During the last decade, social media has grown beyond merely a tool to connect with distant friends and family. Increasingly, a significant portion of the population utilizes social media not only as their main social outlet, but also their primary news source.
As that sea change has occurred, Devan Rosen, professor of emerging media at Ithaca College, has seen major social and political issues rise to the forefront in the United States, and across the globe.
Rosen has worked with people around the globe, and the more people he spoke with, the more common themes began to emerge.
“I’d been interviewing people in Denmark, Finland, France, Turkey, Laos, Australia, Singapore, and many other countries” he said. “People everywhere were dealing with the same issues: the explosion of misinformation, social media’s effects on health and well-being, and the impact of corporate relationships. Anywhere where people have their social and cultural connections coordinated through social media platforms, the same issues were replicating everywhere.”
The complexities of these issues form the crux of “The Social Media Debate: Unpacking the Social, Psychological, and Cultural Effects of Social Media,” a book which Rosen edited that brings together voices such as Christian Fuchs, a social scientist and professor in Austria, and Joan Donovan, the Research Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.