Romans created Social Media?

I thought this article provided some really interesting background on social media.  Today we think of social media as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.; but social media is really just another way that we communicate.  This article reflects on how the idea of social media came about through the Romans and how they would communicate through scribes and papyrus rolls.  According to the article, social media only requires literacy and the ability to copy and deliver information quickly.  I think it’s a unique take on social media, maybe it’s not such a new market as we think, we just have much different tools. 

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/12/03/history-retweets-itself-how-ancient-romans-created-social-media/

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3 Responses to Romans created Social Media?

  1. vgoldbri says:

    I never really thought about who had born the idea of social media. But if you would have asked me I would certainly never have known the right answer; I would not never have expected the Romans to be the ones, who first came up with the idea of sharing information and giving ones opinion on different topics. Basically its really the same concept, although the speed and the accessibilty have changed dramatically. Moreover the tools have changed from delivering letters or papyrus rolls to simply writing something online. I wonder what social media will look like thousand years from now.
    What is more, the article claims that mass media today (like TV, radio, newspapers,..) is only a “recent phenomen” comparing it to social media which really seems to be the truth, but is hard to believe.

  2. mwollstein says:

    I would have never thought about Social Media as ancient form of communication, but the idea of sharing information among friends and small social networks like the Roman elite did with papyrus rolls makes a lot of sense, and proves that 21st century way of communicating is no less personal than the ancient roman form.

  3. hunterkmoon says:

    This is a great article. I never really made the connection between online social networking and social networking in the physical written form. It makes a lot of sense that our method of communicating has changed, but the idea of communicating on a social platform is not in any way unique to our culture.

    I remember reading an article about the writing that remained on the walls on brothels and taverns after Mount Vesuvius erupted over Pompeii. The Roman’s would write messages about their thoughts, feelings, or general statements, messages that were preserved on the stone walls of homes covered in ash. Now that I think of it, it really wasn’t too different than writing on your Facebook wall today!

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