For months I have heard lectures on, read blogs about, formed studies around, and witnessed how social media is changing our culture. But for me, it seemed all too familiar, as if, I’ve witnessed this type of social community before. I began to wonder why social media seems so familiar, instinctive and comfortable to so many people.
And then I realized.
While the term “social media” might have been coined with the rising of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc., these sites are these sites are mere copies of the original collaborative social networking — the bathroom stall.
Instead of getting our minds clogged with all this new media crap, let’s plumb the depths of this idea, shall we?
Since the invention of the stall, these urination stations have been popular among angst ridden teenagers, vengeful girlfriends, and drunk guys for excreting news. While they might not realize that their remarks are more than just a mild case of crapper vandalism, they are actually contributing to a forum comparable to the modern social media we know today:
Wall Posts: Literally posting on walls. Examples might include, a poem, current events commentary, or remarks towards the community such as “Happy Birthday Brittany!” or “Brittany is a bitch.”
Tags: See Wall Posts. For example “Brittany” is tagged in this wall post and will hereby be referred to as Brittany.
Comments: Again, see Wall Posts. When conversation is started, members of the
community will be able to comments.
Ex: Wall Post: “Happy Birthday Brittany!
Comments: “1 day closer to death”, “luv u 4 eva Britt !”, “It’s my birthday 2! ”
Ex: Wall Post: “Brittany is a bitch.”
Comments: “Yep. Totally.”, “Why can’t we all just love?”, a random song lyric most likely from the Beatles or Nirvana.
Product reviews: The idea for public reviews did not start with Yelp. “For a good time, call Stacy.” ‘Nuff said.
News Feed: Sharing news. Best represented in the shitty picture below. (No pun intended. (But seriously, pun intended.))
So the next time someone gets on their high horse about how social media is flushing away traditional media, just remember — this is really just a variation on a very old theme.
And don’t forget — knife storms today.