Alice Marwick, Director of the McGannon Communication Research Center and EPIC Advisor, talked to a group of students about Web 2.0 and online social status. At the time, her presentation was meant to gather feedback for a book she has since published called, Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age.
Most understood Web 2.0. to be the beginning of the era of technologies we are all very familiar with now –YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Many hoped that these platforms which offered more access and participatory opportunities for anyone with an internet connection, was going to democratize journalism, entertainment, and politics. Moreover, Ms. Marwick hoped that Web 2.0 would create a meritocracy – where the best content thrived regardless of the many status factors commonly used to judge the “worthiness” of people in the real world.
Surprisingly, the opposite happened; markers of status were created by the number of followers, likes, and shares. Now, caring about online status is also impacting the way people feel about themselves in the real world.
Listen to this riveting talk below. For more information on Alice Marwick and other topics, please visit www.epic.org.