Week 3

Social Contagion… Hmm…

Global Issues in Design and Visuality in the 21st Century

Ethan Yoon

Section: Cope

Global Now: Abstract

Heading: Social Contagion… Hmm…

Date:  09/12/2012

Date:  09/12/2012

Source:  New York Times


This article is basically about how social network services can cause a significant impact on human behaviors based on the spread of words and activities.  It gives an example of how Facebook itself increased the votes by approximately 340,000 with a single day of notification.  I would definitely agree that the power of social network is too immense that it has changed the lifestyle of probably every electronic user.  However, like all solutions to a problem bring another problem, I couldn’t simply ignore the con side of the social contagion.  Social contagion surely does allow more people to participate in many of the social activities that need attention, but I am getting a feeling that a good portion of these people are simply jumping on the bandwagon without knowing much about the issue touched upon.  For example, when the Occupy Wall Street was at its peak, a lot of the people came out protesting through influence of others and their belief of how the 1% shouldn’t be so greedy.  However, I received an impression that a very good portion of these people that were protesting without knowing the very fundamentals of the issue.  In fact, I lived right in front of the protest site, and encountered many people that just came out because they were angry that they weren’t simply wealthy enough and that life isn’t fair.  The way I see it is that this social contagion brought a mob of people screaming for fairness without a plausible solution that would create worse problems.

Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/us/politics/social-networks-affect-voter-turnout-study-finds.html?_r=1&ref=technology

Global Issue:  Social Network, Solutions, Social Contagion

Primary Design Lens:  Social Network

Secondary Design Lens:  Problems of Solutions


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