Category Archives: Socialization in Technology

Unacknowledged posts on social media can be embarassing…

Yep, it’s happened to all of us. You think of something good. Post it on Facebook. Wait for the responses, the “likes”, the “comments,” the little windows to pop up in your browser and tell you that someone has acknowledged your post- validating your cleverness and essentially confirming your worth as a human being. You live for that response. You need that validation. Only when you post….crickets. Now before you know it a week has gone by and you got one lonely little post sittin’ like a zit on the face of your profile page.

Not cool, right?

Well, lo, and behold, there’s an inforgraphic to help us make sure this never happens again! Huzzah! Praise be to the Social Media Gods…or at least to the good folks over at Mainstreethost, whom this article comes from.

The chart contains a lot of useful little tidbits like, “The best time to tweet is between 1-3pm” or the most responded to tweets contain a “call to action.” Facts like this may save us from the ever embarrassing un-acknowledged posts, which, to use a more elegant phrase, ain’t nobody got time for. Check out the chart to maximize your social network abilities. I’m serious. Do it right now.

It’s almost like I’m calling you to action…

Check out this while your at it. It’s our class twitter account, which is where I got the article from another student’s tweet.

(That’s two calls to action. I can see my views skyrocketing already!)

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Balancing Social Media: Dangers and How to Stay Safe

Social Media can be both glorious and dangerous. Social media can lead to great connection, but it can also lead to unsafe situations or peril.

University of the Pacific has a safety section on their website, and one page is about social media safety and concerns. With the current dangers involving social media going on, I would like to share them.

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  • Identity Theft
  • Catfishing
  • Employers can see inappropriate content leading to termination
  • School leaders determining expelling.

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How to Stay Safe

  • Don’t publicly post private information
  • Adjust privacy settings for specific posts
  • Be wary of who is following you before you post

Social Media can cause identity problems. People can pretend to be you, or pretend to be someone else to use your information or emotions. We need to make the right connections and be safe while doing so. Also, everyone must be careful about how they share. Opportunities can be squashed if an employer, professor, dean, or principal sees the “wrong” things. Be wise about social media.

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Social Media: Open Door to Learning?

George Couros, the “Principal of Change”, wrote an article on his blog entitled “3 Ways Social Media Can Improve School Culture”.

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His three points of improvement are increased visibility,  increased accessibility, and a flattened organization.

Visibility:

I can completely agree with his notion that social media will optimize visibility. When I was in second grade, I had a very hard time understand what lessons were being taught when I merely had to read, because I couldn’t see the projector screen. The words were all too fuzzy for me. If I had a tablet in front of me, I would be able to participate more efficiently. Also, I am more comfortable sharing my answers without having to speak out loud. If my classes used social media to create electronic forums, I would feel a lot more at ease.

Accessibility:

When more people connect, more success is created. This is what I received from this particular point, and I completely agree! Creation needs more collaboration.

A Flattened Organization:

When I first read this phrase, I will honestly admit I had no idea what it meant. Once he linked me to his “Everyone’s A Teacher and Everyone’s A Learner” article, I finally understood. Everyone can teach and be taught together in this expanding technological world.

Social media will open the doors to easier communication and social interaction. The world needs to embrace it.

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Keep The Social Spirit Alive

Everyone is forewarned that the Internet is forever. In other words, the things that you post on your social media sites can pop in different aspects of your life at any time. Individuals have become cautious with the amount of information they have put onto these sites because of this reason. However, in Laurent Francois article he claims the exact opposite. Francois believes that just as technologies fade, social media fades as well.

Francois argument is accurate because we have seen AOL instant messenger fade as well as Myspace. Facebook is in it’s way out the technological door as well. Francois’ point is that while these social media outlets fade out, our information and history with the sites go with them. In an article by Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, “The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet.” they address these exact issues relating it to the shift from the world web to simple internet explorer platforms. They write “Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display.”

Technology and social medias are fast pace changing and there is no option to slow the process down, but it is possible to preserve our aspects on these social media devices. Twitter’s most recent update has made all members tweets public, which has eliminated the option for anything to be changed or forgotten with the emergence of new technologies.

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Social Media Scare?

Recently, social media has proven to be very powerful, now in threatening ways.

A high school in Manhattan Beach was closed down due to threats posted on the social media app Yik Yak.

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Yik Yak is an app that connects students from specific colleges and allows people to post anonymously on a message feed. One student in particular used the app to send anonymous threats to the school. The administrators closed down the school in response to the threats.

Is this what social interaction is coming to?

People are now communicating to people anonymously. The power of the written word can tear apart the benefits of social interaction. Closing down a high school over short messages is a serious matter.

Regarding the movement of writing and social media, we all need to rethink authenticity with user creation. The fear of anonymity can only grow and get worse. Even though Yik Yak’s spokespeople state that the app is only designed for college students, it is very clear that anyone can get a hold of this app.

Writing and social interaction shouldn’t be about threats and scaring people. Hopefully the social apps of the future can spark positive change in the ways we communicate.

