The evolution of digital media brings with it new forms of colonial rule where everyone is a @King and @Queen in their own respect. Similar to an apocalypse it caught up with us so fast we didn’t even notice ourselves getting colonized thinking we are becoming more modernized.
By Nyambeki Beverly
But first let me take a selfie!
We are constantly reminded that we live in an ‘information age’’, where the worlds shape is constantly being redefined. If Diogenes Laertius were alive would he say the same or would he call it round only more decentralized? We now all have a voice, a voice without sound maybe that explains why people who seem introverted dominate the social platforms. We are reminded of that power of the media as a tool for democracy creating a platform for the voices of many and challenging the assumed authority of the state and corporations. Maybe you can attest to the narrative that what a nation tweets is a reflection of what goes on in a specific society.
You want to tweet about that as well?
If a man is hungry he will talk about his hunger, if a man is wealthy he will sound wealthy without necessarily looking the part, if someone goes through a bad or sad experience he or she will want to talk about it though sometimes we don’t have these people to talk too so we turn to the nearest safest platforms. A platform like twitter which is the main focus of my blog post encourages the belief that consumption and choice are the true means of global democratization. People from all over the world talk of Nigeria, China, Europe and Texas can all be talking about the same thing on the internet but in different languages with interpretations based on their beliefs and ideologies. This is one of the reasons why a platform like twitter will have up to about 500 million subscribers. No culture or ideology is given more prominence and everyone is seen equally until of course you get 3,000 re-tweets then you are baptized as an opinion leader.
Then there is another flip side to this where alleged democracy of mass and social media is a common belief of our modern society that is obsessed with themes of participation, freedom and equality. Nobody is discrediting these ideas but when they get to a certain level it gets to an extreme. Have you ever found yourself tweeting about something very irrelevant from your current environment, something that you only watched on a reality show or participating in a discussion that you just saw started trending? That’s what I’m talking about and you will notice that this tends to disengage people from what is actually happening and we start seeing the western countries as a reference point. One good example is the media’s proclivity for talking about Facebook and Twitter even on prime time news which is an attempt at making the events relevant and comprehensible for an indifferent public.
This is a perfect example of Electronic colonialism explaining how different forms of mass media are creating new empires. It’s more of a mental and psychological empire. Global media like twitter are influencing people’s attitudes, behaviors, values and even language around the globe Lol! We rely on the trend setters, the core countries, for information which is communicated through the symbolism of technology a phenomenon which we have embraced as advancement but is slowly eroding local assumptions and beliefs.
Advertisers have taken advantage of this and you will see them wanting to dominate. Participation in all those promoted hashtags, re-tweets and follows are never for the sake of it. It is all a fight of superiority such that now even Corporate Organizations have to participate in these so to speak hashtag wars.
Things are changing all over and we are slowly getting entangled in all these changes. Think of the previous era which was the Industrial era which had profound effects on the geographic and social order now the communication and media are doing the same of restructuring of life, work, school and especially the social order.
To sum it all up, the Electronic colonialism theory will continue evident world-wide as modernization continues to spread championing the idea that more nations should be part of the consumer society. The idea of taking the story back to the marginalized villages in Bungoma, Turkana and Wajir might be more than it seems at face value. The age of participation from the villages that have been forgotten, the age of freedom to tell their story as it was told back in the days and the age where equality is considered a right. That is my reflection on this ‘Tweetpocalypse‘ listen to this song then maybe you will understand where I am coming from.