Social media assists 'Decision 2'
Every morning since LeBron James became a free agent on July 1, our son asked my wife where "King James" will go next. With a sigh of relief on her face that Friday afternoon of July 11 when James revealed the answer to "Decision 2" online, my non-geek wife commented on how powerful technology is and especially how efficient social media is in dispersing information. I wholeheartedly agree with her and I see signs of my geekiness rubbing off on her!
Social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and hundreds of others are community forums, equivalent to the Times Square of the digital world, instead of being just media outlets of the past. Why? Because the participants of social media are also the creators of the information that other people read and comment on. This interaction is also known simply as “social media” and is a big umbrella term.
Sports Illustrated posted King James’ heartfelt homecoming essay on their website at 12:13 p.m. on July 11 and LeBron followed it at 12:29 p.m. by posting to Instagram a simple picture of himself wearing his No. 23 Cavs jersey with the text “I’M COMING HOME” flanked by a Cavs logo. This precise and meticulously orchestrated one-two punch was all Team LeBron needed to light up the digital world. It was immediately followed by Dan Gilbert tweeting “Welcome Home @KingJames …” and fans, players, coaches, owners and basically the whole world kept talking. A Google News search of the phrase “I’m coming home” lists pages of results of media outlets around the world carrying the news, from Sydney Herald (Australia) to Manila Times (Philippines) and every continent in-between.
There’s more to the power of social media. Although it starts in the digital world, news crosses over to the real world and continues to propagate. Even if you don’t partake in social media, chances are good that you are going to receive this breaking news through traditional media outlets, for example on TV, since they participate in social media. This news crossing the divide from digital to the real world, a secondary propagation, is another reality of the complementary worlds we live in. How else can you explain the cacophony of car horns, sirens and other noises in downtown Cleveland starting shortly after James’ Instagram posting?
When James’ homecoming is discussed by traditional news outlet stalwarts like "PBS NewsHour,” or when it comes up during a White House daily press briefing, we are reminded of the boundless power of social media and how a small ripple, just a picture with the phrase "I'm coming home," can be made into a tidal wave; in the digital world they call this phenomenon “going viral.”
As for me I really liked when someone tweeted “James just lifted a whole city by himself.” It was first the Republican National Committee choosing Cleveland for their 2016 convention and now LeBron James’ homecoming. Quick, someone tweet to the world: “Wonderful things happening now – come see our Cleveland!”
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DIGITAL WORLD
I purchased an antivirus program for my computer years ago and renew it every year. But recently I saw a competitor’s antivirus program on my computer, and I don't remember installing it. What do you think is going on here?
Assuming you don’t have other issues that may point to bigger problems such as virus or malware infections, you probably did install it through one of the numerous program updates. Next time when a program informs you of an update, take your time and see what the screen says before pushing the button. You may find that you have to opt out from certain “partner” programs or they will be automatically installed. For example, for quite some time now Adobe Acrobat Reader has employed tactics of opting in by default to install McAfee. And it gets worse. I’ve seen some companies bury the ability to opt out from partner program installation unless you click on the custom installation option instead of the default installation option.
Have a question for Tak about computers, software or other technology? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business and technology strategist/consultant with 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.
As founder of geek with a heart consulting, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.