Monday, January 12, 2009

Social Media

Welcome to the new semester! One of the things that i noticed last semester was how much time i was spending with Facebook. If you don't know about Facebook, then you need to look it up. Google it. Using this social connector, i have been able to re-establish contact with friends from long ago. Over the holidays i had dinner with an old college buddy that i found by using facebook.

So here's my question to you. How has social media like facebook, myspace, youtube, changed your life? Do you use any of these programs? Some people even have their cellphone connected to facebook. I'm amazed at how much information people will share on these sites. People constantly post pictures of themselves in compromising situations. I even know some employers who check candidates' facebook pages to see what kind of person they are in private. Do you think the Internet, with the help of these programs, is helping us reveal too much about ourself. Is modesty fading because of new media? Or does the possibility of re-connecting with old friends and establishing relationships with similar likes and dislikes outweigh the negative implications of this media. Remember, two paragraphs. Again, welcome to class.

26 comments:

Richard V. Shields III said...

I believe that communication should be viewed differently depending on the audience you intend to reach. Personal communication requires different tools than those needed to reach the masses. Unfortunately, many of the facebook users do not make that distinction. There not only is no thought given that facts and figures (no pun intended) may be shown to audiences that were not even imagined, but also to idea that data published in this media may last forever.
Companies have now discovered that even e-mail, intended for one-on-one communication, must be managed and maintained and may be required as evidence for future matters of debate years down the road.
Is there a right and wrong in this usage? Probably not...depending on your intent and viewpoint. But one should recognize that your viewpoint may change over the years. Your facebook publication may not.

tvan09 said...

I do think that facebook does serve a legitimate purpose. Staying connected is very important to some people. However,I cannot for the life of me see why anyone would need their cell phone connected to facebook or twitter.

I think that this type of information sharing has its drawbacks also. Compromising photos or comments have a tendency to come back and haunt. If you expect any sense of privacy from these types of sites, you are sadly mistaken. Also, child molesters and pedophiles scour these types social sites daily, looking for another victim. Although, you may think that it is all just for laughs when participating in one of these sites, please be aware that there is no internet patrol that monitors the content or the context of these sites.

tvan09 said...

Dr. Williams,

tvan09 is Terry VanLandingham.

Thanks

Rebecca Price said...

Facebook, myspace, and youtube have changed my life in a few ways. I have been able to reconnect with old friends that I have not seen or talked to in over 4 years. It also makes it a lot easier to keep up with people that I become friends with over the years. I use facebook and myspace on a daily basis. I for one am very careful about what I post on these sites because there is a fine line between what should be made public and what should stay private. Although, I do not believe that many people understand this. It is so easy to go on facebook, go to someone's profile, and read their status and comments and find out who is cheating on who, what a couple is fighting about, and etc. In my opinion, these are private matters that should not be posted on an internet site for everyone to see. So yes, I feel like the internet with the help of these programs is helping us reveal too much about ourselves. But again, that has a lot to do with the individual person knowing the difference in what should be public and what should be kept private. And yes, I do believe that modesty is fading in a big way, but not all due to new media.

Reconnecting with old friends and establishing relationships is great and in my opinion, facebook and myspace are great for this. But does this one aspect outweigh the negative? No, it does not! When anyone can go to your website and read your life story on it, you could be hurting yourself or even putting yourself in danger. You can not totally control who reads what about you. So, to solve the problem, everyone should really think about what they are putting on these websites and keep private matters off of them. Then, reconnecting with old friends and establishing relationships could outweigh the negative implications of media.

Dominique said...

Social Media has changed my life tremendously. When I moved back to my country hometown, I was stuck living in the woods and no one would visit me. It felt as if I was cut off from society. Then, I started using facebook. When I was an on-campus student, I was against the idea of facebook. It seemed as if my peers were becoming obsessed with the site. When I finally used it, I connected with old high school classmates, family members, and old friends. I even contacted a girl who was my best friend in the fourth grade, and I even met cousins that I never knew. I thought the site was great until I found myself going on it everyday to see if someone had posted on my wall. It even almost ruinned my relationship. Now, I barely use it anymore.

