Do you agree with the view that social media can contribute to social equality
Table of Contents
Social media has been dignified as a blessing in disguise and a revolutionary discovery responsible for social equity since conception. However, scholars and researchers have questioned the role as well as future of social media towards sustaining the much-hyped social equity. The recent G8 summit recognized digital divide as a greater hindrance to objective and balanced development. Evidently, the majority of the world populations do not come from OECD member states. They have limited internet access, public deficit, and high unemployment rates. Hargittai and Hinnat (2008, p. 602) postulate digital inequality as a form of divide characterized by expanded uneven online activities. Despite the praise, the resultant factors surrounding social media outline undesirable outcomes, which cannot be associated with social equity (Bennett, 2012, pp. 28). Jack Linchuan Qiu deciphers social media as a subset of information technology using various theories. He pays strict attention to China, the high-tech giant incapable of reinforcing the serious digital divide despite notable milestones. Concurrently, Burrell (2012) examines the binary fashion of invisible users in Ghana revealing the retrogressive achievements of social media. The cross pollination between social media and social equity demands serious attributes for success. It is not all about the presence and access (Callarisa, et al., 2012, pp. 79). It extends beyond social trust and common denominators of political information in the local environment. Concurrently, it is not about the numbers, consequences of participation and civic engagements. The willingness to join and produce meaningful results should be able to show democracy, political self-efficacy, and need for definite outcomes (Bennett, 2012, pp. 28). Subsequently, the antecedents of social capital may be measured through patterns of media use; however, it extends to large networks with clear parameters (Kim and Ko, 2012, pp. 1482). In essence, the frequency of discussing whether social media is responsible for establishing social equity should be hypothesized as a research area rather than a forgone conclusion. The basic characteristic of assessing the impact of social media should not be the network size or coverage. The variables should be in the form of democracy and peace in the world. Therefore, social media cannot contribute to social equity.
The mathematical measure social equity does not exist since different people propose divergent set of thoughts. For instance, activists regard social equity as a set of affirmative action, equality, and right of minority groups in the society while others give it economic and financial perspectives (Boyd, 2014, pp. 43). Nevertheless, ascertaining social equity within a community does not require rocket science. The question whether it pertains to fairness, minority groups or declining communities plays a very important role in the process of understanding the same (Mossberger, Tolbert and McNeal, 2007, pp. 112). The residual value of social equity mainly appears through societal progress and adjustable quantifications principally through grievances. It is about an equality doctrine for all people whether in the justice, fairness, development or consistency of decision-making.
Any factor claiming to responsible for maintaining social equity must address and demonstrate reliable prosperity (Vehovar, Sicherl, Hüsing and Dolnicar, 2006, pp. 286). Aspect of full participation in public events, fairness in livelihood, and access to education not forgetting the cultural life have priority in measuring social equity (Jack 2011, pp. 21). The fundamental needs with a greater effect on the majority must directly infer for anything to be considered responsible for social equity. Simply expressed social equity revolves around creating equal opportunities for all people without any imbalance. It is a commitment to fairness and public policy with significant distribution on wealth and resources (Manaugh, Badami and El-Geneidy, 2015, pp. 173).
Enhancing social equity involves strengthening social development through just, fair, and unbiased practices. It is about demonstrating impartiality and allowing progress of communities within a stable economy (Fuchs and Horak, 2008, pp. 108). Obviously, it involves stipulating and identifying the common needs across different disciplines and providing appropriate recommendations with viable solutions. The prominent linkage in the good faith model of understanding social equity also focus on specific groups as key antecedents of gaining social equity (Kim and Ko, 2012, pp. 1482). Therefore, social equity is about opportunities and benefits created. According to Martin Luther King jr. social equity is where people are not isolated from accessing different services whether through race, sexuality, socio-economic status or gender.
