Social Media in Theories: Part One Social Media Simplify Social Media in Theories: Part One Social Media Simplify

31 May, 2015

Social Media in Theories: Part One

BASIC SOCIAL MEDIA THOERIES: The Communication Perspctive

So, how do you read/perceive social media? Is it always and all about Facebook, twitter and a few more platforms enabling us to share the pictures, thoughts and s***s from the squares we eat and play? Is it always about the cynosures among us? Well, simply put, it is not; it is way bigger than that. Social media is (now) one of the strongest and fastest ways to communicate; be it conversational or even in trance.

Social Media and Communication

Social media is a part of the much bigger digital media landscape beyond facebook, instagram and twitter. Unfortunately a larger part of the users and entertained audiences, in a clumsy state of understanding, has accepted social media to be limited to the social networking platforms. As a teacher/student of communication, I portray social media as an inseparable part of the new era of communication, in its all forms.

Had Wilbur Schramm, the founder of the field of communication studies, been alive today he would have defined social media something as a mechanism through which the human relationships in this century exist and develop, mostly online. Somehow, his definition of communication (from which the previous line has been curated) which stresses on the human relations and the sharing of experiences on the basis of commonness would also had defined social media acutely.

With its biggest contribution of the sender and receiver experience concept, Schramm’s model stresses on communication as a continuous process of messages and feedback, allowing interaction. This point from Schramm’s model totally dwells into the functioning of social media. Social media, as it is experienced, flows within the perimeter of the message so meant, prepared, sent, received and finally interpreted. This interpretation further becomes the expression of either acceptance/appraisal or refusal, which in turn lead to the feedback and hence repeats the entire circle of sending and receiving messages.

The initial model laid down by Wilbur Schramm suggests the basics of communication which can be compared to the process of social media.

Social Media Communication Theory Model

Say, sender A encodes a message and sends it using the medium available to the receiver B. The feedback at the initial level at sender’s end which can be interpreted as the process of correcting ourselves before we send a message makes sender’s position clear and there is possibility of noise at a lower level. At the second stage when the message travels through the medium and reaches the receiver there is the largest possibility for noise. The final feedback is crucial as it initiates a repeat process of sending and receiving the feedback or an altered message in a newer communication cycle.



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