We should have the common sense to know what is appropriate to post on the internet. If we post modest material, then we won't have to worry about any problems. I think I had one inappropriate statement on my profile. I remember I applied for an online position and the employers asked for my facebook profile link. Soon after, my candidacy for the position ended.

In this day and age, social media has opened doors for normal people to become overnight stars. They do anything they can just to be seen. In the long-run, they end up missing out on plenty of opportunities for that one minute of fame.

-Dominique Lyle

Stacey Perkins said...

I started out using Livejournal in 2003 and quickly fell in love with it. When I was pregnant with my daughter I found a community of moms expecting babies around the same time as me. It was a great place to find out information, share experiences, and ask questions. I could even use it as a place to vent about things in real life. I was able to control, for the most part, who could see what entries. It became an outlet for me I otherwise wouldn’t of had. At some point, my controlling husband banded me from using any social media sites. I’m still not entirely sure why. But in an attempt to save my now failed marriage, I agreed. But I did create a secret live journal account that no one in real life knew about. It has helped me find online friends and interests that I otherwise never would of had. And since I separated from my husband I’ve created Myspace accounts and Facebook accounts just because I can. Myspace seems to be dying out, but Facebook allows me to stay connected with cousins and family that I otherwise would never hear from.

The internet can certainly help people reveal too much about themselves, but it certainly doesn’t force them to do this. Each person decides for themselves what not to post and what to post. If someone doesn’t want pictures of them in compromising situations posted online, they shouldn’t put themselves in compromising situations to begin with. I think people feel more liberated and less shy on these social networking sites than they would in person, so they probably are being less modest than they would in person. But I think the person makes the site, the site doesn’t make the person. But so far I think the positive out weights the negative.

madjdinfl said...

Social Media for me has been great and changed so much of my life. I don’t use Facebook but I use Myspace. Both websites pretty much achieve the same function; to share information about yourself with others as well as communicate using more that just an e-mail, text or phone. This type of media can of course be used in negative ways if people are not aware of their surroundings. For instance you would not pick your nose in public while speaking to the cashier you’re buying something from and the same goes with media like Myspace. Users must be aware that the information they post is going to be viewed by many people. Fortunately Myspace has a privacy setting, not sure about Facebook. This setting allows you to keep your privacy; photo’s comments ect, out of view of the public domain. When you set your security settings only your friends have access to your information. I believe if you post it you want everyone to see it, other wise what’s the point.

I use Myspace to connect with long lost friends and sometimes family. I like it because I can share my life with them in color. I can send them silly bumper stickers, write comments, share photos and generally just share what I’ve been up to lately with out the formal phone calls and letters. They can also do the same. You see I grew up in Alaska, where all my friends still reside and it is hard to keep up with all those folks, especially since I move so much. They also have life adventures that change them like getting married, moving, graduating college, having kids, and so much more. By having Myspace this gives me a way to keep connected even though I now live in Texas.

I think that it is good that employers use these tools to their advantage. People can come in and interview so nicely and go home and act like a complete freak. The people you hire represent your company while they are at work and at home and should act in a way that you as an employer accept. When you post things on the web you are advertising for yourself and should expect the appropriate response to your posting. Modesty in today’s world is out the window. New media has created the 15 sec of fame that so many people feel they need to fulfill their life. I think that this new media brings both pros and cons and people should not take posting random things online lightly.

tvan09 said...

The question about the safety of these types of social networks continue to be in the news. Take a look at www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23884603/ to review the case of this young woman.

These types of social networking sites do serve a legitimate purpose, however, many security features are still lacking.

brob09 said...

I have a facebook page and a myspace page that I got only at the urging of some of my students so we could stay in contact. I do not believe that people realize that the information and pictures that they put on these forms of media stretches out as far as they do. I don't think they realize the security issues that could occur from all of the information there. They don't realize that everyone has access to all of these sites. I know of an employer that came to campus on career day to interview a young man for a very good job. After the interview the employer went on to this young man's facebook and looked at the info and pictures he had posted. The employer changed his mind and decided that he want not interested in hiring him because of the pictures he saw.

