Tetrad of Media Effects and Social Networking Sites/Services

Lamija Silajdžić


By asking the question: "What general, testable claims can be made about all media?", Marshall and Eric McLuhan (1988) sought to establish "laws of media" that could be tested, proven, or disproved by anyone, anywhere, anytime. They formulated these "laws" through four questions that can be asked upon the appearance of or regarding any human artifact/technology/media. The importance of this theory is indisputable insofar as its application can identify past, current, and at least partially predict future trends related to some human artifact/technology/media. In this paper we applied this theory to the websites/services for social networking, considering the increasingly widespread and intensive use of these sites/services in the world. Positive aspects are improved and accelerated communication and connection of people, opportunities for creative expression, association and struggle for common goals, and also earnings. The negative aspects range from a potentially bad impact on the user's mental health, pathological addiction, the increasingly difficult distinction between the real and virtual world, being trapped by filter bubbles, all the way to endangering personal data and security.


tetrad; McLuhan; social networking sites/services; Facebook; Instagram

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.51558/2490-3647.2023.8.3.631


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