ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Monday May 16, 2011 | Update
 
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102nd Anniversary
The tyranny of posts, tweets and pins

The traditional user of news media no longer exists. Digital rivers turned him into a netizen. Now, the flood has led him to the oceans of the network to turn him into a "webactor," an indispensable character in this new era of communication. A network node that is poised to assume a more proactive mature and responsible role. An individual capable of embracing the digital time with more auctoritas and less naivety vis- -vis the vastness of this virtual universe

ALDA DA SILVA |  RESEARCHER AND PROFESSOR AT MONTEÁVILA UNIVERSITY, CARACAS
Monday May 16, 2011  03:15 PM


I am at a café with my Ipad in my hand. I am not alone; one is never alone in these times. I see a cartoon. The student tells his teacher: "2+2=4.05," and then insists: "Do not argue with me, professor. I have 8,237 followers more than you." That is how Oliver Widder views it; he is the author of the blog Greek and Poke.
Journalists as the owners and masters of information are history now. People stopped being the recipients of news through media; took the challenge of becoming cybernauts and finally web actors.

Such a boom of interpersonal communication through media is like taking a breath of fresh air running the risk of catching a cold .The auctoritas exhibited by some people or institutions, such as parents, teachers and journalists, is competing with that of the popular.

In the public digital environment which has a conversational factor in it, we can easily spread information free of charge, enjoying a simpler and more intuitive experience -that is, the so-called usage . With a click, a web actor can publish in several spots that intertwine enviously. The icing on the cake? Ubiquity for mobility-"mobiquity ," following the desire to label; that ability to be always present on the web thanks to mobile phones and other little devices with wifi connection. All these options lead to an exponential increase in the ability to freely express ourselves inherent in all of us. And in fact web actors' power resides in their participation with the public space having the advantages of making visible their messages and efficient profile as information senders. But there is still something missing.

Having sound judgment is of the essence. It is not only about participating, not even about becoming an influencer, and making others interested in the contents posted on Internet. It is about facing this with truth. Saint Thomas Aquinas conceptualized truth as the adaptation or adjustment of the understanding that arises in the knowledgeable subject to the known thing. Hence, any web actor is in the middle of the paradox between immediacy and rest; between the dispersion for superabundant information and moderation. Stop the activity on Twitter so that I can tweet off!

For an effective human communication, it is not enough to issue contents, use expression skills; the correct interpretation of the message is required, understanding who is talking, why they do it and what they mean. The next growth stage of web actors would be then reached by the combination of two facts: authenticity and effectiveness in interpersonal relationships.

Links in the digital space are effective when there is a minimal factor of order and sense. Social networks are evidence of that organization capacity existing in people in an easy and flexible way. On the web, a young girl can be part of her friendship group on Facebook; the promoter of her music band on MySpace and Twitter, apart from taking an active part in networks where her university classmates contact each other. All of this could be done without getting her hair disarranged. Hence the effect power of the web. A web actor becomes a node of the web, who participates in multidimensional ways, with many variables given by their roles and contents. Order inside complexity.

But tigers do not eat tigers. No way to lie to me. Let me see you on the web to check if you are real. The veracity of the profile shown and demonstrated by the web actor is indispensable. The preserved reputation must be cared through plenty of coherence based on the truthfulness of what is said and done. That will be the next step for a reloaded web actor. They are more demanding, because they have more rights. They are more responsible, because they have more chores. And they are more cognizant and less credulous of the digital era as cure-all.

A recent research found that a high percentage of people recommend web contents without having read them. Maybe the overabundance of messages without hierarchy has caused such level of noise and made us victims of the utopia of the total communicability of humans in the digital environment.

This information predominance about education leaves the web actor with a feeling of insecurity about what to do with so much refresh. That challenging and kind of worrying sensation while clutching the cell phone and realizing that all applications involve the sign asterisk, from the little star to denote there is something new I should see, risking to be on the edge for five minutes. Pins, tweets, posts, e-mails, calls, video conferences are produced exponentially when the web actor gets online with many web nodes. And who can have so much conversation going at the same time? Multitasking digital natives, those who were born listening to Ipods, studying and chatting at the same time. I ask again: Who can get knowledge from so much conversation that is basically nothing more than shallow? The keyword is, once again, moderation.

In the light of so much dispersion, web actors are victims of their own potential. They find themselves in front of the desolating scenario of not being able to gain an insight into reality. This causes a deep indifference, as almost nothing is relevant. Anything goes. Today I undertake to advocate this; tomorrow in a waste of relativism I admit that everyone has their own truth. With their fingers on the keyboard, with humankind within reach, web actors are isolated.

There is the need to allow the ones that have auctoritas to turn up, but not to keep themselves as part of old-fashioned elite, but to gain their pupils in such a way as to guide them in the process of developing and completing their human capability by means of communication. It is advisable that the candor of the one that has the moral ground to give a sensible opinion on a decision moderates the tyranny effects of the crowd on the web. The danger of someone ruling without being prepared to do it is such, that caution should be taken.

There is the need to take the gold that lies in the sands deep inside the great ocean of the web That is what Pisani and Piotet called "the alchemy of crowds." It is about letting the collective intelligence bore fruit of wisdom. Quality taking precedence over quantity. For now, I would rather have the waiter send me the menu on Twitter. Standing up in front of me, waiting for the order does not make me stop staring at my Ipad.

Translated by Adrián Valera

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