Mobile Technologies & Social Interaction

Over the years the rate at which we receive news has accelerated tremendously. This is due mainly to social medias and mobile communications technology. In the past a journalist gathering news for a story would usually interview an eyewitness, but nowadays with the use of different mobile medias almost anyone can be a “journalist”. By using different social medias such as Facebook, or Twitter people can post information almost immediately after an event has occurred, or even post information during the event. Websites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to post text, images, location, and video. This can be extremely helpful for gathering news within friend groups, communities, or even globally. The only problem with the amount of news at hand is sorting what is real news, what is important, and whether or not it is from a reliable source. But with the amount of social medias being used and the amount of citizens with camera phones and smart phones at hand, information will be in abundance, making journalism even more democratic.


In last weeks readings about Journalism and Sousveillance, Collette Snowden argues that in today’s day and age, with the use of mobile communications technology, people have immediate access to a global networked distribution system. Because of the Internet and our mobile devices we receive information at an incredible rate. We have all the information in the world at the tips of our fingers. The way news is being told is changing rapidly. Instead of only hearing a few news stations opinions on certain stories or events, we have thousands upon thousands of stories or articles now to read and gather information from. According to Snowden, “The move to user-generated content via mobile communications technology has been faster than anticipated, even by optimistic forecasters, and with each new development or refinement of the technology such content increases. The multimodal connectedness to the global communications network that mobile communications technology provides with apparent ease is at the heart of this development” (pg. 121). Due to how easy and fast it is to use social medias such as Facebook, or Twitter makes it much easier to spread news and to give more accurate first hand accounts of what news events have happened.


Over the years social media has grown and grown, and it is no surprise that it has become a way to receive news and other important information. According to Matt Petronzio, “ A new study from Pew Research shows that out of the 64% of American adults who use Facebook, nearly half (30%) use the social network to keep up with news.” This number may seem low but it is constantly rising. The second most used social media platform used for gathering news is YouTube, followed by the third most used platform for gathering news Twitter.


According to Daniel Denvir, “Material produced by citizen journalists has become a staple of mainstream reporting, and has even created iconic pop-culture moments like the Davis pepper-spray meme and the 2007 video of a student imploring University of Florida police: “Don’t tase me, bro!”  That clip has been viewed a phenomenal 6.7 million times.” Both of these accounts are examples of citizen journalists using their mobile technologies, such as a camera phone, to report about a certain instance that otherwise would not have been seen by nearly as many people. There are however some problems with the heavy usage of smart phones to report on news or events. Smart phones can offer almost unlimited gossip on trivial matters. According to Janey Gordon, “The problem for both curator and consumer is how to judge the veracity of the tweet, the intelligence of the blog, or the indications as to what this might mean to society at large. “ It is very hard to decide what news is important and what is meaningful to society as a whole. Because so many people from so many different backgrounds have access to these mobile devices, it makes it very difficult to sort out what is actual knowledge verses what is false, what is opinion verses what are facts. There are also so many different perspectives to take into account when finding news on different social medias. The professional news services have to redefine how they sell news because of this. Gordon also states, “There is a multiplicity of news sources available on mobile handsets to suit their own community and interests. This can come from the mainstream news services or smaller niche-news providers that are nevertheless run in a professional manner.” When it comes to gathering news, or reporting news to social medias, it is extremely important to do so in a professional manner, if you want anyone to believe it. That being said, it could be very easy to deceive people with false news by making it look professional. Though we shouldn’t always be skeptical it is important to do your research when gathering news via social medias.



Work Cited

Denvir, Daniel. (2013, March 7). “Police Brutality in the iPhone era.”

Macabitas, L. (Photographer). (2011, November 19). [Print Photo]. Retrieved from

Petronzio, M. (2014, March 28). 30% of u.s. adults use facebook for news, study says. Retrieved from

Snowden, Collete. (2012). “As It Happens: Mobile Communications technology, journalism, and breaking news,” in N.Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds), The Mobile Media Reader. New York: Peter Lang. P. 120-134.

University of florida student tasered at kerry forum. (2007, September 17). Retrieved from



2 thoughts on “Mobile Technologies & Social Interaction”

  1. I completely agree that mobile devices can cause unlimited amounts of chatter on trivial matters, while the larger picture goes unsolved or sometimes even unnoticed. The false news outlets bit also is a great thing because there are so many outlets out there that the less tech-savy user may see as legit just because it’s on the internet, or because it looks like it’s cited a certain way. We have to watch out for getting caught up in that stuff. I think this was the thesis that journalism can become more democratic because of all the sources that are available, I think that was a good point because at least as people we have the option to not watch NBC, FOX or CBS. There could be other outlets that may or may not be credible, but at least their are alternatives. I think that having a few sources is still sort of a monopoly.

  2. My first concern is use of the word “medias.” I’m not usually a stickler for grammar, but, at least in the context of a paper about media, the use of the word media needs to be correct because of how frequently it is read. A medium is the singular. Television is one medium. Media is the plural. Television, mobile phones and Internet are all separate medium that collectively comprise media. It’s confusing. I know. It’s always media, never “medias.” That being said, your sources all relate well to the content. What needs to be incorporated more in the essay is personal connection. How do you feel about Citizen Journalism? Consider that Journalism was never founded on a community of real experts or manuals of how to do it, like the medical community. Besides a degree, every other industry requires a license on top of the degree to prove that you are an expert in the field of your study. Citizen Journalism, more than ever, is proving that journalism was never a science to begin with. Anybody can do it if they learn the right tech for the job. Telling a story was never something that could be qualified. Citizen Journalism, more than getting news processed quicker, is getting the news into the hands of everybody quicker, and subsequently proving that anybody can tell the story if they know how to tell a good story. The subsequent drawback of this phenomenon is quantity. Because technology is so easily disseminated now to the masses, bad story tellers are getting their hands on it. It does not matter how loud a person with a good story yells, they will be drowned out by a crowd if the crowd’s focus is only garbage. These days, the public, and its relationship to garbage stories, seems to desire the telling of a lot of bad stories, picked up by garbage media like Facebook, Twitter and E-mail that disseminate them to larger and larger quantities of people.

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