Social Media is much more than user-generated content. It’s driven by people in the communities where they communicate and congregate. They create, share, and discover new content without our help right. They’re creating vibrant and rich cultures across online networks and using the social tools that we learn about each and every day to stay connected. Any social network is a melting pot of various cultures.
What are the Social Sciences?
- Social sciences provide us with an understanding of how human interaction and the ensuing ecosystem shape individual attitudes and behavior.
- Sociology is the study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society. 1) Observation of cultures, people, and the dynamics of interaction. 2) The recognition of people independently from the tools is an important reminder that their interests are at the center of what we do.
- Sociologists study society and social action by examining the groups and social institutions people form.
- Anthropology is the scientific study of people, including the development of societies and cultures.
- Ethnography is the study of people in their natural or “native” environments where they live, work, shop, and play. In many cases, it is an ethnographer (or someone following in the guiding principles of ethnography) who observes a community to learn the socio-cultural behavior and interaction to hopefully become accepted by the community and in turn, engage as a true member of the desired digital society.
- Margaret Mead is known for championing a style of anthropological research called participant observation.
- Participant-Observation Fieldwork - When Margaret Mead studied in the field, she set out to both observe people and also participate in the life of the community. It was her belief that it was the only way to more fully understand the culture. Participant-Observation fieldwork is a hallmark of contemporary anthropology.
Social Sciences and Social Media
- In Social Media, communities take the form of social networks and the communal groups within them.
- People establish associations, friendships, and allegiances around content, objects, products, services, and ideas.
- How they communicate is simply subject to the tools and networks that people adopt based on the influence of their social graph - and the culture within. Cultures are different and unique within each social network and the groups that define them.
- Through social sciences, we’re learning to peel back the layers of our target demographics to see the people underneath.
- It reminds us that we need to humanize our story. We would never speak to our friends and family through messages, so why should we speak “at” the very people we want to reach and befriend?
- We’re opening our ears and our minds to acknowledge that we can no longer push our impressions upon people in order to earn resonance
- We have to listen, talk, listen again, assess, and contribute value - as if we were citizens of each respective community we wished to join.