Defining Vast Movement Towards Obscurity

Though many research papers claim that massive changes due to media are apparent (Grietemeyer, 2009), they tend to be headed towards specificity. The first sentence in an article’s introduction is meant to be vague, but knowing that allows us to miss the point. The point is: Media has changed, and will continue to change, an intense amount of our daily lives (Qualman, 2011). The research is impossible to contain in one post, but examples of how social interactions, employment, and travel have been effected certainly can’t hurt.

Cole and Griffiths (2007) explored social interactions within online gaming environments, specifically massively multiplayer online role playing games. They found that players considered their online friendships to be comparable to their offline friendships. They also found that gamers were just as likely to discuss personal and sensitive topics with online friends, as they were offline (or in real life) friends. Online social interactions allow gamers the opportunity to express themselves in ways they would otherwise feel uncomfortable doing. (Cole & Griffiths, 2007)

Straus, Miles, & Levesque (2000) found that employers viewed prospective employees more favorably when interviewing over the phone, than via video chat, especially when the interviewee was less attractive. As the internet, and more specifically social networking sites, are frequented more consistently (facebook would be the third largest country in the world (Qualman, 2011)?!) employers are using social networking sites to access personal information about prospective employees (e.g., facebook and myspace) (Kluemper & Rosen, 2009).

Xiang and Gretzel (2010) did an exploratory study to find the implications of changing social media on travel. They found that travel agencies must have a comprehensive search engine, as well as online visibility on social networking sites, in order to be most frequented. Travelers need to obtain information for their travelling needs; online connectivity is the preferred method to obtain that information.

The changes in social interactions, employment, and travel, along with a variety of other phenomena, have changed, and continue to change, due to social media. The implications of these changes are vast and indeterminable, but by exploring these changes, we can prepare for, and accommodate future media and their uses.

References:

Cole, H., & Griffiths, M. (2007). Social interactions in massively multiplayer online role-playing gamers. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4), 575-583.

Kluemper, D., & Rosen, P. (2009). Future employment selection methods: Evaluating social networking web sites. Emerald Insight, 24(6), 567-580.

Qualman, E. (2011). Social media revolution 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SuNx0UrnEo

Straus, S.,  Miles, J., & Levesque, L. (2000). The effects of videoconference, telephone, and face-to-face media on interviewer and applicant judgments in employment interviews. Journal of Management, 27, 363-381.

Xiang, Z., & Gretzel, U. (2010). Role of social media in online travel information search. Tourism Management, 31, 179-188.

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