Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, April 10, 2021

How much social media connectivity is too much? Opting out of Facebook, Twitter and the like is understandable, especially when considering the cognitive underpinnings:

It shouldn’t be surprising that quick-hit online communications, the stuff of 140-character “tweets” on Twitter and “status updates” on Facebook, leave some people cold. Craig Kinsley, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Richmond, notes that studies of human interactions reveal that our brains crave networking, online and off, but differentiate between the quality of the interactions.

“Many short contacts may leave the user wanting deeper, more meaningful exchanges. Like a meal of cotton candy, when you come right down to it, there is not much substance,” he says. “A good conversation with a good friend is much more life-affirming than a few tortuously abbreviated or emoticon-filled lines in a tweet that anyone can read. How special is that?”

That’s kind of what I was trying to get across regarding the morphing of such short-burst communication into a new definition of media, especially the “that anyone can read” part:

…User-generated content defining the channel that it occupies is an organic development, preceded by everything before it, including basic speech. Decentralizing it, as social media usage encourages, tends to spread the message too thin — it widens the scope but diffuses the impact. If a tweet or photo is intended for everyone to see/share, then it’s also aimed at no one in particular; and in that sense, loses some value.

I don’t see a backlash against social networks, but I detect some broad pull-back on the transparency issue. Aside from the “Facebook photo” embarrassment possibility, I think people will reinvest some value into more targeted, direct communication within a strictly intimate group of contacts. There’ll be less indiscriminate lifestreaming and more siloing, particularly in personal expression online.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/10/2021 01:27:28 PM
Category: Internet, Media, Society
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I have no intention of catching the newly-rebooted Star Trek flick (J.J. Abrams? I wouldn’t care if it was J.J. Evans producing… Well, actually, that I would go see — dyn-o-mite!).

But I do like this highly-stylized movie poster, with the good use of negative space and shadowing to represent the iconic old-style Enterprise, with that distinctive rounded fusilage and saucer (or whatever those things are). Warp speed never looked so good!

I wonder, though: How recognizable is that retro-futuristic spaceship in today’s pop-cultural landscape? Just a hunch on my part, but it seems like the decades-old dedicated Trekkie/Trekker community has declined of late. Maybe it’s because it’s awful hard to come across the old reruns of the various Trek shows that once sustained that fanbase. I’m sure they’re still in rotation on various high-tier cable channels, and in any case aren’t as vital now with Web and DVD-based content in circulation; still, there’s a question of mainstream visibility.

Which leads to the question: Will this new prequel make it big at the box office? If it doesn’t resonate beyond the built-in fan audience, it could follow the recent pattern of Watchmen: A monster opening weekend, followed by a sharp nosedive that effectively marks it as a limited-appeal bomb. We’ll see if “The Future Begins” for real, in terms of a sustainable franchise restart.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/10/2021 11:31:13 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Movies, Pop Culture
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