The Power of Swarming (Social Media on Popular Media)

This clip of the TV show Grey’s Anatomy gives a perfect example of the power of Twitter and how the senior leader who wanted to shut it down became a believer of twitter as a teaching medium of international reach. ––shezthatgirl

Twitter (or tweeting) can be considered “micro-blogging”, where users, under anonymous handles, share their thoughts, information, data, news, gossip, etc. using 140 characters or less.

The depiction of Twitter use in this video is, of course, exaggerated––I know that my gut feeling, however outdated or conservative it may seem, would be to feel uncomfortable being operated on while the surgeons tweet on their smartphones. However, this episode illustrates one of the key points set out in today’s reading (Gilmor, Citizen Media):

“Preserving old-fashioned privacy was impossible, [David Brin] said, because modern technology would overwhelm us with its snooping power and the collection of vast amounts of data.” (60)
“And they’re doing it by informing each other, in an open source manner that brings the community’s best minds to bear on common problems.” (53)

Two heads are better than one, and this––now widespread––form of info-sharing and data swarming multiplies the effect (positive or negative) by billions. And not just within the twittersphere but it is happening in the Web and flowing in and out––online and offline––of everyday life.

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