Social media as a binary factor in equity
The technological euphoria recorded in the contemporary world is as a result of the wide acceptance of internet for different uses. To some extent, it has generated income, improved education, and greater access to various resources on a global scale, which would otherwise be a dream to various nations (Parker, 2015, pp. 112). In the Asian and African continent, for instance, internet through social media has established networks allowing people to connect and exhibit different forms of accomplishments (Bennett, 2012, pp. 28). Facebook, Twitter, Google, MySpace, and Instagram are some of the social networking sites that have dominated the world. Apparently, they remain the most popular uses of internet. Empirical research suggests tremendous progress since the conception of social media. The political effects, economic growth, and social expansion recorded by all the social facets have also demonstrated how much social media can be used to study civic behaviors and political attitudes. In many countries, access to social media is a sign of strong democracies and greater social capital representing key markets (Vehovar, Sicherl, Hüsing and Dolnicar, 2006, pp. 289). The associate behavior helps decipher accountability, empower people to access markets, and hold authorities to their actions, which would otherwise not be available without social media.
The rich tradition of personal goals and collective endeavors have also manifested through markets embedded in the numbers accessing social media. The utility and direct link has seen mobilized revenue streams as a result of the antecedent behaviors (Selwyn, Gorard and Williams, 2001, pp. 261). From this perspective, social media has introduced an oriented participation with greater benefits to all stakeholders involved. Therefore, social media achieves social equity as it equates participation from different dimensions. It has attempted to resolve problems in the third world countries whether political, social, or economic (Callarisa, et al., 2012, pp. 78). It has influenced government actions, community collective engagements, and interpersonal trends. Additionally, social media has had a greater effect on surveillance of key identity issues and social relationships. Right from the developed to developing countries, the social media has introduced a framework where people use different media to host fruitful arguments with multilevel effects.
YouthNoise.org and IT Global.org, for instance, form the platform for addressing human rights and poverty issues (Manaugh, Badami and El-Geneidy, 2015, pp. 173). Coupled with other social media sites the avenues have assisted in offering motivation as well as castigation of key issues that affect the general public. To a greater extent, the informational motivations have also assisted in creating opportunities ranging from professional capacity to community requirements. In this respect, social media is an agent of social equity beyond reasonable doubt (King, Pan and Roberts, 2017, pp. 486). Nonetheless, how does it realize equity when different governments and people control the same medium? Recent evidences have demonstrated that apart from entertainment, various authorities do not appreciate criticism and wide social relationships with significant effects. Public oriented studies across different environments right from America, North Korea, Syria and China have demonstrated that public affairs and social media are two different environments. Organizations and news channels such as Huffington Post, New York Times, and CNN have made inroads into different countries where the public sphere receives limited attention despite the existence of social media.
In as much as countries represent autonomy and have the right to retain as well as operate within their boundaries in manners which they view appropriate, the extensive coverage of social media should offer real time equality (Michaelidou, Siamagka and Christodoulides, 2011, pp. 1155). In many instances, researchers make unnecessary assumptions by looking at the superficial welfare of social media users. The key variables of ascertaining whether social media has an impact on people should be through social capital, experience, and level of education that the same avenue has created among different users (Selwyn, Gorard and Williams, 2001, pp. 261). Interestingly, discussions tend to avoid the accurate representation that would yield different effects. Information outlets have demonstrated dramatic effects of social media across different countries; nevertheless, it is vital to meticulously evaluate diverse attributes of the same media (Manaugh, Badami and El-Geneidy, 2015, pp. 173). It is best fit to assess whether the discovery significantly changed lives or it only provided an avenue where different authorities curtail freedom.
Social media cannot create social equity
The popular belief that connectivity is essential cannot be justified when it is not free. How do social media create fairness and equity in economic, political, environment and social fronts? Obviously, the answer to this question proves beyond reasonable doubt that social media cannot and will not in the near future change the fortunes of social equity (Wei et al., 2011, pp. 173). The digital divide witnessed in the contemporary world is greater sign of the failing social media. The practical embodiment of policy making still fight social exclusion and inclusivity within the society yet social media claim to responsible for social equity. Despite media ploy that nations embrace social inclusion several nations still remain the bedrock of racial profiling, which is quite an intriguing factor. The social policy formation in different countries have attempted to alleviate the digital divide but political debates still have stereotypes showing a society held hostage by the same media. The disparity between developed and developing nations has further demonstrated the aggravated gap in digital literacy as well as access. The differences in socio-economic status, patterned gender profiles, and age hindrances have proven beyond reasonable doubt that social media is just but an entertainment media with limited corporate responsibilities.