I do believe that, if used properly, it could be a good communication tool. But just as so much other things in this world happens, it only takes a few to ruin things. Just as all media available, we always have to be on our toes when deciding what information to share and who to talk to.

David Layne said...

Social media has not changed my life very much. I guess I am at the age and point in my life where I do not have the time to visit these sites and connect with old friends and new ones. However, it has affected the lives of my children who are freshmen in high school. My children spend countless hours on myspace and face book. I have to monitor them and sometimes I know they are saying and poting things that are not appropriate.


I definitely feel that these programs are allowing kids to post things abouth themselves that are inappropriate. I feel that kids and aduslts will do and say things on these sites that they would never say face to face with their friends. The language and the comments about teachers and authority figures are very often inappropriate. So in my opinion, the NEGATIVES definitely outwiegh the positives.

Casey said...

I think there are both positive and negative sides to using mass communication medias on the internet. When I began to use Facebook, I was happy to find old friends and catch up with people. That was also when Facebook only allowed college users and pictures couldn't be posted. These media types are great for keeping in touch and letting people see what people have been doing with SOME pictures. However, I think people have become overly obsessed with these internet sites, especially Facebook.
Lately, I have seen and heard of many stories about people having problems because of Facebook/ Myspace. For example, I heard of girls being cut from sororities because they had info and pics on their pages. I think young teenagers are being affected the most because they don't realize who all can see the pics they post and I also worry how this might make them socially separated. Also, I have recently seen a couple go through a divorce and one of the reasons was because the wife was on her computer or blackberry "facebooking" all the time and it took too much away from their relationship. I hope people start thinking about how important face to face communictaion is because it is getting less common since their are easier ways to communicate now. I think Facebook has become so much of a priority in some peoples' lives that it has replaced the important ones.

JVJ1 said...

Facebook/Myspace these forms of media have really taken off over the past ten years. I am a member of Myspace but do not participate in Face book although my wife has an account. I see both pros and cons with the new forms of media, on one hand we have the abilitiy to re-connect to old friends and family and answer the age old question "I wonder what they are doing now". On the other hand it is a dangerous tool that can be used against you if you are not careful. For instance if you put your name, address, date of birth, mothers maiden name, etc. what is to stop identity theft?
My wife uses this tool daily and currently has over 150 friends. She brought up a good point the other day when she stated that this could be a good networking tool for business professionals (one of her colleages, a director that is 65 has a facebook page). She is right. Say for instance you need a job and you have 200 friends, with a click of a button you have let 200 people know that you are looking for a job......

rcp20 said...

As with most things, social media can be both positive and negative. The communication aspect allows people to reconnect and stay in touch. Although at times it can seem like networks such as facebook can be used as a tool for stalking people. There should always be a certain degree of discretion taken when using any type of social network. Most of these types of networks offer security options which should always be utilized to prevent unknown individuals from accessing personal information.

I personally am only familiar with facebook. I have enjoyed using it to stay in touch with friends and reconnecting with old friends I have not seen in years. However, I do not believe people should post many of the personal pictures that get posted. I believe people have become too complacent with social media and as a result run a risk of personal degradation.

amandakthrash said...

Any social or communication website can be a wonderful tool to find or reconnect with old friends. They also can be used to keep existing friends abreast of a person's current thoughts, feelings, and situations. They are a great place to show off pictures and meet others who have similar interests.

While those are all positives, there are some pretty negative drawbacks to these sites. It is easy to go in and fill in the blanks with all of your personal information such as name, address, and hobbies. It is also easy to forget that this information along with pictures and thoughts that may be too personal for general public knowledge become wide open for all to see.

Personally, I enjoy Facebook. I think that some people get a little too caught up in some of the applications and nonsensical chatting (things that would be much more efficient with texting or calling), but it is all for fun. As long as people are not too careless about the information put on these sites, then I think they are a good form of mass communication.

Stanley said...

