Tag Archives: Social network

#deletefacebook & “1984”

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In my last blog, I talked about the current state of social media, while referencing recent events such as the Parkland mass shootings, as well as our class reading, “Social Media is Bullshit?” I came to the conclusion that social media isn’t “bullshit”, and that it’s simply a tool. And as with all tools, it can be used for good or bad.

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about social media being used…again as a bad tool. #deletefacebook is a current campaign to, as the hashtag states, delete the Facebook application from our lives. The reason for this action against Facebook is because the company shared peoples info with other entities, some harmless and some harmful.

Personally, I find it ironic and humorous that people are punishing a company for sharing info that individuals are freely sharing. We are at a crossroads as a society, and at some point we’ll have to make a decision whether or not to exist in complete transparent lives.

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Do you remember the George Orwell novel, “1984”? The book is set in a fictional province of the superstate Oceania, whose citizens are victims of ongoing war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. Even though it was published in 1949, the troubling societal themes reverberate today. This novel seems to be a prescient reflection of the current and future state of social interaction.

So what is the end game? There’s so much access to people, their information…almost everything with the right resources. I think we need to look to the mechanisms that are ultimately behind all of this.

Stay tuned for the next blog where I discuss the future of social media and humanity’s downfall.

Social Media, You’re Stressing Me Out

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

Three billion people are using social media – and we’re spending an average of 2 hours every day browsing among social platforms. With so much time being spent emotionally buried by the online world, how is this affecting our personal lives? Our well-being?

It seems as though when the day is over and our work is complete, there’s still something to stress about. We nervously post a picture on Facebook hoping that it gets enough “likes” to make us feel good, but at what cost? The virtual world of Facebook likes will follow us throughout the day and night, haunting both our dreams and our daydreams. The problem with social media is that it never ends. It almost feels like it’s impossible to turn it off. While scrolling through our feeds looking at cute puppies and cookie recipes, we’re also reading the negativity posted by others who are looking to vent. Even if we don’t comment or get involved with that negativity, it affects our mindset and adds more stress to our thoughts. Venting online can feel good for a brief amount of time. But social media is turning into a trap for all our emotions. And those emotions follow us around wherever we go, creating unnecessary stress in our lives.

The reading by Castells discussed how the Internet absorbs information and retains that information for a long time. When that information all over our Facebook feed is emotional and personally related to us, it can get hard to digest over time. BBC is exploring how social media affects our well-being in their series #LikeMinded, and they hope to provide solutions that could help us all live a happier, healthier digital life.

http://www.bbc.com/future/columns/likeminded

 

Social Media’s Influence on Human Interaction

I’m sure if you are reading this that you use some form of social media.  It’s everywhere you look. Social media is a fixture in our lives in the United States. The internet and social media are so embedded in our daily life that it dominates our language. It’s also starting to influence the way we interact with one another.  Social media sites are supposed to bring people together but sadly it seems to be ripping us apart. My goal is to shed light on the issues surrounding interaction via social media and a few simple techniques to mitigate toxic behavior on the internet.

The political climate of the United States is quite turbulent to say the very least.  Everyone has a platform to express their views on the internet without a filter. Our echo chambers are becoming cauldrons of toxicity and it’s changing the way humans interact with one another. It seems as though we are not capable of engaging in debates of any sort without it dissolving into insults, personal attacks and even violence.

How bad is it, really? Well, according to Chamath Palihapitya, former vice-president of user growth at Facebook, claims that social media sites like Facebook are creating “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”. What a terrifying thought.  We are supposed to be more connected than ever but we seem to be disconnecting ourselves from one another.

So what do we do? An article written by John Coate, dating all the way back to 1998 covers many steps to maintain an online community. In his article he discusses free speech. I think many of us in the United States take that right for granted.  Our online communities are derailing into silence brigades.  Individuals with opposing view points are expected to hate one another.  These tools of social media are creating online communities that have no chance to incubate thought provoking dialog between two parties.  Coate goes on to explain in the same section covering free speech that public online interactions should be moderated to ensure that the online community is preserved. However, Facebook has no official moderator. There are guidelines Facebook follows to delete or censor content but it is not a transparent process nor does it ensure a healthy interaction between two parties online. I think the solution to this divisive pattern of social media is to use Facebook less and use other moderated forums such as Reddit.com or Sputnik.org.  It would be foolish to say drama and divisive actions do not occur on other social media sites. However, taking into consideration what Chamath Palihapitya has disclosed about what Facebook is doing to our society, we do not have any other choice but to change our actions to ensure we progress as a society.

