Johanna Blakely: Social Media and the End of Gender

In the past, demographics have been fairly straightforward and easy to read, giving media and advertising companies a simple view of audiences. But with social media and online use, demographics are becoming increasingly harder to track. Media researcher Johanna Blakely discusses how the growth of social media and number of women using online tools has impacted demographics, and how they’ll change the future of media.



4 thoughts on “Johanna Blakely: Social Media and the End of Gender

  1. I think that Johanna Blakely spoke about a very interesting topic of gender and the role it does (and does not) play on the Internet. It is not something that I have taken time to think about before, but I can definitely see how women tend to dominate the social media platform on the internet. While statistics do show that women are more prominent in social media, advertisements and other targeted media has become more gender neutral. Advertisement and media agencies no longer have to assume characteristics of a certain gender, rather they can evaluate the interests of individuals through the Internet as a whole group. I think it is awesome that the internet has proven advertising wrong when assuming gender roles, and can now accommodate for the likes and needs of all.

  2. Josh Gluck

    I wish this TEDTalk was longer! Blakely touched on so many interesting points. I had never really thought that social media was an entirely different entity than “old media.” I had believed them to be more similar than different, but I can certainly buy Blakely’s theory. Magazines and the like certainly play to demographics more than social media. I agree that connections and communications are much more valuable when founded on common interests. Social media does indeed operate entirely on interests and categories of things (Tumblr, Pinterest) rather than people (US Weekly, GQ). We know this applies to our relationships in life, so why shouldn’t it ring true in our relationships with our media? I stand by Blakely in her patient expectation of a system of media that reaches us through our interests rather than our identity.

  3. Johanna Blakely’s presentation on the relationship between social media and gender was definitely an interpretation I’ve never considered before. I found this insight of how social media has become more interest-based to be very thought-provoking. For one thing, I wasn’t aware of the statistic that women generally use and spend more time on social media than men. However, I can understand how this happens as social media appeals to both men and women and use of the Internet has definitely become more interest-driven. All-in-all, its certainly nice to hear Blakely’s prediction of how she believes that a lot more women will be hired by media companies. This would result in the demographic of women no longer being the generic “chick flick” image and more being based on a variety of interests.

  4. Since I play a lot of video games, I’ve seen a lot of these stereotypical decisions made by game companies that reflect a lot of Blakely had to say about old demographics. While a lot of game company’s today still hold by the idea that their main demographic is young and male many others are changing their games and who they’re made for. And Blakely talking about how women influencing media more would not result in more “chick flicks” bring to light the point that women are not walking stereotypes that only enjoy romance and sappy movies. All kinds of people like all different genres and media types and I look forward to the day when the things that are being put out match this.

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