In this examination of society and technology, author and educator Derek Hrynyshyn explores the ways in which social media shapes popular culture and how social power is expressed within it. He debunks the misperception of the medium as a social equalizer—a theory drawn from the fact that content is created by its users—and compares it to mass media, identifying the capitalist-driven mechanisms that drive both social media and mass media. The work captures his assessment that social media legitimizes the inequities among the social classes rather than challenging them.
The book scrutinizes the difference between social media and mass media, the relationship between technologies and social change, and the role of popular culture in the structure of political and economic power. A careful look at social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google suggests that these tools are systems of surveillance, monitoring everyday activities for the benefit of advertisers and the networks themselves. Topics covered within the book’s 10 detailed chapters include privacy online, freedom of expression, piracy, the digital divide, fragmentation, and social cohesion.
- Explores the use of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter in revolutionary political action and the effects of "viral" campaigns on political culture
- Uncovers the truth behind piracy infringements on popular cultural industries
- Reveals the hidden factors driving the rapid expansion of social media
- Discusses how capitalism affects the development of social media
- Examines how social media shares characteristics with and differs from mass media