On Social Networks

The social network; its vast and complex digital infrastructure, is at its core based upon personal connections. The ability to instantaneously interact and converse and exchange thoughts with another human being and establish some sort of lasting connection is what the whole concept relies on. So why do we subconsciously feel a desire to keep coming back to these networks? Why do they affect us when we so desperately try to let them slip by? Clearly there is some sort of internal mechanism promoting this, but what is it exactly? Some may argue that it is a sense of self-gratification while others may say it is a case of extreme curiosity; that we have a strong urge to know about the lives of others and we invest ourselves in them. That we tie our well-being to theirs and forces us to come back. While I do not necessarily disagree with these, I would like to propose a different view point; a view point that relies less on the concrete and measurable causes. Instead this idea is more subjective and subtle; performed unconsciously beneath the surface.

Jean – Paul Sartre famously said “Hell is other people”. With this he is noting how we cannot really know ourselves without taking into mind how we are perceived by others. Other people, and by extensions their opinions, are so important to us that the puzzle which is our personal identity is incomplete without them. Whether or not we as individuals like this reliance on others for identity, it forces us to be self-aware. Social Networking fulfills this desire, albeit not on purpose. As of this moment, no social network has been created with the main purpose of promoting a deeper, more personal sense of self-awareness contributing to an overall image. That is just not a thing at this moment. What happens instead is that so much personal information being expunged about ourselves forces others to form their opinions and share them. They comment on blogs, videos, photos, anything that you put online really. As we browse through the feedback of all those who have left an opinion we start to catalog them and try to reconcile them with the partial image we ourselves have created in our heads. This is all done without any deliberate, conscious effort. By nature we perform these tasks. Thus, since humans are always thirsty for a definition of identity, we keep coming back for more pieces to finish our puzzle.

From this we can also examine how social networking changes our emotions. In order to do this the superficial factors must be eliminated. Things such as excessively sad, joyful, hateful, and frightening content and interactions. We need to focus solely on expressed opinions and not the rubbish that clogs social networking. So by establishing that we need these opinions from others to finish our identity and that these make us self-aware, we can answer how it would alter our well being. The key to this is a phrase I have repeated quite a few times for this reason: being self-aware. By focusing in on ourselves, we see what we didn’t want to see. These opinions show us what we have been too blind to see. Our defects, our shame, our failure, our cracks and insecurities, our pride, our anger, our lies. The internal eyelids are held open as everything that which we wished not to see we are shown. In most cases the result is obvious. Depression. Dread. In contrast with the notion that we become depressed because we’re afraid to miss something or that some external force is breaking our limits, we become depressed because we are reminded of our fragile human identity. Not the external identity that we showcase, but the internal identity that defines a mind. However the mind does not despair due to some sort of personal attack. It despairs because we are shown how we have always been, but have ignored. That we are not as flawless as we thought. We are not as strong, as smart, as successful, as well put together as we would like to believe. And because we have been shown the fragility of our mind, our bodies take that perception and portray them to the outside world.

Ultimately, the social networking platform never intended to function in this manner. To show us these internal truths by providing us the missing pieces that we deliberately avoid but secretly desire was never the reason. Due to the fact that it accidentally fulfills this desire that we do not want to admit we have, we become internally obsessed. Obsessed because it allows us to see what we could not see, would not see, and sometimes even should not see. Then once we have been shown these skeletons of the mind, we despair because it forces our walled, internalized view to be extensively renovated. In turn this drags the rest of our mentality down with it, and indeed our physical selves. For better or worse the social network has shown us to be human, and we can’t let it go now.

The New Media Culture of Web 2.0

 

In the 21st century, massive online social networks have sprung up such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others. These companies have attracted millions upon millions of users, and so the more and more momentum they gain, the greater they impact our society. These social platforms have great potential: they can communicated masses of information instantly form anywhere in the world. They can enable people to meet who otherwise would have remained strangers forever, and they enable friends to talk all hours of the day.

However these positives come at even greater drawbacks. Due to the great possibles of these services, the world has mutated them into two currency generating devices. In first one, is that social media has enabled companies to gain an all new unprecedented to their consumers lives. Not only do people now view more ads than ever, companies are also able to track their customers online habits and searches, and they use that data to subconsciously entice them into buying more of their products. The second is that the web 2.0 has created something called social currency. In the world of social media, posting on Facebook, tweeting on twitter, uploading a photo on Instagram or video on YouTube, gains the creator social currency. Others are able to like and comment on one users content, and thus people are able to gain renown and in a way, fame. Then they are able to become more popular in their own social circles, at school, work, and abroad.

This is a situation about modern society which affects me because in I find social media to be quite shallow. Lots of people only post things on social media to impress others and make them jealous. They exaggerate and do stupid things just “for the ‘gram”, as in insta-gram. However while social media is shallow and full of mindless noise, it is so hard to function socially in the real world without a social media presence. People without social media accounts are even viewed as weird, and those without accounts miss out on so many interactions that everyone else is having with each other. Thus, it is a system people don’t really have a choice to take part in, including myself.

Social Network

Social networks have become a big part of people’s lives recently. The introduction of smartphones has increased the use of social networks by allowing people to connect with others from a small device. Social networks like Facebook have helped people connect to other people across the globe. Social networks allow people to hear about the latest news from around the globe and also helps them remember their friend’s birthdays. Twitter allows people to interact with others on a certain topic by the use of hashtags. This helps people give their opinions on a topic and get their word out there.

