One of the founders of Facebook, Sean Parker, explains that these social media devices exploit the vulnerability of the human essence. The dopamine that is social media only creates a narcissistic, self-validating loops that consume valuable time and conscious attention. “Liking”, “commenting”, and “sharing” (which are virtually useless in reality) causes us to run around an endless cycle of insignificant information documentation in hopes of acknowledgment, which later on propels us to create more of the same.
Social media platform owners and creators are aware of this weakness in human psychology, and are taking advantage of it. Parker is just one of the many individuals who regret having a hand in creating these life-stagnating technologies. The mental health of the global population is deteriorating and is mostly due to anxieties produced by social media.
Throw in LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and region specific social networks like Vkontakte and Sina Weibo and WeChat, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s online but isn’t on social media.
What has led to the rise of these social networks? What kind of people do they attract?
What is their psychology? What kind of content do they like to consume? And most importantly for bloggers and marketers – what works, what doesn’t on social media?
Facebook has become the ‘home base’ for most people online. While they may or may not use other networks, a majority maintain a presence on Facebook.
Popular: Used by 72% of all adult internet users in America.
More women users: 77% of online female users are on Facebook.
Younger audience: 82% of all online users between 18-29 are on Facebook
USA (14%), India (9%) and Brazil (7%) form the three largest markets.
Twitter’s quick flowing ‘info stream’ attracts an audience that swings younger and is mostly urban/semi-urban.
Younger: Used by 37% of all online users between 18 and 29.
Educated: 54% of users have either graduated college, or have some college experience.
Richer: 54% of online adults who make over $50,000+ are on Twitter.
Younger users: 27% of all 16-24 year olds online are active members of Google+. In contrast, only 18% and 14% of 45-54 and 55-64 year olds are active on Google+ at the moment.
Large non-US user base: Only 55% of Google+ users are American. 18% are Indian and 6% are Brazilian. One reason for this international user base is Android’s popularity outside the US (since Google+ is baked right into Android).
Even income distribution: According to GlobalWebIndex.net, 22% of people in bottom 25% of income earners are on Google+. For the top 25% of income earners, this number is 24%, while for the mid 50% earners, this number is 23%. This means that nearly all levels of income earners are nearly equally represented on Google+.
Here’s what you should know about Pinterest demographics:
Overwhelmingly female: 42% of all online female users are on Pinterest, vs. only 13% of men.
Older audience: 72% of Pinterest’s audience are 30 years or older. Only 34% are between 18 and 29. Significantly, 17% are over 65 years old.
Distinctly suburban: Suburban and rural users form the largest share – 29% and 30% respectively. This is distinctly different from other networks where urban users rule.
Higher income: Given the higher average age, Pinterest users also have higher disposable income, with 64% of all adults making $50,000+ on Pinterest.
The professional networking site LinkedIn attracts an older audience that is largely urban, wealthier, and more educated.
Older: Only 23% of users are between 18-29 years old. 21% are over 65 years, and 31% are between 30 and 49 years of age.
Urban: Very limited number of rural users – only 14%. 61% are either urban or suburban.
Wealthier: 75% of users earn over $50,000.
Highly educated: 50% of LinkedIn users are college graduates. Another 22% have some college experience.
Snapchat is the newest social networks on this list, but also one of the fastest growing. Here’s what you need to know about its demographics:
Dominated by women: 70% of Snapchat’s users are females.
Overwhelmingly young: 71% of users are younger than 25.
Limited income: 62% earn under $50,000 – fitting given the average age of Snapchat’s users.
ere’s what you should take away from all these stats:
If you’re targeting younger users, stick to Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
If you’re targeting women with disposable income, head over to Pinterest.
For professionals with better education and income, use LinkedIn.
For everyone, go with Facebook.
The psychology of social media users
Facebook is a ‘closed’ network where your friends list will usually be limited to family, friends and acquaintances you’ve met in real life. Privacy is a big concern for Facebook’s users, and all posts are private by default.
This ultimately affects the way users interact with each other and with businesses on Facebook.
Facebook users are more trusting (since the network is closed).
Facebook users have more close relationships. Pew found that heavy users of the platform are more likely to have a higher number of close relationships.
Facebook users are politically engaged and active.
To understand why people share or follow on Twitter, researchers at Georgia Tech and UMichigan analysed over 500M tweets over 15-months. They found that the three biggest reasons why people share/follow on Twitter are:
Network overlap: Your network is similar to your followers’ network.
User tweet-RT ratio: The number of tweets vs. the number of RTs for a user.
Informational content: The more informative the content, the better.
This means that you’ll no longer have to deal with nerve-wracking copy-and-paste headaches since all formatting preferences from Docs will automatically be applied to the copy in WordPress.
But more importantly: You’ll also be able to edit pieces with partners and colleagues simultaneously and follow the changes they make in real-time.
