Is Social media Laughing Out Loud (LOL)?
Have Social Media viral views and twitter comments replaced the bonding experience of canned laughter?
Have you ever laughed out loud in a room of people when everyone else took a speaker’s comments seriously except for you? You might very quickly feel embarrassed. However if you change the social situation to one where everyone is laughing together at the same comment, then instead of embarrassment, you now have a bonding experience in a community bringing you enjoyment. What has changed? You thought the speaker’s comments funny in both situations, but the impact of community changes your experience.
In a book called “Buried Treasure” by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, he mentions insights and notions why TV sitcoms used canned laughter. “We actually find a sitcom funnier if we hear other people laughing? We felt more joined to other people by laughing together with others, even though their laughter was contrived by producers. Laughter is so powerful a bonding agent that the artificiality of canned laughter barely diminishes its effectiveness.” Laughter when done together brings a sense of community in a common shared experience- leaving one with a feeling of enjoyment.
Social Media brings A Sense of Bonding well beyond laughter
Today’s social media community experience has moved from the auditory cues of canned laughter bonding to the visual cues of viral numbers. Now we watch a YouTube video based on how many others have watched it, or see the numbers of comments made about articles on Facebook, and Twitter and viral numbers on YouTube- all of which bias our bonding experience. So even though the TV screen has been replaced by a computer or mobile device screens, we are still seeking a shared community experiences that bond us with others.
In my opinion Social media does bring individuals, and businesses together like never before. The social media environment bonds a virtual community as individual comments are seen and responses given. Now instead of auditory cues we have switched to mostly visual cues, comments and emoticons. Although some social settings have emoticons with sound- maybe our canned laughter is back again in new ways.
Our Social Media experience today brings us closer together in virtual communities of worldwide proportions. It is almost true today- that there is no speech or language where the voice of Social Media is not heard.