We're living in the facebook generation. It's actually quite awesome. When I was in college, AIM was the "cool" way to stay in touch with old buddies. We didn't have facebook, or myspace. In fact, no one really had cell phones yet. Facebook has significantly impacted my life. I can now connect with old college buddies, and even kids i grew up with in grade school. Family members on the opposite coast can see what I'm up to and "write on my wall." It's entertaining and truly a great way to stay connected. We often say to our friends, "stay in touch," and today's social media allows us to take a few minutes of our busy day to say hi or make someone laugh. Being a military officer, i'm always on the move. After 4 years in one location, we move on to another assignment. So facebook has helped out quite a bit, because i can still keep up with buddies who are on the east coast and the west coast.
Social media has allowed us to express ourselves the way we want others to see us. it's really no different than how you would carry on in public. Sure once you put a picture up on these sites, it becomes public. The important thing to remember is that you are in control of what goes up. You can, for example block certain people from viewing certain things on your account. That's great if you don't want your younger sibling to see you partying it up like a wild child. We as young adults need to monitor ourselves and be responsible with our own social profiles. By doing this, we can avoid any of the negative aspects of the social media. The positive aspects do outweigh the negative. Living in the facebook generation is truly awesome! Tagging a friend in a picture, writing on a wall, and finding a childhood buddy will put a smile on anyones' face! It's important to remember that this is a public setting, and being responsible will keep you out of trouble. I hope the "superpoking" craze keeps on trucking!
-Stan Lau

Kenny Hardin said...

I believe the facebook/myspace media utilities are a very good way to express yourself and to keep up with new and old friends. They have to be taken in moderation though. To much information on these pages can be a very bad thing, used by the wrong people. I think it is wrong for an employer to scan facebook to see what a potential employee is like. But they are very good forms of new age communication.
You can control the amount of information that you put on these pages. If you do not want some of your personal information displayed do not put it there. But they are a great way to reach out to friends that you would normally not be able to keep in contact with because of various reasons. I can see how these pages can be used in a negative way, but I have been using myspace for a while now and have enjoyed keeping in touch with my friends and family.

NicoleElizabeth said...

Facebook and Myspace have changed my life because I can pretty much tell about myself and my life on these websites. I also keep up with my friends through Facebook and Myspace. I can say that I don't think these websites are helping us to reveal too much about ourselves but I do think it helps people that have trouble putting themselves out there and tell about themselves because they are shy or quiet. Don't get me wrong, there is some information I keep to myself and don't post on Facebook or Myspace, such as, my phone number and address, and I keep my Facebook account private. Only my friends can look at my profile, pictures, and etc. I think mainly it depends on a person's personality what they put on their Facebook or their Myspace.
I'm not saying negatives don't come with the use of Facebook and Myspace but I definitely think there are more positives then negatives. The positives and negatives also depend on how much information you are willing to share about yourself, like I said before. I think the positives are definitely being able to keep up with friends and to communicate with teachers if need be. As far as negatives, I have never really had to deal with any negative implications due to my Facebook or Myspace.

Juliet said...

I do not have a facebook or a myspace page. I am comfortable with using email, texting and making phone calls to communicate. I am not opposed to these social networking sites however; I am in agreement discretion should be used when posting personal information. I also agree children's usage of these sites should be monitored by parents in an effort to protect them from unwanted advances from unlawful people.

madjdinfl said...

Dr. Williams

madjdinfl is Melissa Doty

madjdinfl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole Thigpen said...

I have found facebook, myspace, and youtube to be a geat asset to my life. I am a new user to facebook and for a while I was not planning on getting an account. I am so glad that I did because it has connected me with friends that I have not seen or even thought of in years. Being a stay at home mom it is hard to find time to have lunch or have a girls night so facebook fills the gap. For me facebook is a connection tool and my own personal brag book of my family. I do see how some people post pictures of themselves in compromising situations which I think is a bad choice, to each is his own I guess. I think that later in life they will regret those choices. As far as youtube goes I don't use it a lot but it does come in handy especially in instructional videos. I am trying to learn different sewing techniques and how to make bows for my daughter so I immediately went to youtube and found exactly what I needed. The videos make it much easier than just reading directions.

