Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
There’s nothing like a good TED Talk to brighten your day and make you think. Whether you’re itching to be more creative, struggling to find motivation, or wanting to strengthen your social relationships, there’s a TED Talk for that. There are also several amazing TED Talks about social media.
Social media has taken over the Internet. Never before has the world been so globally connected, yet the phenomenon is still relatively recent and there are many out there who are actively trying to decipher the power of social media. Some of them have even given TED Talks on the matter.
We’ve covered social media TED Talks before but a few additional talks have been produced since then and they’re well worth the watch.
How to Make A Splash In Social Media
In this short five-minute presentation, Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, gives a real-life example of social media’s power in our world. Think social media is just silly tweets, Facebook likes, and Tumblr GIFs? For the most part it is, but when channeled properly, social media can accomplish big feats like reducing the rate of Japanese whaling.
Social media is a way to channel the worldwide nature of the Internet to effect social action. The implications of this are vast and this is just a taste of what’s to come in the years ahead of us.
Your Online Life, Permanent As A Tattoo
It’s often been said that once something is on the Internet, you’ll never be able to take it down no matter how hard you try. In six minutes, Juan Enriquez makes the case that social media (and Internet activity in general) is akin to an electronic tattoo: they say a lot about who you are and they’re effectively permanent.
What does this mean for us as we move into the future? What do the posts and tweets that we make today say about us as people? What will we think of today’s photos and videos ten years down the road? Often times social media feels fleeting, but it’s very much forever.
After Your Final Status Update
Here’s another short TED Talk, just five minutes long, that touches on the subject of social media after death. Adam Ostrow presents a thought experiment: in the not-so-distant future, what if technology could take all of the social media content that we’ve created, analyze it, and ultimately create a copy of who we were?
It’s a dark and morbid thought, but it does make you second guess how you’re currently interacting with social media. Is the legacy you’re leaving behind now the one you want future generations to see?
Why Privacy Matters
The Internet talks about privacy all the time and it almost feels like a dead horse by now, but don’t be desensitized yet. In this 15-minute talk, Alessandro Acquisti demonstrates with real-life examples just how little privacy we have thanks to social media. Unless you’ve uploaded and inputted absolutely nothing onto the Internet, you aren’t safe.
There’s no such thing as Internet anonymity.
It’s a terrifying thought and deserves a lot of attention. We don’t want to go so far as to become paranoid conspiracy theorists (though there’s a lot going on that could justify going in that direction) but the rabbit hole does run pretty deep.
Adventures In Twitter Fiction
Enough with the doom and gloom! Yes, social media is changing the landscape of the Internet in scary ways (as shown above), but it’s also making some interesting headway in a positive direction. For example, Twitter is changing the way that fiction is being written. Ever heard of microfiction?
In this 12-minute talk, Andrew Fitzgerald explores what this new medium of fiction could mean for audiences worldwide. Historically, new mediums have ushered in new types of stories, so what sorts of stories exist in the Twitterverse?
Social media is still in its infancy and we’re doing our best to understand it. Take some time and watch these TED Talks with an open mind and you may be surprised at some of the insights therein. If you know of any other fascinating TED Talks on social media, please share with us in the comments!