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Home > Analysis and Commentary, Business, News Item, People > Wired – Social Media’s Threats, Emotion Vs. Logic, Written Knowledge Vs. Visual (Superficial), and Manufactured Housing

Wired – Social Media’s Threats, Emotion Vs. Logic, Written Knowledge Vs. Visual (Superficial), and Manufactured Housing

October 26th, 2017

SocialMediaPixabayDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsManufactured housing struggles with education and its image daily.  Yet the members of the industry are on social media by the thousands daily.

While the manufactured home industry is experiencing a modest annual recovery, it pales compared to the rapid growth of the use of social media by producers, retailers, communities, associations, lenders, and other  industry segments.

Against that backrop, are the thoughts of Hossein Derakhshan.  He’s an Iranian turned Canadian media analyst, imprisoned in Iran from 2008 to 2014, dives into the world of social media, and how he says it’s undermining knowledge.

Writing in the popular tech trade media, Wired, Derakhshan states that social media – which he uses – is threatening the foundation of knowledge. “In an image-centered and pleasure-driven world, [Neil] Postman noted, there is no place for rational thinking, because you simply cannot think with image,” Derakhshan states.


Society, says Derakhshan, is moving from the promise of the web, summed up by Immanuel Kant enlightenment battle cry of “Dare to know,” to the point where today, the phrase he says is more like, Dare to not know.”


Wikipedia is his prime example.

While Wikipedia’s funding is healthy, the content creation and updates are showing signs of trouble, Derakhshan stated. “It is text that enables us to “uncover lies, confusions and overgeneralizations, to detect abuses of logic and common sense. It also means to weigh ideas, to compare and contrast assertions, to connect one generalization to another.”

Author Liz Cowan’s Look at Social Media…

LizCowanAuthorHumoristSatireLizCowan-comManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSatirical writer, author, and humor columnist Elizabeth Cowan, expressed her concerns about Derakhshan’s topic like this.

Social Media wants to imply closeness, camaraderie and reaching out to others. When, in fact, the rise of social media encourages a solitary existence,” Cowan said.

Being social requires personal contact with others,” observes Cowan.

Cowan also uses social media, but warns of its anti-social elements.


When you sit in front of your computer in your underwear or least presentable attire, rather than going forth and interacting in real time with other humans, you create and enforce a cycle of existence best described as the state of being apart,” she said.


FracturedProverbsTwistedThoughtsCoverAmazonElizabethCowanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsBehind the mask of cheerful and amazing postings, lurks the soul…encased in self-imposed aloneness,” she said, adding that social media used uncritically, “This reality exists only in the mind of the poster and the viewer of the post. Social media is the road to the negation of humanity.”

Industry professionals can attest to the range of responses to time/resources invested in social media.

Some industry professionals have raved over their public responses, but others are saying “meh,” or admit that their results are poor.


And how truly informative are some of those postings? The often distrusted mainstream media is widely more trusted than social media, says Reuters.


Without the proper balance between knowledge and quick gratification visuals, social media can not only be isolating, but frustrating.

Entertainment vs. Talking and Genuine Communication?

Americans don’t talk to each other, we entertain each other,” Derakhshan points to Postman, who wrote. “They don’t exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”


Likes and quick feedback can be a feel good, but they aren’t always followed by measurable results equal to the effort.

It’s that line between potential good and harm that arises from social media which both authors hold in common.

From Facebook to Instagram,” Derakhshan’s Wired column said, “the medium refocuses our attention on videos and images, rewarding emotional appeals—‘like’ buttons—over rational ones. Instead of a quest for knowledge, it engages us in an endless zest for instant approval from an audience, for which we are constantly but unconsciously performing.”


This doesn’t mean it is time to give up. But we need to understand that the decline of the web and thereby of the Wikipedia is part of a much larger civilizational shift which has just started to unfold,” he concluded.

Industry Takeaways

One takeaway could be that as industry professionals grapple with the opportunities that the web provides – including social media, to properly use such media to engage their audience – a more blended approach is needed.

Appealing visuals combined with text should be woven in a fashion that makes people do more than smile, or yawn.


Lifeway Homes Display of Sunshine Homes, at Tulsa State Fair.

Because as Credit Human’s Barry Noffsinger and others who target the more upscale buyers have noted, the next level up of home buyers are those with more income, and more education.


Those more qualified buyers, researchers, and investors routinely need more than pretty pictures or videos.


Some local operations are achieving success with social media, but the overall impact is exaggerated, as industry statistics reflect.


The proof is that with all of the videos, and good looking social media websites, the manufactured home industry is still shipping less than 100,000 new manufactured homes a year, at the current rate.

Lifeway Homes Display of Sunshine Homes, at Tulsa State Fair.

This is society’s but also the HUD Code manufactured home industry’s challenge – to rouse consumers with thought that moves some to actions.


Lifeway Homes Display of Sunshine Homes, at Tulsa State Fair.

Likes of cute videos and pretty pictures don’t routinely translate into dollars.  If they did, the industry would collectively be selling 500,000 or more new homes a year.

Textual knowledge that informs and compliments visual posts, are a key.  Social media posts must go beyond mere imagery. ## (Communications news, analysis, context, and commentary.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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