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Success Doesn’t Start in Cyberspace

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What makes you a successful person?

Is it your number of followers on twitter? Your friends on Facebook? What about your LinkedIn connections?

Vivian Giang writes about the most common traits about successful people while interviewing author Robert Greene:

Emotional Connection

People who are successful are physically, mentally, and emotionally involved in their work. Successful people don’t haphazardly work behind a screen. Successful people make real connections with the people they work with, and they also fall in love with what they’re doing.

Good Self-Confidence

Successful people believe in themselves every step of the way. They can’t do anything without the most important person in their lives: themselves.

Brain Power

Successful people are always quick on their feet. Their brains don’t get stale. Imagination is constantly pumping through their brains.

Phone Discipline

Successful people know when to turn their phones off and communicate with their work or the people in their surroundings face-to-face. They don’t rely on social media for their social interaction.

Focused

Busy minds are not distracted by Facebook. Successful people stay on track and don’t attempt to multitask. Sometimes, all you need is to just handle one thing at a time to get it all right.

In the Present

Don’t dwell upon the past. Live in the now!

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Technology brings opportunities- Always a good thing?

In Sherry’s Turkel’s  very interesting article”Who am We”, I found the most startling idea to be MUD’s. I’m a technological native and I never even knew such a thing existed. I played a lot of online games when I was a kid but I never really thought about it quite as deeply as the author of this article-who knew that I was actually participating in a worldwide communication revolution? Here I just thought I was having a blast playing a game! Games like WoW (World of Warcraft) and other mmorpg’s, (Massive multi-player online role playing games), in which millions of people around the world play and communicate together kind of remind me of the MUD’s…except, of course, they are not focused on sex and relationships.

I find the type of communication mention in the MUD’s to be quite creepy, if I’m being honest. Not that I want to sound judgmental, but I often question the direction technology is taking us. The fact that the computer can make people virtually faceless is pretty scary. I know a lot of people in MMorpg’s “virtually-cross dress” as many users did in the MUD. I’m not really sure what this signifies about our culture, but I think that the internet definitely affords people the opportunity to become someone else. I think that this is a deep seated desire in human nature and technology is making it easier and easier to achieve this. Another great thing (or not so great) about technology is that there is little to no repercussions. The married man in the article used the MUD’s to virtually have intercourse with other women. I’m not sure where the ethics lie in this issue.Again, though, I hate to sound judgmental. If both partners are fine with it in the marriage, I guess it’s not my, problem is it?  Regardless, new technology is definitely allowing us new opportunities-whether these are always good, as in the case of MUD”s, is up for debate. Take a look at Sherry Turkel’s article for yourself (hyper-linked at the top)  and-see what you think about this.  Maybe I’m just being old fashioned.

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Technologically Advanced, Socially Inept?

Brynn Hardwick

Throughout history, people have marveled at the innovations made in technology to improve the way of life. Increases in mental health, better quality food, higher intellects and more job opportunities are just a few of the many benefits to these implementations. Above all, the way that it morphs knowledge and makes it last forever is an important part to human intellect. Without this way of preserving documents, we would constantly have to re-imagine the past inventions. There would be nothing to learn from.

The inventions that we see today are accredited to those visionaries of the past, such as Vannevar Bush. He predicted that, based off of technology that writes what we speak, we will have to adjust our language. With the widespread infatuation of cell phones, his prediction soon became reality. Abbreviated words such as ‘LOL’, ‘BRB’ and ‘BTW’, has not just become the common language for phone users, but has crept into face-to-face conversation and academic papers. While this appears like an innocent change, this short-hand version of conversation is leeching valuable discussions with human beings. Previous generations are quick to point out the lack of eye contact, decreased intellectual exchanges and hurried methods of socializing. The question becomes, like Bush’s prediction became true, will our constant social networking and texting overtake our desire for face-to-face interaction, causing a socially inept future?

Among his other ideas, Bush gave a detailed description of another machine that, after punching in data, could perform functions faster than a human being. It also will be easily accessible to the masses. Does this sound like the modern day calculator? However, does this also deteriorate social interaction? Without the calculator, mathematicians will be forced to undergo training to learn how to do equations by hand. They will consult with other mathematicians, and perhaps pass this information to other students along the way.

Perhaps the invention that deteriorated human interaction the most, however, is what Bush referred to as the “Memex”. While he wrote “As We May Think” in 1945,  long before the computer was officially coined, its description is almost identical to our modern version. Everyone is probably in agreement on the vast benefits attributed to the computer, including the ability to have an endless amount of resources at your fingertips. In a world of stressed people, forced to multi-task and absorb an excessive amount of useless information, this is an imperative quality. However, its aid in the deterioration of socialization is mind-numbing. Chat rooms, blogs, and social media websites all appear to promote discussions. A deeper look will reveal the truth: the hours we spend watching media and tailoring our websites, we are sacrificing vital time forging relationships with flesh and blood beings. Of the hundreds of friends a user has on Facebook, only about a quarter of them are people that they have actual met in person. Yet, at the end of the day, the socialization that occurs online is just staring at a computer screen. The quality of interaction between us and a keyboard is equivalent to having a relationship with a book or having a conversation with a cereal bowl. We can make the interaction as personal as we would like; however, it still does not compare with our daily conversations with other humans.