The theory of network society
Castells late 20th century theory of the network society dissects through the society to enliven the social implications. According to Castells (2000), new information technologies have revolutionized the world from generation to generation. Accordingly, the social morphology has installed new networks with the capacity for decentralization of functions to increase effectiveness. Networks allow the assembly of skilled but flexible workers who disperse after achieving their objectives. The essential component of a network economy revolves around economic productivity, mainly centralized in capital investments. Currently, societies operate in currencies, stocks and commodities (Kim and Ko, 2012, pp. 1482).
The information is imperative for making investment decisions, loan application, and marginal scenarios. Similarly, the networked society has introduced international politics on climate change, social trends and weather predictions with knowledge basis. However, despite the emergence of various networks people and nations are excluded based on their ability to fund and project the existing goals. Countries or people with significant influence have integrated systems with greater control of human capital and the general face of the entire world (Wei et al., 2011, pp. 173). The reverse, however, is not true for other stakeholders with differentiated characteristics. Additionally, networked labor whether self-programmable or generic holds an important value in the social equity mathematics.
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Journalists, financial analysts, service industries, and natural resource positions create interchangeable mediums upon which social equity operate. The placeless organizational logic fundamentally shows that people do not depend on space or place for continuity. Castells believe information networks establish regional places but destroy human experiences at the same time. The dominant interest; however, is not met as communities get oriented to fundamental identities that exclude other networked societies. Accordingly, he believes populations and nations disregard their sovereignty upon becoming nodes of a network. Obviously, this does not depict the identity of any element of social equity.
Technological discontinuity and consequent destabilization of various societies because of social media does not show how the networked society is gaining prominence. The dire and worsening relationship between capitalism and informational labor in the new age has failed to incorporate contemporary life instead negating social change. Real-time interaction in the global circuits attaches social networks to the present social divide witnessed. With Skype, people can communicate to others in different parts of the world; however, what happens to other without internet access. Several Non-Governmental Organizations have been in the forefront of social equity even as governments appoint committees, commissions, and hold conferences without clear operational standards. Even as developed countries strive to reduce debts of developing countries and enhance information technology, the 2002 World Economic Forum identifies enormous opportunities necessary for setting up the world information infrastructure. Developing countries in Africa and Asia suffer from critical communication problems when compared to their developed counterparts despite claiming to be enjoying social equity.
Age and Internet use
Youths aged 18-24 years represent some of the major users of internet in the contemporary world. According to research, the generation continues to grow from period to period but economic growth and social equity is not realized in the same strength. The instant messaging, chats and leisure investment encourages various participants to download music and search for employment across divergent platforms. Jenkins (2004) identifies the “myth of the Digital Generation and Columbine generation to explain the risks and benefits derived from youths going online. The digital generation myth patent internet as a lifesaving medium having youths engaged in positive activities. It has the youths visiting the internet for resources on assignment, connecting with friends, and looking for jobs.
The Columbine myth, on the other hand, has the youths accessing the internet for questionable activities including terrorism, social ills, and fake news. The trends have forced various governments to institute restrictions on particular social networks raising fundamental questions. In countries such as North Korea and Russia, citizens do not the outright privilege of accessing internet at their will. The youth and people in general have controlled access to information and the government decides how far the websites offer. On this front, the youths have not been able to gain significant milestone hence the question whether social equity is realistic in the first place.
Importance off skills in social equity
Skills are considered a second set of digital divide needed for social media and ultimately equity. For anybody to access and use any facet of the social media, there is need for abundant skills. The fluency and competency assists various users to go beyond the entertainment and use the social media for more advanced purposes. Without proper information, people are bound to make serious mistakes with regards to dissemination and demonstration of empirical knowhow. The basic difference in social equity clearly manifest through developed and developing nations when youths in the latter cannot go beyond the entertainment in YouTube or gossip in other mediums. Online fluency and computer literacy is a technological skill important for measuring equity. Even as youths in developed nations gain access to internet at a tender age, youths in developing nations take computer skill courses at old age. The basic differences make learning and equity difficult despite claims from various scholars that social media contributes to social equity. The professional value of social equity makes digital literacy a key component that must be realized by different stakeholders for posterity.
