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Understanding Social Media

Extensions of Their Users


Robert K. Logan and Mira Rawady

The purpose of this book is to understand the nature of social media and the impact they are having on almost all aspects of modern-day existence from family life and social interactions to education and commerce. Just as fish are unaware of the water they swim in and we humans are unaware of the air that we breathe so it is that the users of social media are unaware of the effects of these media and take their existence as a natural part of their environment. The authors make use of Marshall McLuhan’s media ecology approach to understanding media in order to reveal the effects of social media on their users, how they are changing the nature of our social interactions and how we through our interaction with social media have become actual extensions of our social media, the reverse of McLuhan’s notion that media are extensions of mankind.

The authors analyze the major social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tinder, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and blogs as well as examining the Splinternet and the social media scene in Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam and the Islamic world. Understanding Social Media studies the impacts of social media monopolies, the nature of advertising and branding in social media apps and the social media front in cyberwarfare and concludes with an analysis of the social media counter revolution waged by players who actually helped to create social media.

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Chapter Thirteen: YouTube


Enhances: sharing different forms of media including videos; audios; movies; TV shows; personal narratives; and the creation of online communities;

Obsolesces: exclusivity of cinema trailers; TV broadcasts; video stores;

Retrieves: TV, movies, music, news reels and documentaries from the past;

Reverses or flips into: a collection of documentaries.

YouTube is a video-sharing website and social media platform on which users create and upload original content that they or others have created representing an endless variety of material. It is one of the most popular destinations on the Internet second only to Google.

Users of YouTube are free to both upload and view content. They are also able to rate YouTube content and indicate what their favorite content is. Users can create their own playlists and share their favorite videos with friends. The sharing of favorite videos contributes to the social media dimension of YouTube as does their ability to comment on the videos that they view.←107 | 108→

YouTube is for the people and by the people, making it abundant in user generated content (UGC) and heavily influenced by users’ feedback in the comment sections and on other social media platforms that link back to YouTube. It is the comment section that contributes to its social media dimension. Another social media dimension is the channel’s feature that allows an individual or a group of individuals to create a collection of videos and audios with a uniting theme, known...

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