Social media influence on decision-making process in a "Liquid modernity": word of mouth as the main prescriber

by Laurent François

Zygmunt Bauman developped a very interesting sociological theory called “Liquid Modernity”.

Here are the centerpiece ideas :

“One of our purposes today is to consider the relations between the shift from solid, defined, localised, territorialised, nation-bound modernity to that which Bauman names as liquid: catching up in this phrase the effects of globalisation, migration, nomadism, tourism, the effects of world wide webs and internets, socket free phones and texters, a world and subjectivities redefined by interaction with the huge and fascinating potentials of new technologies and information systems.”

For ages, when you had to solve problems, things were pretty easy : you had to go to Church, to your family or to your administration to find a solution. The other point is that you mainly had to solve material problems like “how to stop starving? how to feel safe whereas there’s the war? how to feed my children?” etc. I summed up very briefly, I know, I beg your pardon.
Now things have changed : in our post-modern Western societies (I stereotype again, sorry sorry !), we experience a paradox. We probably have less material problems like killing a wolf, but in the meantime we have hundreds of little immaterial risks to anticipate, postpone and sometimes figure out. You have to think of your health insurance, of your children future University enrollment, of your ex-wife new boyfriends, and even of your online reputation for your next employer.
So many instant questions to answer and really less time.

Then how do you find a quick path to key information in this liquid modernity?
The answers are…

peers through word-of-mouth (offline, online) !!!

source: sfnblog

The people have a very strong asset : they talk to you (re-damn), they have an opinion & express it (re-re-damn) so as if you look for an insight, you probably have more confidence in a consumers’ review that will influence your decision-making process.

As a citizen-consumer, you will need a map in this ocean of information :

“The point is that you can get where you are going without a map. You can ask a stranger on the street, pull over to a gas station or wander around until you eventually find it. But maps always seem to help us find our way and can help others feel reassured about where we are going. Maps are great—we can still explore with them, but it’s just good to know that they’re there when we need them. Without them, we might still find out way—though getting lost is never all that much fun.”

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