In the appearance of the Internet and its subsequent improvement and development, in which its functions have progressively multiplied during the 1990s, we find the root of what is today the society in which we live.
A digitalised society. Where our daily lives would be incomplete, and even incapacitated, if we were to restrict or eliminate the tool that is the Internet. Moreover, it has become one of the main facilitators of the globalisation process that has submerged a large part of the world’s countries, with growing interdependence and communication between them, leading to an extreme liberalisation of markets.
A large part of the use we young people make of the Internet falls on social media. In principle, the purpose of this practice (the use of social media) began as communication, entertainment or socialising, but nothing close to what is now one of the pillars of these media: information. The flow is constant, we receive it, we generate it, we share it, and so on. The options are endless.
The relationship between the media dedicated to information and social networks is based on reciprocity, the benefit is mutual. Although, as in any change, there are aspects that favour informative and journalistic work and others that only hinder it.
The information we usually receive through social networks usually comes from a relatively verified medium, with a minimum of reputation, which does not explicitly imply that the message it offers is truthful, but in a routine situation, such as going or returning to any place by public transport, this is more than enough for us.
This information can come in two ways: directly, if you follow the account of a certain media outlet (filter bubble), when it publishes something, you can instantly see it, or indirectly, by following someone, an individual, who shares that official publication of the media outlet you do not follow. In the end, the rest of the information we read from individuals corresponds more to subjective opinions on a topic than to the facts that make up that topic.
With social media, moreover, the relationship with the media and journalists has changed enormously. Interaction is now much more direct. Apart from being able to follow their daily publications, not always having to be related to their profession, we can comment on the information published, reply to the comment of another person who has already commented before, or even send private messages to the media or the person in question.
During the twentieth century, information was produced by a small number of companies dedicated to this sector. A kind of oligopoly. With few suppliers, where to enter it required a lot of resources. The trend was towards media concentration, with the bigger ones absorbing the smaller ones, increasing their power and capacity of influence.
And although this is still the case today, the emergence of the Internet has democratised the process of information creation and facilitated the emergence of new media. The number of actors involved in the creation of public opinion has increased. The counterpoint to this supposed advantage, thanks to which we have much more freedom to choose where we want to receive information from, is that as anyone can do it, unqualified people getting into the journalistic world is the order of the day.