VERSTEHEN-HERMENEUTICAL INTERPRETATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

VERSTEHEN-HERMENEUTICAL INTERPRETATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Anushka Sinha & Cheta Sheth
Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

Language is unquestionably one of the most phenomenal tools, for getting our ideas, emotions and feelings across. And just as our culture has changed over time, language has evolved to accommodate this development. Communication, today, is growing faster than ever before. Our understanding of communication has also progressed, the oscillating nature of language from symbols to words and back to symbols is evident. The authors delve into the possibility of a new language surfacing, with compression of lengthy writing into simple characters and replacement of alphabets with symbols.

Hermeneutics literally means ‘to interpret’, this branch of knowledge aims to achieve an understanding of a text, expressions and so on. The authors propose to look into a hermeneutical understanding of emojis or symbols which are commonly used today as a substitute for words on various social media platforms. While dealing with this aspect, the authors study the string of legal problems and issues which may arise owing to multiple interpretations of these ubiquitous symbols. We also attempt to understand the reduction of text into smaller forms on popular platforms such as ‘Twitter’ from a hermeneutical perspective, the ramifications and impact of the same on our understanding of communication as a whole. Concluding, we suggest for the expansion of horizons for hermeneutics, applying hermeneutical standards to understand what people are saying across various social media platforms, which are emerging as a powerful mechanism for communication.

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