 

Networking

As communication majors, college students who are ready to graduate, we know the importance of networking. Although it is nerve wrecking and can be complicated at times, this post will serve as ease and show you the significant impact networking can have on your career.

Lets be real..networking isn’t on the top of our to-do lists. It can be intimidating, and some people don’t even know where to start. According to the San Jose State University School of Information networking is defined as, “establishing relationships with people who will often become your friends and community of colleagues as you go through your career.” Connecting with your peers and colleagues is a significant part in the networking process which can help you attain the dream job that you need. As the old saying goes, ‘sometimes it’s who you know’ and not what you know that can give you that job that you’ve been hunting for a long time. In other words, it’s imperative to understand why networking is beneficial when it comes to not only finding a job, but also getting promotions and moving up a ladder in your career.

In the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott he mentions that “We should rethink our notions about who can best spread our ideas and tell our stories.”  (Scott 2017) It really comes down to how willing someone is to find people who are interested in your ideas and get your information out. Building on the relationships you have with your friends, colleagues, and classmates can simply be an essential part in advancing your career. As an individual you must get out of your comfort and reach out to people, not only for jobs but it should be a daily part of your career related efforts. You never know when you will need your career network.

 

Is Social Media Bullshit?

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In my next three blogs, I’ll focus on the current and future state of social media, especially its connection to marketing, public relations, and society. I hope to shed some wisdom on the subject from my perspective as a professional in the media and non-profit industries, while referencing our class readings.

In the wake of the recent Parkland school shooting, social media has been used as a critical tool by all sides to politicize and capitalize on the event. However, it is the youth who have been outmaneuvering and outdoing their adult counterparts on social media during this movement.

For example, when Donald Trump, Jr. “liked” two news article that pushed the notion that a few vocal Parkland students were hired actors, one of the students reached out to Melania Trump – who has a White House initiative to stop cyber-bullying – to ask:

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A “like” on Twitter by Donald Trump Jr. can have a enormous effect because he has over 2 million followers, who will inevitably perpetuate the false news. The result of the youth strategically, and naturally, pushing back through social media has resulted in Melania Trump supporting the youth and a recent meeting with one of the Parkland survivors.

This is a good example of the effectiveness of social media as a public relations and social engagement tool. But on the other side of the coin is the equally adept, but terrifying, use of social media to motivate and activate the Parkland school shooter, as well as others who have come before him. (I’m intentionally omitting the Parkland shooter’s name as to not bring him more attention, which was part of his motivation.) The Parkland school shooter and others have used social media to promote their twisted agenda, to learn how to kill effectively and efficiently, and to gain support for their actions.

So is social media bullshit?

I feel that B. J. Mendelson’s book “Social Media is Bullshit” is a misleading title. It’s not that social media is bullshit, it’s that certain individuals are bullshit and they use tools to further their horrible agendas. The book’s author, B. J. Mendelson, asserts, “All marketers, professional or amateur, are full of crap.” This statement and too many others in his book are expressed absolutes and hyperbolical.toolbelt

I’ve been working in the media industry for the past 20 years and the non-profit industry for nearly the past 10 years. Since my background and experiences are more rooted in traditional media (Film, TV, radio, print, etc.), I can see the evolution from previous forms of media to today’s, with the evolution of technology.

Similar to the past, it’s not that media, or even social media, is “bullshit”. Media is simply a tool. As with all tools, it can be used for good and it can also be used for bad. Take a hammer for instance. A hammer is a useful tool when building something. However, in the wrong hands, it could also be used as a weapon to kill someone. Again, the same instrument is merely a tool.

 

Benefits of Social Media On: Visual Media

It is obvious by now that social media has taken over the way that people and companies advertise and communicate, but how? The changes are significant and have their benefits. In this three-part blog series, I will be explaining the benefits of social media’s influence on three major subjects: visual media, music artists, and businesses. These posts will hopefully be informative to those who don’t know about the benefits in relation to these topics, as well as entertain those who do know the benefits, and hopefully teach them something they don’t know. 

Welcome!

In this first post, I will be reflecting on the benefits of social media with relation to visual media. So what is visual media? Duke Trinity College of Arts and Sciences says that it includes “photography, television, film and video, new media and games” (Duke University, 2018). I am sure that it could be argued that there is more to visual media than what Duke University stated, but for the sake of this post, lets go with that.