Danah Boyd, a Microsoft social media researcher based in England does not support the common assertion by many people that Internet unites people. Accordingly, Facebook grows much faster than expected with MySpace competing for the lead. Web traffic tracker.com Score reported in May that Facebook and MySpace have over 70.28 million and 70.26 million Americans visiting both sites. Despite the massive visits, the country has not realized social equity with many people unemployed even as healthcare requirements crumble. A Northwestern University associate professor Eszter Hargittai surveyed first-year college students aged 18 and 19 in 2007 and 2009 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The 1,060 students demonstrated in 2007 that Hispanics avoided Facebook but preferred MySpace.
On the other hand, whites, African-Americans and Asian-Americans represented the majority of Facebook users comprising of 80 percent. The research further found out that MySpace was equally popular. Additionally, Facebook users had parents with higher levels of education compared to MySpace users. Therefore, the socio-economic factor holds an important role in explaining the wide societal gap, which in many instances stops the realization of social equity. In 2009, Ms. Hargittai surveyed 1,115 students and demonstrated that Hispanics still prefer MySpace (58 percent) even as whites and blacks diverged with 30 percent and 51 percent of using it consecutively. On the other hand, Asians are least likely to use MySpace. The research concluded that students from less educated families are more likely to use MySpace, that others from educated families.
The knowledge gap in skills and expectations between the different regions clearly shows that the world is far from realizing social equity. In as much as alternative explanations, exist for the knowledge gap. Usage, for example, explains why many people fail to search the right areas while in social media. For this reason, a given segment of the population makes greater educational gains while the rest suffer in isolation. In developing nations, students know very little about search engines as well as other computer related components. In the 21st century, African governments are in the process of introducing digital literacy in primary schools. Despite the growing momentum, the digital divide cannot be equated to the developed nations regardless of serious training and inclusion of the information technology curriculum into various universities within the developing nations.
Rarely do software engineers and computer professionals gain entry to the developed world on a fair platform. Instead, they have to undergo refresher courses and additional training to ensure they fit to the developed world. Essentially, social media access and training among different nations is unequal; therefore, how can anybody claim that the same can offer social equity. Perhaps, the digital divide witnessed in various countries across the world is due to lack of social support or autonomy hence the existence of internet connectedness index. Notably, this measures the long-term disparity components among web users for an upward mobility. Informed political participation recommends that experts ought not to compare the number of users and the skillset but rather the beneficial components gained from the process. The possible outcomes among internet users are measures in terms of how easy it is for people to embrace refined data. For example, receiving or sending emails are common attributes of any social media user. According researchers, education remains the most common predictor of serious online activities.
Equally, social media use requires a certain degree of education. Non-educated people tend to take a superficial look in social media instead of focusing on real time information (Rose, 1984, pp. 41). The connection points propose beneficial elements such as social media marketing while at the same time mentions gambling as a social ill, which should be discouraged from all fronts. Sport betting is the most common and recent gambling platform recorded across the world. Through social media, the betting platforms have been able to market and convince different people especially the youths on the advantages gained from betting. In developing countries, the betting firms have exploited the youths and governments who are deeply embroiled in corrupt activities. Instead of getting benefits and reaping big from social media, people have ended up losing their savings and hard earned cash raising further concerns.
Despite being a recreational activity, the potential influence makes access to information dangerous rather than beneficial. Most of these firms are not African but rather European or American interested in cashing out from the poor. In this front, social media does not contribute to social equity from any angle. Most importantly, the length of educational experience serves as predictors in addressing key relationships important for establishing types and skills. Considerable knowledge has demonstrated that various areas have been neglected with regards to social media access. To this end, social equity is a serious economic, social, and political situation that requires more than computer knowledge. Social media should be able to work on fairness and equitable access to information as well as knowledge.
Castell’s urban theory
Peter Evans looks at Castells urban theory from a third world perspective terming the network society as having a plastic potential to the script of social equity. According to Castells, the urban theory is applicable only to Chinese reality. The broad understanding of social equity brings into light various realities. The informational working class is centered on network labor but can it be attributed to the globalization and industrialization (Castells, 1993, pp. 252). Flexible capitalism perceives a network state as being characterized by multilayered labor formations but does amount to social equity. Social media enables the ample sharing of resources and information. Accordingly, it grants job opportunities and from the numerous advice provided by the same avenue (Brenner, 2009, pp. 199). Subsequently, they provide support and opportunities for learning and develop new skills.
