January 01, 2017

Advance Sheet: Facebook Fandango

Robert E. Shapiro

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Few technological developments in recent years have had as great or sudden an impact on our lives as social media. Virtually unknown seven or eight years ago, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others now consume vast amounts of most people’s time, rivaling even that spent on that other great transformational technology, television. You see it everywhere. There is the desk worker who, as soon as he leaves his office, whips out his smartphone to begin scrolling through his Facebook contacts, assuming he even waits until then. In an elevator, few passengers acknowledge others as their noses are set deep into their media screens. A simple walk down the street has become a dodger’s exercise. It is a regular part of the morning routine for many to see what postings there have been or what the latest news is from some familiar quarter or other. In the social media tsunami, even the rival maunderings of the established TV morning news shows barely stand a chance.

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