Traditionally photography, television and film, and video games, were reserved for those who had the funds for expensive hardware, a long-term or deeply-rooted following, and years of experience in their respective fields. Now with the rise of social media along with social media sites and applications becoming more accessible, two great things arose. There are now more people creating content, and more people communicating with content creators.

As I mentioned, now with apps and sites such as Instagram and YouTube,  people can more easily take and share their photography and video. This allows for more content to be created, resulting in more niche content, as well as more people sharing their artistic vision. This good for both creators and consumers.

The second benefit of social media for visual content was very well said in The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott, “The web allows organizations to deliver the right information to buyers, right at the point when they are most receptive to the information. The tools at our disposal as marketers are web-based media to deliver our own thoughtful and informative content… We also have the ability to interact and participate in conversations that other people begin on social media sites like Twitter, blogs, chat rooms, and forums” (Scott 2017). The point here is that there is now greater communication between content creators and content consumers. This allows for content that is tailored toward the consumer and makes for some great content to sprout.

These were just two simplified ways that social media in the modern age has improved the quality and personality our visual media content, and how creating content as become more accessible.

Next blog, I will talk about the positive impact of social media on music artists.

Snapchat Updated and…

What the hell Snapchat,

I’m not a fan of this update. The interface has changed. The people I subscribe to are mixed in with advertisements now. Snapchat has separated friends stories from public figures stories. The public figures are now in the mess of big company stories and peoples Snapchats that the algorithm thinks I want to see. It is apparent that they are trying to attract new users and be more advertisement friendly. More advertisers means more money. It is obvious that audience is very important to them, and rightfully so. Although, as a regular user, what the hell Snapchat… and I’m not the only one.

I get it though. Snapchat needs to grow. If they are not growing, stockholders aren’t happy. They would lose big money and have to make budget cuts. It’s a competitive market. I understand.

Speaking as a regular Snapchat user, what makes snapchat great was its simplicity. Take a right swipe and you have friends stories. To the left you have your direct messages. I loved when all the stories were all together in order of what was posted most recently. Snapchat is more personable. With the 24 hour stories it doesn’t feel like a big risk, you post something small and then it’s gone. It’s small daily shots and videos to share with your friends and whoever subscribes. That interaction is the bread and butter of Snapchat. Those type of personable interactions.  As they grow they will continue to push to get more interactions, more users, and so on. The filters, bitmojis, and special event stories are all superlative. They supplement the user and enhance their bread and butter.

This time though… it just doesn’t feel like they took care of their core audience. With that, I hope Snapchat continues to grow, but please don’t forget what makes Snapchat unique from other Social Media.

A Mother Against Social Media

In today’s world it is important to keep children in touch with technology. Just this year, my niece and nephew brought home iPads and are expected to read and do homework on a daily basis from a screen rather than a book. They even have assignments where they have to research on the internet work on interactive calendars and assignments. These assignments are made possible because of the enhancement of the internet to Web 2.0 and introduce the interaction and collaboration that also enhance social media.

In a post where a mother feels that Facebook is overtaking her daughter’s life and that she has lost all of her friends.  Does she know what her child does while at school and how much they interact there? How about being on Facebook and talking to her friends through chat or messaging? Just because they are not together does not mean that she does not have friends or is not conversing with them on their Facebook walls?

Social Media can positively impact a child’s mental growth. Research by Pediatrics and an article, point out that there are benefits such as collaborating on projects, staying connected with others, and contributing to charity work that is done by children and teenagers that use social media.

I understand that some mothers feel that their children spend far too much time on social media such as Facebook or Twitter but when the World Wide Web introduced version 2.0, it expanded the market to include far more interaction between users of any age.  Instead of placing blame that Facebook is ruining a childs life, embrace the fact that this is part of a childs development in today’s world. With email, blogs, Facebook, and all of the other types of online communication possible, children should be able to participate. I am not saying that it needs to overtake their lives or that children should be vulnerable to information that is not age appropriate, but it is enviable that children will need to use social media. There is even a show on television show on the Disney network, entitled Dog with a Blog, where a family dog writes daily about family values in his own blog following each episode. Not all social media is bad and because someone uses social media it does not mean that their lives are ruined. Instead, if this mother could understand the benefits it might enlighten her …. Ironically, this mother turned to the web to post her concerns, why shouldn’t her own daughter?