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Question

For this assignment, you will write a 3 page argumentative essay explaining, analyzing, and critically assessing  production of content on Facebook expands the opportunities for readers and audiences to contribute to the social construction of reality and the social integration of individuals.

In the critical phase of your essay, apply the active audience theory to your example in the new media context, which states that media audiences do not just receive information passively but are actively involved, sometimes unconsciously, in making sense of the message within their personal and social contexts.  Decoding of a media message may therefore be influenced by such things as family background, beliefs, values, culture, interests, education and experiences.  Some types of audience activity include interpreting or constructing media messages, socially interpreting messages, collective organization on producers, and self media production.

To what extent, if at all, does your example help to explain the general potential of the new media to expand the force of audience contributions to the social construction of reality? Address at least two counterarguments in your analysis.

Answer

Media Audiences and Producing/Interpreting Content

Recent innovations in the information technology and electronic fields such as Smartphone and computers have made it easy for individuals to actively participate in the social construction of reality and social integration of individuals.  Social platforms such as Facebook, whatsApp, Snap chat and Twitter has given citizens and audiences a platform that they can use to contribute to the social development of their community. The social construction of reality constitutes of knowledge in sociology and communication that aids and determines the construction and development of a jointly constructed understanding of the world that forms the basis for shared assumptions. On the other hand, social integration forms a powerful force in the society that can be exerted by members of the society. On the same note, social integration of people constitutes of the beliefs, values, and norms that make up a collective consciousness and a shared way of understanding each other and the world. This essay will attempt to explain, analyze and assess critically production of content on Facebook thus expanding opportunities for readers to contribute to social construction.

With the expanded social media platform and individual has an opportunity to contribute and post anything on the media actively. Take for example a message such as country comes first before anyone else.  This post may have different impacts on different individuals some positive while others negative depending on the perception of the individual and background. As a matter of fact, social media audiences will definitely contribute to this post by giving their thoughts and thus making them active rather than passive audiences. In addition, it is correct to say that social media and the internet, in general, has come to aid the spread of democracy as individuals can air out their views on certain issues that affect the society (Vicente-Mariño, 2015). However, this does not mean that members of the society will have the same feelings and ideas but internet increases diversity.

However, not all things that appear on the social media platforms are true as most of them are vulnerable to media bias and thus, it is the duty of every single citizen to filter what they see and hear. Moreover, despite being one of the quickest ways to get directly to the consumers and audience, social media can influence an individual belief, value, and lifestyle and it all falls for the individual to decide whether the influence will be positive or negative. In the example above, it is clear that the message shows the potential of the new media in expanding the force of audience in contributions to the social construction of reality. By swaying the opinion of many that putting the interest of their country ahead of their personal interest changes the opinion of many who are willing to make history for their country (Franklin, 2013). This clearly indicates that the new media has an ability to change the opinion of many by inflicting new beliefs and opinion in their minds and souls and hence contribute positively to the society.

On the other hand, social media can also have negative effects on the society depending on the perception of the majority of the community towards a certain subject.  Due to the freedom of expression provided by the social media, people have different opinions and only a small group of same-minded individuals can share the same views and opinion. The majority of the audiences who are actively involved in social media are isolated from everyone by what they believe, and it may not be easy for them to change their opinion and beliefs.  However, my post is susceptible to the concerns expressed by the author of the article depending on the perception and perspective of the reader. Depending on the background of the reader, beliefs, culture, interest and education my readers may interpret the message differently. This shows that every single post and message in the social media is like a two – sided sword that cuts on both sides and thus it will have both positive and negative impacts on the people (Sullivan, 2012). Thus, it is the duty of the individual readers to filter out the positive aspects in every single message, take the positive message and what they need in life then discard or ignore the rest of the message. Moreover, the author is concerned about personalization due to the information in the social platforms which may limit individual exposure to topics and points of view of their own choosing. As a result, individual may choose to personalize this message and take it as their own which may influence their choice of future topics in the social media platform.

In conclusion, we can say that social media plays a vital part in the construction of social construction of reality and social integration depending on the perception and perspective of the people. It all starts with a single individual before spreading to other individuals. However, the individuals in the society should be careful with the information they absorb on the internet, and thus, they should filter it before personalizing it because it may construct or damage social construction of reality and social integration depending on how it is utilized.

References

Franklin, M. (2013). What metrics really mean, a question of causality and construction                            in leveraging social media audiences into business results: Cases from the UK                                   film industry.

Sullivan, J. (2012). Media audiences: Effects, users, institutions, and power.

Vicente-Mariño, M. &. (2015). From Spectators to Users: Exploring the                                                    Ongoing Transformation of Media Audiences. . Trípodos. Facultat de Comunicació          i Relacions Internacionals Blanquerna., (36).

Argumentative paper that examines the specific case of media influence over the political world.

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