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Computers Grow With Us

I found Sherry Turkel’s “Who Am We?” to be the most interesting essay of Rowan University writing professor Bill Wolff’s collection of Web 2.0 Part I writings. In the essay, she explained the idea of having multiple characters and personas through the Internet. The internet showcases different associations with people, may they be their different events in their lives, occupations, awards, etc. Sherry Turkle explains in her first paragraph there are many Sherry Turkle’s, but they are all the same person. I can see and understand this. As people grow on the Internet, their identities change. Some people try and look “cooler” or want to show off some credits they’ve accomplished recently to build a respectable resume for businesses. Technology is changing the authors within ourselves. The way we write changes as we get older, and our personas grow more mature as the years and experiences go on.

Computers are changing us. Computers are beginning to take on our own personalities and give us new personas for everyone on the internet to see.  Referring to the video we watched last class, technology and the internet is changing the face of writing and poses many issues for us. We need to rethink privacy and who we are. Writing is moving more towards online text, much less than print, these days. All writing is technology, but the technology is changing.

In “Who Am We?” Sherry Turkle writes that the computer allows us to be multiple people at once. We can create as many profiles we want on the internet. Today’s humans belong to many different communities all over the internet, crossing with different kinds of people, interests, and beliefs. We can be whoever we want whenever we are online. The computer grants us this power. There are millions of people in this world, which means for millions of people to interact with online. Very few people interact with online personas in real life, but computers bring these anonymous usernames together.

Later on in the essay, Turkle discusses the future of computers. If everything we already have is in our present, what is in our future? She wonders how powerful computers will become, and how much more of an impact they will have on our lives. I believe that computers will grow with us, and evolve as mankind does in the future.

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Hidden Behind the Screen

Sydney Weisser

Julian Dibbell’s article, “A Rape in Cyberspace” was very interesting. After reading the title, I was immediately curious as to how such a “rape” could play out. I learned that this specific act occurred on an online virtual community called LambdaMOO. A community like this provides people with the opportunity to make them into whoever they wants to be. They can design the way that they look and act, and can also control what they say and where they are.

Automatically, I see an issue with this. People nowadays are so addicted to technology, and mostly the Internet. Some use cyberspace as an outlet. If someone does not like who they are as an individual, they can hide behind the computer screen and pretend to be someone that they aren’t. The MTV television show “Catfish” reminds me of this. This show follows individuals who have gone through an online relationship, and have reason to believe that the person they have been dating is not who they claim to be. Most of the time, that is exactly the case. People have the confidence to hide behind their computer and do anything that they want. When it comes to showing their true colors, they are ashamed. In an article titled “Hiding Behind the Screen,” the author states that “one can enter and leave relationships conducted solely via the screen without any embarrassment, remaining anonymous or operating under a pseudonym, hiding behind an avatar or a false photograph of oneself” (Scruton). This gives people the confidence to do anything that they desire by remaining anonymous.

The article connects directly to this. An online persona named “Mr. Bungle,” virtually rapes many other online users of the community LambdaMOO. My first thought was “how is this possible?” Turns out this character created a “voodoo doll” program, in which he was able to control the actions of other characters online. He used this program to force other characters to perform sexual acts on him, as well as themselves and others.

Regardless of the fact that this didn’t actually occur physically to these individuals, they can still be mentally affected. The trauma that came about from these actions caused a stir in the virtual world of LambdaMOO. The main issue was whether the individual behind the character of “Mr. Bungle” could be reprimanded outside of the virtual world. The final decision was made to terminate his account.

To me, it is so interesting to see that some things go on online and we aren’t aware of them. Many disturbing things occur through cyberspace, and many don’t have any clue. This seems to be the problem with the usage of computers. They make people feel empowered and able to do anything that they want. By being able to create their own persona, they can be whoever they want to be, and nobody would ever have to find out who they truly are. Because of this, people feel that it is okay for things like the incident in this article to occur. That is where people are wrong.

Hiding identities makes it so much simpler for terrible behavior to occur. Cyberbullying, for example, has become such a problem with children and teenagers. The younger generation is being brought up in this technological age. They are being raised through the age of computers. From such a young age they are gaining that ability to hide behind a computer, and using it for evil. Anyone is brave enough to say something behind the scenes, but when it comes to speaking up face-to-face, we are all terrified.

The age of computers has effected our communication so much in the long run. People are losing that skill of communication that is so important to have in the real world. We all need that ability to be able to talk to people face-to-face about our feelings. Through technology, we are very slowly being waned off of that and can now easily communicate and shield our faces from the real world.

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