I do feel that these programs can have a negative affect on those who do not think things through! I have seen several videos and post where even I am blushing and feeling embarresed for the people who post them. Just the other day I saw a video of a man dressed in a leotard dancing and singing to a Beyonce song and I felt bad for him. I bet he never meant for that to go as far is it did and now it is one of the top downloads on myspace...oops! Think people think! If there is something you don't want anyone to know or see keep it to yourself...or else you could be the next top download!

larrythomas16 said...

I think it depends on the person. Some people feel that what they can do on the computer is not the same if you did it out in the open. It"s kind of sheltered in a way but you are published in a big way. Face book can help or hurt. I feel the person on there that is looking for attention may put lude and crude pictures on there. Other reasons for using it could be for contacts or sales. Myself I use iy for both, being in the mortgage business you try to network out and see who catches. What I have seen on these sites is people posting pictures not knowing the ramifications behind there actions. Pure stupidity if you ask me. Sure I did some dumb things in my college and playing days. They stayed there and I didn't exploit them to the world because they were STUPID. I think also the technology revolution has taken over and you never know who is watching or who is your friend. A word to the wise from a guy who has seen the dark side of the media. Look both ways before you cross the street. Which means for you youngsters, look around before you get a little crazy, because your future boss may be watching.
When I played for the Chicago White Sox I got stupid on division street and it got back to my GM a year later when I was up for a raise. Well lets say I got the raise but not what I wanted. This was before FaceBook. Can you imagine if that was plastered all over that site. I probably would of been fined and suspended. I won't get into details, but lets say I was saying and acting like a fool in the bar and on the street.

tlr137 said...

I have a facebook and I have been able to catch up with old friends that I would not have been able to see any other day. I enjoy searching and learning more things on facebook. I also enjoy meeting new people. Facebook has changed me in a way of technology enjoyment. I love to chat with old and new friends. I love to see what everyone says to each other. It keeps me in the loop. I check my facebook at least twice a day. The new age social networking is just at the beginning. I believe in years to come we will explore more pages like myspace and facebook.

JTBigham said...

As the parent of 2 small children, Facebook, MySpace, et al scare the bejesus out of me. I'm fairly techno-savy, and while I've registered for Facebook, I've never gotten around to actually using it. We had a long discussion about this in my Sunday School class last week and different parents voiced similar concerns. The things college aged and younger people will readily reveal about themselves today is astounding. I struggle to find anything good and useful from it and find myself beginning to sound like my father when I say it's one more thing sending our society to hell in a hand basket.

-John T Bigham

Caroline said...

I just signed up for facebook a couple of months ago. I am 37 year old, married, and have two children, so this never really fit into my schedule. However, my neice that is 20 asked me one night if she set me up if I would get online to chat with her and some of cousins. I agreed to do this, and it was sort of neat, but as many other types of media I found out very quick that it can consume way too much of my time that I would much rather spend with my children. I think I mainly agreed to do this because the main type of communication I had with her and other younger generation relatives was by texting. I live in a rural are with limited cell sevice, so I found my self standing in the window with my phone stuck up in the air on one leg trying to get a message out. Facebook was much more convenient in that aspect. I even posted pictures of me and my family from recent gatherings. This was a hot thing for me for about a week and I was sick of it. I just don't have time for such as that right now, however I did enjoy it.
I do think the media allows us to be more open and say things that we might not normally just say in face to face conversations. I am usually very to the point, or blunt as my mother puts it, so I really have to watch myself with this. I know I am more likely to confront matters by text or email that I might be more reserved if I were face to face. I would not put inappropriate material or pictures on the website or anywhere else.

mic g said...

I think facebook and myspace and others can serve as a good purpose for people to catch up, find old high school friends ect. The problem is that a lot of time there is way too much time spent on these sites that can interfer with everyday activites and work. I myself do have a facebook account and visit it from time to time. Yet I have some friends that visit it everyday for hours at a time. This cant be good for them.

Also parents need to watch what the put on these sites. I dont think it is 100% safe to have pictures of thier children and info about them on there. Like where they may go to school ect...
Never know who may see and that gather enough info and take advantage of it.