Just had a few realizations today I wanted to share.
Remembering back then in college in my communications engineering subject, we were taught of how noise gets into being transmitted along with the transmission medium such as wires and air.
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. SNR is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. A ratio higher than 1:1 (greater than 0 dB) indicates more signal than noise.
We were taught of a concept of signal to noise ratio, a measurement of how reliable a communication medium is. It measures the proportion of the noise that is being carried in the signal through the communication medium such as wires or wireless form of communication.
When I moved into journalism, I’m a bit astounded when I encountered the same concept. I heard it being mentioned by the company’s Editor in Chief himself. He explained that social media creates a lot of noise to the point it creates lesser meaning and value.
Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, you’ll always stumble upon comments after comments of ‘unmeaningful’ comments but still enough take your attention. But you’ll also find comments that are thoughtful and meaningful. Ideally we want to read as much as meaningful contents or comments than those comments that aims to just break the ice, or those which just wanted to minimize the seriousness of the conversations.
It’s like listening to an AM radio, a medium very susceptible to noise. The more noise is involved, the harder to understand and extract meaning.
Although, I have a question I want to leave here for us to think about. Can we use the technical aspects of engineering to minimize the noise in social media?
I’ll be keen to investigate and share what we might find out.
Anyway, this is just something I found thought-provoking for today, hopefully this is thoughtful and meaningful enough. :)