According to the urban theory, social media is not the reason for social equity but initiate strength in numbers, collective achievement in social campaigns, voice in local affairs or voluntary effort. Generally, social networks create weak ties that can help access to work and other important typical opportunities (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schäfer, 2012, pp. 778). Nevertheless, this is challenging in developing countries where limited opportunities exist. Social network access to employment opportunities is increasingly gaining recognition. However, the austerity measures in a wider economy mount to redundancies, which cause imbalances in the society. It does not offer the needed alternative or sustainable route that guarantees employment for many people.
From this perspective, the role of social media remains oblique and requires pertinent research. It does not bridge the gap for job security neither does it instill the economic climate responsive for supply and demand (Castells, 1993, pp. 252). The urban theory notes that poverty is recurrent and directly affect how many people have access to the relevant social network cites. Low paid jobs or unemployed people have to consider whether they access social networks or gain basic goods. They have little opportunities, insecure, and progress based on the existing scenario. On the other hand, better-paid jobs grant greater opportunities and access to social networks that to a given extent introduce equity.
Social equity strongly collate to poverty. Therefore, any element that purports to create the same must be able to work on poverty as a key ingredient. In many instances, social media ameliorate poverty and attempt to improve access through the social assets. It, however, is disappointing in many instances that individuals do not have the human capital or financial resources for obtaining the assets. Obviously greater resources guarantee the possibility of poor communities to gain entry into social networks, which will ultimately enrich social equity (Warschauer, Knobel and Stone, 2004, pp. 571). Apart from social assets that have become significant agents of social equity, the health variables have become elementary facets for poverty alleviation. The fundamental point of poverty prevention strategies relies on the underlying fact that justifies application of the approach. In order for effective social equity, there needs to be resource distribution within the lower echelon of the society. In many instance, social networks only target the upper echelon while others have to compensate the ignorance.
Additionally, the larger society often remains resistant to redistribution theories that might take resources of their hand. In many cases, it is a winner take it all and effect serious reparations. Persisting elitists exclude and practice prejudice with great despair to lengths, which even questions the notion of social equity in the first place (McFadden and Wang, 2016, pp. 51). Enriching social equity before breaking the network of poverty in the modern society judges the quality of life. In as much as this shows serious gaps in the social equity story, the insufficient social networks prompt pertinent concerns (Castells, 1993, pp. 252). Fostering social networks is all about putting into perspective and building the eroded and weak social fabrics for inclusivity. Once the social network cannot be accessible by the urban population, it becomes useless to use it for measuring social equity. The common argument that social media is accessible to all people is widely a rumors.
According to Tilly (1999), networks play an important role in sustaining power relations and creating new opportunities. Networks rely on exclusivity to create useful monopolies but do not necessarily result to equal benefits (Moorhead et al., 2013, pp. 102). Observable class differences compose limits to social networks, which alternatively isolate people instead of creating the much-hyped equity. In many instances, middle class parents are more likely to form group decisions regarding equity as opposed to poor parents who prefer making autonomous decisions (Brenner, 2009, pp. 200). To some extent, this is responsible for initiating a social divide rather than equity. Additionally, family and kinship lines draw wider contacts that mobilize expertise and authority for social integration.
Policy interventions aimed at creating social equity have surfaced at different fronts. Right from the economic, social, and political platforms, people have to undergo job-training programs to create social networking opportunity prospects (Opp and Saunders, 2013, pp. 679). Concurrently, job-training programs build valuable networks with weak ties. In this respect, well-intentioned policies can damage social network chances (Manaugh, Badami and El-Geneidy, 2015, pp. 173). Policies ought to specifically address existing issues without piling pressure on the existing opportunities. Internet access and education policies always attempt to establish create a balance between negative results. Policies should be systematic and must not hamper the objective nature of social media in creating social equity (Castells, 1993, pp. 255).
