The Impact of Social Media on News and Media Consumption

Get ready to tweet, like, share, and swipe your way through the brave new world of news and media consumption.

It’s time to take a closer look at the impact of social media on our collective attention spans, with both the upsides and downsides of this digital revolution and its impact on news and media consumption. 

The speed of news

Forget waking up and being in the morning papers, news stories happen almost instantly these days. No sooner has the latest scandal played out or leaked to the press than it is all over your timeline and being reacted to by the general public. Whether this is a benefit or a problem is not easy to decide, with strengths and benefits just as much counteracted by issues caused by this speedy news cycle of the modern world.

With the growth of the internet, people are spending more time online and changing the way they consume all types of media. Attention spans are shortening, as people want fast, if not instant, access to information and entertainment. Luckily, providers like Joe Fortune Online Casino strive to deliver the instant yet immersive experience that players crave – featuring a wide variety of pokies options, whether it’s A Night with Cleopatra, Cricket Legends, or Zombie FC. However, when it comes to journalism, instant access of information has resulted in some major pitfalls in journalistic ethics. 

See also  How To Plan And Promote Your Movie Night On Social Media

Social media has turned the world of news into a 24-hour race, with the winning journalists not necessarily being the most accurate or detailed in their work. This is no hare and tortoise, as editors need stories not so much placed on their desks but pinged over via email or Whatsapp as soon as humanly possible.

And if journalists are not quick enough, then one of their competitors might just get there first and then it will be their platform benefitting from all of the clicks and views that come their way. So that balance of quality over speed is a big new development in recent years that started at the time of 24-hour news television, and then accelerated, perhaps dangerously so, but by the news-thirsty world of social media.

The echo chamber

One of the downsides of social media is the echo chamber effect. This has two sides, like any good coin. On one hand the echo chamber is an issue in that social media and the internet in general, were once supposed to be a place where we can move a little bit closer towards the notion of a truly perfect public sphere. Check out philosopher and media scholar Jurgen Habermas for more info on this, but essentially it is a utopian world where everyone’s options are accounted for and heard.

See also  Converting ERC20 to BEP20: user guide

And yet on social media, we choose who we follow and those mysterious algorithms are what dictate who and what we see. Therefore, we often only see opinions and news that we already agree with, thus the echo chamber.

Again, on this note, there is also the danger that this echo can relay information over and over again, regardless of whether or not that information is true or factually accurate. For all of Donald Trump’s hot takes, he did at least point out the ‘fake news’ issue – whether or not what he called fake was indeed fake is another matter.

If social media has the potential to verify false stories, then there is a real issue there that did not exist to the same extent in the days when so-called ‘traditional media’ such as radio and newspapers ruled the roost.

The decline of traditional media

On that subject, it seems as if we are truly witnessing the rapid decline of old media formats. Podcasts are beating radio, Netflix is challenging TV and Twitter timelines have had newspapers on the ropes for a while whilst online web articles are cowering away in the corner of the ring.

As more people turn to social media for their news, the traditional media outlets have seen their audiences decline. This can be like a sinking ship, with newspapers and TV stations struggling to stay afloat in the murky waters caused by the new media landscape. They are facing issues to fund themselves with advertisers getting more bang for their buck by sponsoring other means of information.

See also  Latest Boom of Delta 10 THC Products

However, on the flipside of this, less ownership over media means that there is the chance for less biased reporting and to challenge big corporations. Top journalists are becoming influencers in their own right, capable of being a platform in their own right which, as long as they are true to their craft and audience, can be seen as something really exciting.

Falling attention spans

Our last point and fittingly smallest one, is on this general consensus that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. You can blame short video content for this or perhaps the gig economy that means people are spending more hours of the day working and therefore simply have less time.

However, with less time to get news across, coverage can be less detailed and even resort to becoming clickbait in a desperate attempt to grab attention amongst the endless scrolling that triggers TikToks, memes, Instagram flexes and more. Less detail, more sensationalizing, means less quality journalism.