Thursday, October 1, 2015
Kairos in Social Media
Kairos is defined as the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. As we've learned in class, Kairos can be an extremely beneficial tool in argument, but I would make the argument that Kairos is especially beneficial when used in a social medium. Kairos can add humor to a post, or present a tremendous opportunity in marketing for social media-savvy businesses.
As we discussed in class today, memes have the power to accurately express humor and underlying emotion in social media, and when this is coupled with Kairos, memes can explode in popularity. For example, the "old economy Steve" meme came at a time (2012) in which the vast majority of young people were dissatisfied with the state of our economic system. The creators of the meme, which was first seen on reddit, were obviously trying to be humorous, but there is an underlying tone of contempt for how easy it was to coast through life and wind up with a great job in the time period of old economy Steve. Kairos made this meme immensely popular because the audience was both found it amusing, and understood the meaning behind it.
Social media can also provide businesses with amazing opportunities to expand through their well timed use of Kairos. One great example of a business who utilizes twitter in an extremely beneficial way is Zappos. Zappos understands the most important idea that all businesses should in regards to Twitter, users don't want to be bogged down by annoying adds. People on Twitter don't log on to be sold to, they come for entertainment. Zappos understands this, and in this way is able to build an important relationship with all of the companies followers. Take the recent discovery of water on Mars for example, this has nothing to do with Zappos, but they give a timely, witty response anyway as you can see in this link: https://twitter.com/zappos/status/648574358856687616. Although the tweet does nothing to immediately market for Zappos, it does subconsciously by showing their followers they are interested in the same things as the general public, and in turn builds a relationship with potential customers.
Social media is an incredible tool for big businesses and singular users alike. When these users are able to pair the benefits of social media with Kairos though, it takes their popularity to new heights.