Seeking the H Zone: How we mix media messages to create compatible community in the emerging papyrus society
Donald Shaw (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA),
Sherine El-Toukhy (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA),
Tom Terry (Idaho State University, USA)
ABSTRACT: The emergence of personal media provides new opportunities to relate to our social world. Newspapers, network radio and television and news magazines reach down vertically, as it were, to reach everyone, men and women, rich and poor. Social media, such as magazines, websites, Facebook and Twitter, reach across horizontally to connect with communities already interested in particular topics. The availability of these two types of media allows us to pick and choose among agenda items to find a level of personal or horizontal comfort among messages that tell us what we should be doing and messages that entice us to do what we want to do. In short, this paper argues, we mix media agendas to create compatible public (and private) communities. The media agenda communities that are emerging are more like the flat strips that make papyrus paper than the massive stones that characterize the pyramids that dominate the horizon, an emerging papyrus society where authority is much more democratized and fused.