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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Who are "we"?

This extract caught my eye in an article about a new streaming video option (I won't call it a 'service') reportedly being trialled by Facebook. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35006618

Ian Maude, an analyst with research firm Enders said that Britain, like many other countries, had become "... a nation of sharers. We like to tell what what we are doing all the time."  

What an arrogant word 'we' is used like this. The implication is that all readers quite obviously share the writer's point of view and, quite naturally, have had the good sense to read what he has written. In fairness generalisation is a feature of human communication and it is not unusual for people to make sweeping statements about 'others', rarely supported by evidence. 

That said I sense that the use of 'we' is increasing and wonder if this is in fact linked to the growth of social media. Is the proliferation of instant communication producing a cultural homogeneity which will end with 'we' meaning just what it says?

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