The nifty integration will be available for any WordPress.com blog as well as any WordPress.org website equipped with the Jetpack plugin. All you have to do to enable it is authorize the add-on with access to your blog by signing up to your WordPress account.
Future Trends Forum hosted by Bryan Alexander will address the most powerful forces of change in academia. The founder of the online blog Future Trends in Technology and Education has begun this weekly forum to enliven the discussion around the pressing issues at the cross roads of education and technology through weekly online video chat conversations where practitioners in the field can contribute and share their most recent experiences.
Paul Signorelli, co-author of Workplace Learning & Leadership with Lori Reed, helps clients and colleagues explore, foster, and document innovations in learning to produce concrete results. He also is heavily engaged in supporting team-building and communities of collaboration. As a San Francisco-based writer, trainer, instructional designer, and consultant, he designs and facilitates learning opportunities for a variety of clients, helps others become familiar with e-learning, social media, MOOCs, mobile technology, innovations in learning spaces, and community partnerships (onsite and online) to creatively facilitate positive change within organizations. He has served on advisory boards/expert panels for the New Media Consortium Horizon Project documenting educational technology trends and challenges since 2010; remains active locally and nationally in the Association for Talent Development (formerly the American Society for Training & Development); and facilitates webinars for the American Library Association and other learning organizations. His most recent work remains focused on connectivist MOOCs (massive open online courses) and building sustainable onsite and online communities and partnerships. Signorelli earned an MLIS through the University of North Texas (with an emphasis on online learning) and an M.A. in Arts Administration at Golden Gate University (San Francisco); blogs at http://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com; and can be reached at email@example.com.
First-time users: upon entering the room, click “Allow” to the Flash prompt requesting access to your webcam. (Chrome users may need to click Allow a second time).
Note: The Shindig app currently only supports interacting with the featured speakers through text. To fully enjoy the Shindig experience and be enabled to ask video chat questions of the speaker or video chat privately with other participants, please log in from a computer with webcam and microphone capabilities.
Zhang, X., Chen, H., Pablos, P. O. de, Lytras, M. D., & Sun, Y. (2016). Coordinated Implicitly? An Empirical Study on the Role of Social Media in Collaborative Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(6). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v17i6.2622
Ungerer, L. M. (2016). Digital Curation as a Core Competency in Current Learning and Literacy: A Higher Education Perspective. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 17(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v17i5.2566
Technology considerably impacts on current literacy requirements (Reinking, as cited in Sharma & Deschaine, 2016). Being literate in the 21st century requires being able to decode and comprehend multimodal texts and digital format and also engage with these texts in a purposeful manner. Literacy is not merely based on a specific skill, but consists of a process that embraces the dynamic, social, and collaborative facets of digital technology (Lewis & Fabos, as cited in Mills, 2013).
Mackey and Jacobson (2011) suggest reframing the concept of information literacy as metaliteracy (supporting multiple literacy types) because of a tremendous growth in social media and collaborative online communities. They propose that information literacy currently involves more than a set of discrete skills, since active knowledge production and distribution in collaborative online communities are also necessary.
Mackey and Jacobson (2011) position metaliteracy as an overarching and comprehensive framework that informs other literacy types. It serves as the basis for media literacy, digital literacy, ICT literacy, and visual literacy.
According to Mills (2013, p. 47), digital curation is the sifting and aggregation of internet and other digital resources into a manageable collection of what teachers and students find relevant, personalized and dynamic. It incorporates the vibrancy of components of the Internet and provides a repository that is easily accessible and usable.
Pedagogies of Abundance
According to Weller (2011), a pedagogy of abundance should consider a number of assumptions such as that content often is freely available and abundant. Content further takes on various forms and it is often easy and inexpensive to share information. Content is socially based and since people filter and share content, a social approach to learning is advisable. Further, establishing and preserving connections in a network is easy and they do not have to be maintained on a one-to-one basis. Successful informal groupings occur frequently, reducing the need to formally manage groups.
Resource-based learning. Ryan (as cited in Weller, 2011) defines resource-based learning as “an integrated set of strategies to promote student centred learning in a mass education context, through a combination of specially designed learning resources and interactive media and technologies.”
Problem-based learning. Problem-based learning takes place when learners experience the process of working toward resolving a problem encountered early in the learning process (Barrows & Tamblyn, as cited in Weller, 2011). Students often collaborate in small groups to identify solutions to ill-defined problems, while the teacher acts as facilitator and assists groups if they need help. Problem-based learning meets a number of important requirements such as being learner-directed, using diverse resources and taking an open-ended approach.
Communities of practice. Lave and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) concept of situated learning and Wenger’s (as cited in Weller, 2011) idea of communities of practice highlight the importance of apprenticeship and the social role in learning.
My note: this article spells out what needs to be done and how. it is just flabeghasting that research guides are employed so religiously by librarians. They are exactly the opposite concept of the one presented in this article: they are closed, controlled by one or several librarians, without a constant and easy access of the instructor, not to mention the students’ participation