How much did social media change? Everything!

It's Mark and Jennifer! Can you guess which one of us is a millennial? (Photo credit: Ben Sheehan, from the other couch.)

Jennifer: When I was in college I took a News and Media class and we had a debate on whether getting news from Facebook was a good or bad thing. Most of us debated it was a good thing, while our professor disagreed.  Flash forward 7 years and that is where a good proportion of this world gets their news and even DailyUV regularly shares local news content on Facebook.

How has the news world changed since the introduction of social media? What do you think?

Mark: Social media only changed everything, and then some.

For better and worse, the people who worked for news institutions used to control the news -- by which I mean newspapers, radio news stations, TV news programs, and the journalists they employ. If they didn’t publish it, then it really wasn’t news, because only the people who were directly affected would know about it.

Social media blew that up. On Facebook, anyone can post and share anything, including real news, fake news, and cat videos. Someone who is good at it, whether they’re a clever creator or a Russian hacker, can reach millions of people in minutes. This has certainly accelerated the decline of traditional publishers, especially print media.

Is it good? Yes.

Is it bad? Yes.

Is it going away? No.

It’s going to change in ways we can’t foresee, but we’re in a new world and all we can do about that fact is make it livable -- make it work better for more people.

At DailyUV, we’re trying to help by solving the Internet’s local problem. As easy as it is to share baby pictures with your 517 best friends on Facebook, it’s harder than it should be to go online and learn what’s going on where you live and to get things done there -- like buying a used bike, finding something to do with the kids tomorrow, or making sure the bargain-hunters in the next town over know about your yard sale. That’s the job we’re working on for the Upper Valley.


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