Access and Inclusion through Technology

Access Technology - Today and Tomorrow

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Social Media Use in the Middle East - implications for inclusion

This is a really interesting piece by my friend Damien Radcliffe on Social media use within the Middle East - it tells an interesting story which deserves some time to think about. Fundamentally we see a significant growth in social media based upon visual content (images/video), growth in social media that uses limited amounts of text, an growth of social media where your personal networks can be secured. So we see lots of use of Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp and a shift on platforms such as facebook to using images and video and less text. This is interesting in an era where engagement with social media is a defining feature of social inclusion, and the story is variable. For those who are deaf this is probably a positive step - recognizing the relatively low levels of literacy within the community, but for those with a visual impairment we can see the potential for a new digital divide to emerge and hence possible greater social exclusion.
The story is perhaps not identical world wide, but i suspect that some of the trends may be similar, even if driven by other factors. For instance we can see that people in the 15-25 range in the west are producing less written content on social networks, preferring to share pix and videos, and most often reshare. They are also moving to more self contained networks, preferring not to share everything with everyone (lifestyle choices etc)
So have a look - its a mixed bag for those with a passion for digital inclusion, but thought provoking

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