School house rock , as the popular preschool education musical animation, was very popular during 1973 to 1985. It reminds me that similar thing was happening at the same period. In the 1960s, the United States government conducted serials of educational television programs —-Sesame Street —-as response to strong request of equal education. Unfortunately, the scholars found that, to some extent, this preprimary educational program just failed because of different economic levels. P.J.Tichenor, as one of the researchers who attended the program, draw a conclusion—Knowledge Gap Theory in 1970.
The main opinion of the Knowledge Gap Theory is people at upper economic statue will get more information contrasted with those who are in disadvantage level, which will lead to unexpectational ending: the more information mass media distribute, the larger Knowledge Gap between two sides will be. The reasons mainly related to following five aspects: communication skill, knowledge accumulation, sociability, information process, media attribute. However, things had shifted largely when social media begins to play an increasing significant role in recent decade.
Social media builds an easier way for ordinary people who are originally in a disadvantage level, they can be informed within shorter period and lower cost contrasted with former cases. For example, 25.5 million followers of Trump can get breaking news immediately when our respectable president twitters. In addition, we have more than one access to purpose knowledge in a technological informational age. In past decades, the mass media(Television/Radio/Magazine/Newspaper) as a mainly stable way of getting information, however, the obviously inherent knowledge barrier we can’t ignore, the people in New York has extremely advantage in accept information, let alone the superior class. The social media with several attributes including flat, convenience, as well as the popularity to cover more audience at once without geographical barriers.
Even though, social media can be a good way to involve more target audience, can we make a positive predication that the knowledge gap will be eliminated in our age? From my perspective, maybe not. Social media indeed create an opportunity to both share opinion and accept news efficiently, we can start meaningful conversation with the people we never and ever meet before, to some extent, we can assume that Knowledge Gap is narrowing down because of that. On the other hand, some potential risks have become a seriously emerging concern. First of all, the low-educated group tend to gather in some vulgar platforms meeting their temporary benefits, those entertainment information won’t contribute to their knowledge and thought. Secondly, the upper class focus on knowledgeable information, they pay more attention to the information with high quality, in long terms, the knowledge gap will become more and more larger.
All in all, social media can be used as a good way or bad way. As an individual, we need to should the responsibility to contribute to our public knowledge atmosphere, which is a process requires more consistent effort.