How Social Media Have Changed Campus Climate
Oxford University Press has recently published a new book on campus discourse that we co-authored. The book, titled “Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education,” addresses the need to foster a campus culture that is more open to dialog on and engagement with a diverse range of perspectives.
Starting today and continuing through the remainder of this week, we’ll be publishing a series of short daily posts with excerpts from the book and some brief added commentary.
One of the questions that might be asked is whether this book is addressing anything new. After all, concerns about campus discourse—and eye rolls in response from people who think those concerns are overblown—are a perennial feature of the higher education landscape.
But we think there is something new: the role of social media. Social media aren’t “new” in the strict technical sense. Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter were founded respectively in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and before Facebook there were companies like Myspace. But the role that social media now play in contemporary discourse is relatively recent.
Today’s mobile phones and wireless networks are far more capable than those of ten years ago, with the result that video is far easier to acquire and disseminate than in the past. Information, as well as misinformation and out-of-context information, can propagate through the digital ecosystem far more quickly and efficiently than before.
The tools used to decide what content we see on social media feeds have also become more advanced and pervasive. The consequences for
Article from Latest – Reason.com