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Social Change Theory and Social Media

A serious approach to the use of social media must involve knowledge of the sociological models in which these media fit. Social networks are extremely closely integrated into the everyday existence of a person and everyday consciousness. On this basis, it would make sense to interpret one’s behavior in the network through a modern sociological approach. Contemporary social change theory seems to be an appropriate framework for talking about the day-to-day use of social media. But it should be emphasized that now the situation is such that it is social media that dictate their rules to social theories. The massive use of social media demonstrates a dramatic change in the communication of people and entire groups. It is this transformation of society that modern social theory can describe.

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The concept of social change is a new approach to history and sociology that shifts focus from mass processes to microhistorical events. According to this concept, society and, accordingly, the world around it changes due to numerous acts of communication. Countless interactions between people are collected in some kind of cumulative experience that gradually transforms society. It is important to realize that it is not a one-time or repetitive process. Such micro-events and interactions exist in the form of an open-loop, decentralized system. Therefore, the process of changes in society is the only thing that is permanent in it.

It is easy to imagine how social media has influenced the acceleration of the process of mutual integration of society. Being in the constant opportunity to communicate and exchange information with anyone, humanity potentially enters into a constant process of social change. Culture and politics, verified news, and modern scientific theories are one click away. Thus, one can talk about certain networking in which hitherto practically impossible social circles can be formed. The link between technological improvement and social change is undeniable. I live in an era in which information is far ahead of me, and access to Web 2.0 and social media shortens this distance. With modern web platforms, I can acquire new practical skills from anywhere with a connection. A modern person has got the opportunity to acquire any desired profession or skill with a sufficient amount of effort. Therefore, one can say that the impact of social media on the world’s professional environment requires a modern sociological apparatus for its description.

Moreover, work in social media has long been a niche in itself and quite in demand for young demographics. Social media, in addition to means of communication, are nowadays a tool for serious business. Consequently, a new generation of marketers and targeting experts who are looking to guess the needs of today’s online users is emerging. This commercial niche should be of particular interest to sociology. It is the new social media market that captures the moods and waves of trends that are shaping society at the moment. Even fleeting novelties I see on social media platforms every day affect culture and society, irrevocably changing it. The concept of social change implies liberation from the notion of the status quo, and it is this absence of static that social media represents.

Finally, the previous sociological theory should have been touched upon, which seems to be no less relevant and related to social change. In the context of the New Social Movement, social media can play a dramatically important role. New Social Theorists focus on the cultural, ideological, and political changes taking place in society. For many young people, such as myself, social networks are now a way to assert their identity and find like-minded spirits. Ideas about beauty, gender, and ethics are often articulated within inclusive social circles on the Internet. Changing their appearance and personality, and becoming part of the subculture, adolescents provide an impressive base for cultural and sociological research.

The New Social theoretical framework draws from the ideological movements for human rights in the 1970s when most of the protest was street (Kendall, 2017). But now, political and ideological sentiments are not only expressed but also modeled through social networks in the first place. Social change theory could find a lot of evidence of its effectiveness by drawing attention to discussions on social networks. Anonymous comments turn out to be able to find a mass response. Political slogans can turn out to be a normal thing on the modern social network, which I find a bit distressing. It seems to me that the modern ideological agenda, albeit in all its conflict, is dictated by social networks. And it is social networks that are an indirect catalyst for many external social processes.

Thus, the regular use of social media by a person provides a wide range of sociological research. Placed in the context of constant change, social media not only reflects the constant change in our society but also catalyzes it. A person in the modern era is guided in reality using social media, filling an ever-expanding database and drawing information from it. Only when realizing the breadth of the spectrum of influence of this phenomenon, a scientist will be able to successfully interpret our present and future as a society.

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Kendall, D. (2017). Sociology in our times: The essentials. Cengage Learning.

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