Importantly, setting up networks with closely linked targets for any public policy hampers the independent development. Real connectedness and motivation organize particular events towards policy organization. Opportunities created by social networks are also problematic for lacking resources such as personal skills and finance (Warschauer, Knobel and Stone, 2004, pp. 571). The transaction costs of applying network prospects change from region to region for those well equipped to help themselves. Big Society ideas have given emphasis to aspects of globalization and global internet access in levels that do not acknowledge physical boundaries. Regardless of being a successful recipe for equality or social justice, it established a platform where few measurable variables can gain mileage. People do not start life from the same place; therefore, additional training or support may be required enable to activate the same opportunities.
Concurrently, network participation modifies individuals’ resilience to different situations by controlling autonomy. According to Sen (2006) newly-arrived immigrant women heavily rely on family and other networks for social protection, but receive particular gender roles within which one has to live. In the event that any character decides to exit the boundary she is bound to fail access to free education or any other opportunities available (Brenner, 2009, pp. 199). The risk in this perspective is the fact that life may grant you various opportunities but one may not access them based on the initial factors (Fuchs, 2017, pp. 46). Additionally, autonomy is not a key attribute that influence key decisions one make.
Despite being about independence, many participants have failed to enjoy their basic rights due to external constraints (Kiel, 2005, pp. 21). Social networks shape and limit autonomy in relatively unexplored avenues as opposed to where network members have an individual agency for direction (Zheng and Yu, 2016, pp. 291). Subsequently, social networks have the capacity to slow down low expectations and reinforce damaging behaviors at the desired levels (Castells, 2001, pp. 551). Social capital, for instance, has a dark side when people without adequate financing buy things with more pressure. From this perspective, social media has no ability to create a level field for autonomous people and hence equity.
Lastly, social networks impose high costs on members of the community in terms of subscription and long term connectivity. According to research, dealing with social markets in the already fragmented community does not readily play with a weak social capital. People caught in this scenario develop concerns of neglect and state of inertia, which in turn justifies the existing conditions. Strong social networks rejuvenate collective socialization with negative or anti-social behaviours (Bruhn, Schoenmueller and Schäfer, 2012, pp. 778). Nevertheless, realizing social equity is about improving people’s ability to access and use social media to their full effect with adequate training and greater understanding given priority (Schroeder et al., 2016, pp. 77). It is not about the autonomy people have on their networks or the nature of investments made to enrich their welfare.
Realizing social equity has no short cut and ny investment should be aimed at bridging the ever widening gap of human capital. Social media substitutes must take cognizance of these gaps and help individuals break the deadlock (Eastin and LaRose, 2000, pp. 11). According to the urban theory, social media as it exists remains the prime and exclusive product of a given group of individuals within the society. It, therefore, is inevitable to reach beyond the legislations and policies existing in order to establish a clear and prosperous line of operation (McFadden and Wang, 2016, pp. 51). Most importantly, only independent authorities should have direct control over resources that affect other people to prevent conflict of interest. Equity has not boundary or several limiting factors in terms of public policies, which work against the same people meant to protect.
Mobile phones and social class in china
Despite being the single competitor to America’s superiority and becoming an investment hub for various global companies, China as a case study for social equity reveals various underlying issues. The role of social media in establishing a clear cut equity in the social constrct has become a subject of study by various researchers (Eastin and LaRose, 2000, pp. 11). The aspect of mobile phones and the alternate social class, for instance, has been used to justify the fact that social media does not contribute to social equity. In the modern China, quite chunks of individuals have the privilege of accessing mobile phones. Hundreds of millions of people have gained access to low-end ICTs through mobile phones (Wei et al., 2011, pp. 173). Additionally, the internet and mobile phones are not a reserve of the few. Nearly all the working-class connect to the local and regional networks. However, in the reality technological and the social lives have become a puzzle that merge and create different problems (Duggan and Brenner, 2013, pp. 22). In China, it is a definitive transformation that necessitates greater caution since it has shifted from the initial constructs to new trends. Mobile phones are nolonger responsible for social equity but rather other social issues responsible for the techno-social changes exhibited.
Instead of expansion, the existence of mobile phones has constricted social stratification categories not equated. Incidentally, the information has been seen as a class on its own defined by similar techno-social positions of ICTs with serious need for more organizational, cultural, and political consciousness. The social class is complicated in China due to various reasons. For example, China integrates the largest Communist party with a successful developmental state since the Cold War (Eastin and LaRose, 2000, pp. 11). Despite being too early to foresee the ascendance of working class networks, it is also inevitable to believe that the same society will cause social revolution due to social inequality (Pascual et al., pp. 1023). For instance, Mao’s attempt to erase the elite domination is considered one of the social changed. The information is important because the stage of technology diffusion seems to be apolitical and asocial. It, therefore, has taken a different route from the main drivers of social equity (Norris, 2001, pp. 34).
