Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 19, 2009 2:53 PM

When Love Comes To Town - A Mass Media Love Story

People say that Mass Media doesn't matter anymore. People say that Blogging and online social networks are the new reality. That may not be the case...

Imagine a world without Mass Media (which is something that many "Social Media Experts" are talking about). The only way that you would find out about anything is through your own newsfeed or the people you are following in spaces like Twitter and Facebook. Can this be the best way to get a full perspective about anything? Lay that thought out against the general battle cry from the mass population that no one likes advertising (in any shape or form).

Now, imagine that U2 is coming town, but the band does not take out any kind of traditional Mass Media advertising. In fact, push it further, there is no more Mass Media - as these "Social Media Gurus" are saying - (no mentions on radio, TV, in the newspapers, on billboards, etc...). Layer that on to your busy work schedule - you've been running from the house, to the gym  and to the office with only some minor interactions with daylight when you grab a coffee and a sandwich to eat at your desk. The band comes to town... the band leaves town... you didn't even know that they were planning a tour date in your city.

Still feel the same way about Mass Media?

You might say, "well, if U2 were playing my city, then people in my Twitter feed or via Facebook would let me know because I follow people who are like me!" Fair enough, but remember, there is no Mass Media... so, how would they have heard about it? The point is, it's easy to say, "Mass Media is dead" when something new and shiny comes along, but we all tend to forget that Social Media is not going to replace traditional media. In fact, it is much more likely that Social Media will simply compliment Mass Media or become a subset of it.

We need Mass Media.

We may not like to admit it. We may think that all advertising is the same (it isn't), but we need to be informed of things - from products and services to events and opportunities. They may not all be relevant to us today, but who knows if something you read in a newspaper or saw on a billboard might not become something you need/want in a couple of weeks? It's important to remember that Mass Media and Social Media do not fulfill the same needs. They are dramatically different.

Everything is "with" not "instead of".

All media platforms play specific roles in our lives. The advent of Social Media is highly personalized and also enables connections to people and places that were not possible only a short while ago. It's easy to see how the newer one (Social Media) might be able to replace the older way of doing things (Mass Media). It's also important to remember that sometimes the best solution is a nice and healthy combination of both the old and the new.

How do you feel about Mass Media?

By Mitch Joel