The Fluidity of Social Media. Gender Norms & Racial Bias in the Study of the Modern "Social Media"

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Social media has been around since humans began to talk. One of the first signs of human social media was cave wall paintings. Some of the earliest forms of social media were not digital. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word social is "of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society. The word media means a medium of cultivation, conveyance, or expression. Media is also a plural form of medium and a medium is a particular form or system of communication." Some of the earliest forms of social media were primitive and did not involve a computer, but did involve some type of technology to convey the message. Cave paintings were created using pigments, "Ancient peoples decorated walls of protected caves with paint made from dirt or charcoal mixed with spit or animal fat. In cave paintings, the pigments stuck to the wall partially because the pigment became trapped in the porous wall, and partially because the binding media dried and adhered the pigment to the wall ." All living things communicate to each other in some way or another, but humans leave lasting impressions intentionally. A fossil leaves an impression, but it doesn't do it on purpose or do it by using technology. Communication and networking are vital to our survival and our history. The cave paintings of Lascaux are estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. As mentioned on the MET website, "most of the paintings are located at a distance from the cave's entrance, and many of the chambers are not easily accessible. This placement, together with the enormous size and compelling grandeur of the paintings, suggests that the remote chambers may have served as sacred or ceremonial meeting places." Social media refers to interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas

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