Many Chinese with mobile phones can only be understood in market frameworks, technology and commercial culture primarily business oriented. In this respect, the techno-social discovery only prompted openings for social change with no predetermined realities (Loges and Jung, 2001, pp. 546). It is a contingent of many factors emanating from the grassroots and structural levels of the social class. Therefore, depending on distinctive ICTs and the route taken by techno-social agents, the potential opportunities for progressive change is entirely dependent on regressive control (Peter and Valkenburg, 2006, pp. 299). In essence, social equity cannot be realized if social media has become a social tool exploited for profitable means since the same people have become victims of social equity, posting important concerns.
Paying attention to the vast industrializing Chinese society and class differentiation, social media has consistently assisted in both processes (Hollebeek, Glynn and Brodie, 2014, pp. 148). Nevertheless, they have not been able to achieve social equity a matter raising further interesting discoveries. For instance, it has the political, economic, and social capacity to realize social equity, but has failed to gain the objective (Xu et al., 2015, pp. 27). Social equity holds a significant part of any economy. It measures the degree to which people of lower class access resources and shows how national resources are shared among the citizens (Pynes and Rissler, 2017, pp. 51). The fact that China cannot gain social equity despite the massive mobile and internet access shows various discrepancies. Whether it is the economic structure or institutional setting, inferiority contributes to less information overload and hence less commitment to social development.
In China, social justice and interagency coordination of issues affecting the public remains a nightmare. Additionally, the latest social changes in China have extremely affected the lower class (Eastin and LaRose, 2000, pp. 11). Apparently, the shift has affected the social system changing the geographical and physical scope. Migrants seeking employment opportunities have not got their intentions even as agricultural and industrial economies lay off workers. From this perspective, the government has done enough in quelling the ever-increasing population seeking employment (Livingstone and Helsper, 2007, pp. 676). Therefore, despite having access to mobile phones, many retirees have no pension while college students deal with skyrocketing fees and competitive prospects for employment. Most importantly, they have no avenue for championing their rights, a clear justification that social equity is not realized in China (Min, 2010, pp. 31). It requires more that structural transformation and access to ICTs devices. The unprecedented scale of tremendous uncertainties in China precisely makes communication difficult for entertainment and social services hence the clarity of no social equity.
Last but most importantly, China if not being a technology giant boasts of hosting various important companies (Zhou and Wang, 2014, pp. 29). Additionally, their technological investment in different countries around the world to improve their social infrastructure should only happen after realizing their social equity. The fact that they control access to internet and social media makes realization of social equity a nightmare. The army of laborers supporting electronics industries, internet cafés, technological gadgets and prepaid phone cards should not only be a measure of wealth but equity. It is unimaginable the little techno-social emergence recorded in the country.
Social equity is a facet of many factors and social media cannot be responsible for its creation. It is about equality for all people in terms of justice, fairness, and consistency of decision-making. Any factor claiming to responsible for maintaining social equity must address and demonstrate reliable prosperity. Aspects of full participation in public events, fairness in livelihood, and access to education not forgetting the cultural life have priority in measuring social equity. The fundamental needs with a greater effect on the majority must directly infer for anything to be considered responsible for social equity. According to the theory of the network society, social equity is a factor of many factors of age, level of education and access to technology. Young people have preferential access to social media for entertainment and gossip different from other users with more important uses. Additionally, the presence of skills for accessing social media remains a leading factor in establishing the role of social media in realizing social equity. Castells urban theory puts social media in the forefront of setting up an informed society but puts into perspective other important facets of social equity that social media employs. According to the theory, for any social media element to claim social equity, it must be seen to be working on poverty otherwise; people cannot be equal when they only share a global platform. This is further demonstrated by mobile phone access in China, which presents an interesting landscape of social equity. Interestingly, the country boast of being a technology giant but fails to justify through the massive access, which do not hold any value beyond Alibaba and other economic avenues.
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