Social media sits at the core of twenty-first century society. It topples dictators, ends racist traditions, and ushers in overnight fame to living room performers. But how does it actually work? To understand and best use social media, argue Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey, people must first look to nature and the inner workings of living organisms.
Social media-dismissed as trivial by some, chaotic by others-represents the zenith of humans' evolution as social beings. Though it profoundly influences our systems, policies, and culture, few people really understand how social media functions. In their provocative forthcoming book THE SOCIAL ORGANISM, Luckett and Casey show how social networks take on a life form of their own-forms that, to an astonishing degree, mimic the characteristics of biological life itself. By looking at the behavior of cells, metabolic pathways, biochemical reactions, viruses, and holonic structures, we can understand social media, how to employ it, and its potential impact on our world.
Unlike previous communication technologies, the interconnected yet wildly disparate users of social media (the cells of the Social Organism) are both the content creators and the distribution network. Memes are the Organism's genes and they reproduce, spread, and evolve just as biological life does. The Social Organism is the collective brain of our future, shaping policy and culture, and fostering innovation at a speed and level as never before possible. But it is up to us as individuals to nourish this organic network with positive content, and as a society to encourage its use as a force for good.
In easy-to-understand yet powerful language, Luckett and Casey describe how social media lives and breathes. THE SOCIAL ORGANISM is a groundbreaking idea book that will change our understanding of how social media-and human life-works in the twenty-first century.