effective action are becoming the new currency.
Troy Davis had his clemency denied. He is scheduled to be executed tomorrow at 7pm. His case, his prosecution and conviction have seriously fallen apart and need to be reviewed. This is not a matter of whether or not you approve of the death penalty, keep that opinion to yourself right now he needs you in other ways, this is about class differences in justice in all aspects of life. Troy is, whether you realize it or not, the symbol of our tax imbalance, recession, class separation, racism, and treatment of the lower middle class and working poor in America. He deserves a serious review of the fact that all of the eye witnesses have recanted their testimony in a case with no DNA or physical witnesses.
When people stand up and say “I am Troy Davis.” They mean it. I am Troy Davis because I have been ignored or denied or pushed aside because of the “way things are always done.” I am Troy Davis because I am poor and what hope would I have if wrongfully accused against a judicial machine that has its basis in supporting career politicians? I am Troy Davis because I have loved one and have loved others and felt powerless to help them in the face of injustice. I am Troy Davis because I am a member of three hated minorities and know that at any moment anyone could do anything to me and get away with it. I am Troy Davis because I love people who are in minorities who suffer and they have no recourse. I am Troy Davis because I believe, with all my heart, that whatsoever we do to the least among us, we do to the essence of life.
Please sign the amnesty petition. Email the District Attorney at Chatham in Georgia, phone them and fax as well. Tweet it, share it, spread it around.
Telephone: 912-652-7308 Fax: 912-652-7328.
c.2011. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.