Social Media Posts; Texts, and Images Iconization of Symbols

Authors: Rimi Ghosh Datidar; Shrestha Majumdar (Society for Natural Language and Technology Research, India)
Speakers: Rimi Ghosh Dastidar
Strand: Semiotics and Semiology
Session Type: General Session


Human behaviour includes apparent human reactions. The word ‘apparent’ has a connotation even to indicate a gross representation of objects. Thus, apparent human reactions, considered as human behaviour, are fragile symbols of essential human nature. Let us refer to the human capacity of thinking, cartesian recollection of innate knowledge, external information-gathering memory, etc. These are not apparent but universally innate properties of human nature (cf. Chomsky 1986). Therefore, according to this proposition, human behaviour is externalized apparent fragments of innate human nature, although, the fragments are coherently associated with the social symbols, i.e., basic attributes of living.

The present paper aims to examine and categorize users’ posts on social media to understand the dynamics of social behaviour and the use of language in the digital era following the Jakobsonian model. As the first paragraph of this abstract placed cartesian belief, social media does not reach the innate mind of a human being.

This means that if anything like social media captures human behaviour (cf. Zuboff 2019) by the impetus of AI etc., the so-called social media agency can only reach a gross representation of objects of life, which is full of social symbols but not of innates. Then how can these digital platforms change human life so fast? The relationship between human knowledge (op. cit. Chomsky 1986) and human behaviour in light of the use of semiotic space (Lotman 1990, 2005) is re-examined in this paper.

It is estimated as of July 2022 that 59% of the total population on this planet uses social media and the average daily usage is 2 hours and 29 minutes as per the reports from different sites  . Therefore, it can be concluded that Social Media agencies use social symbols to control in terms of “governmentality” (As Foucault uses the term) over a particular community. And as expected, to perform as social controllers of a community, these agencies used to iconize dynamic social symbols through the users’ posts. This leads to the death of collectives. This paper also examines (a) the making of the “order of things” amongst the social symbols and (b) the process and effects of iconization as said earlier. The Bengali community in the diaspora is the object of this study. 

Keywords: Human Behaviour, Semiotics, Social Media post