Social networks have become a very important aspect that if you do not have one of the main social networks people are considered to be out of the loop. In high school, a big part of the school stopped using Facebook and migrated to Twitter, so everyone was using twitter and the people using Facebook were considered out of the loop since they didn’t know what was going on until they joined Twitter.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 has become a big part of my life. It is a way of communication with friends and family and is an excellent resource for information. It is easily accessible in the palm of my hands using my smart phone or on a laptop that can be used anywhere with WiFi. Any information can be found using the web and also any information can be shared. You can learn everything on the web and can teach the world by sharing your own ideas and thoughts.

It has affected my everyday life because at this point the web has expanded so much that I almost depend on it. This is the same for every student, most adults, and children. Most everyone uses the web some way or another. The web is the easiest way to share, gain, and learn different types of information. Social Media has become a big part of life, and it is a much easier way to connect with people and see news and new things going on around the world. It is a good and bad thing affecting different businesses and jobs. This is only the beginning the web will continue to grow and become an even bigger part of everyday life.

Web 2.0 – The Mutual Trade Off

Web 2.0 is the word used to describe the current “version” of the internet. Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 are not technically different versions, but rather shifts in how we use the internet. Web 1.0 was more about having static pages and delivering content to the users without receiving anything in return. Web 2.0 is when internet users start becoming much more interactive. Anytime you submit any content online such as a tweet, a blog post, a comment on a Youtube video, etc is contributing to the idea of Web 2.0.

Without the Web 2.0 coming into play, the internet would obviously be much different. There would not be any online communities for one, which is a huge aspect of the internet today. Forums, Youtube channels, and Twitch.tv streams are all sources of information and entertainment. Online communities have come together to do great things and without the Web 2.0 none of it would have ever happened.

To me, Web 2.0 will open many doors for simply creating. I can submit anything I create online whether it be a blog post, a video, a tutorial, or a website. If we remained with the one-sided Web 1.0 none of that would be feasible. This allows for so much learning and interaction that you could never replicate in another way.

The Creepiness of Social Networking

Social Networks provide society with a tool that instantaneously connects one individual, or a group of them, with another. Most people on social networks are comfortable publishing personal, logistical, educational, and commercial information, and often times relaying information to others, via the internet. This is shown in the moves “The Social Network” when Mark Z. adds “relationship status” to the Facebook prior to releasing the network to Harvard. They have grasped inner social circles of high school cliches, to stay at home moms, and even to political movements.

This technological phenomena is most definitely changing culture. Since people are publishing and sharing pictures, videos, posting about opinions, events, and relationships, people now seem to be more reliant on this information. They log on so often and read about peoples lives, that they stalk you in a way. They see what you’re doing, where you’re at, how you felt about, who you went with, and you are with. And then they proceed to get offended whenever one person posts something but doesn’t say it in public. Additionally, it makes people have social anxiety about they responses they receive on social networks. This has most definitely transformed the functions of normal communication to the point that it has even caused some social problems.

 

Social Media

Social Media has changed internet usage completely. Allowing people to upload statuses, pictures, info, etc. has made it much easier to communicate with others. The main social media network that changed everything was Facebook. After facebook, many other social media companies such as twitter and instagram, were made based on ideas drawn from facebook.

Social networking now accounts for 22% of all time spent online in the US. Facebook has over 900 million users and that number is still growing. Twitter has about 500 million. Social Media has became a huge part of life in the U.S. and its hard to find someone that doesn’t use it.

How Social Networking affects Drum and Bugle Corps

During the summer of 2012, I had the pleasure of marching with the Cadets2 Drum and Bugle Corps in its inaugural season.  In our competitive debut, we placed in the top 5 at the Drum Corps Associate World Championships in Annapolis, Maryland, and have even consistently placed in the top 3 in multiple drum corps competitions and parades on the east coast, even winning one of the shows.  In general, the inaugural season was considered a huge success and an excellent start to the corps’ future.

There were many factors that went into ensuring the corps did a great job.  This included the staff, the financial support from YEA (Youth Education in the Arts, the group that started Cadets2), and even just the hard work and determination of the marchers.  However, I think there was one factor that definitely made the difference between success and failure.  I am talking about communication within the corps via social networking, specifically Facebook.

On Facebook, the corps was split into multiple groups.  There was the main Cadets2 page, which was the central hub for all the members, and then there were subgroups for horn players, percussionists, and guard.  Within those subgroups were other subgroups, for example there was a baritone section subgroup within the subgroup for the horn players, a subgroup for the snare drummers within the percussionist subgroup, and so on.  This helped to not only effectively communicate with all the players on any important issues within the corps, but also to address specific issues that applied only to specific sections.  For example, if the trumpet section needed to do some kind of music assignment to make sure they knew the music for the show, this would be talked about within the trumpet subgroup.  If the entire hornline needed to do an assignment, the hornline subgroup would hear about it.

This helped communicating with the entire corps and specific sections of the corps relatively easy and efficient , thus more work was done fast, any concerns were addressed quickly, and as a result the inaugural season was a success.

Facebook

Facebook has become very popular in a short amount of time. It has become a craze where everyone but that “one person” has a Facebook page. There are a number of reasons for why it is so popular mainly because of the many uses it provides in a setting that puts all your friends and community members together. Facebook allows users to post things they are doing or thinking about, upload pictures, message friends, and create groups and events. The whole idea of Facebook is that it helps users socialize, but at the same time, it creates a worry that people are losing face-to-face social skills. In a way, this has become a major paradox in our society: how Facebook is helping people connect with others, and how it is diminishing our actual interactions with one another.

There are many things I really like about Facebook. Even with friends and family located all over the place, I can still keep in contact with them. Facebook is often less personal than texting or calling someone, so it is easier to message someone you haven’t seen in a while or just comment on a picture that shows up on your page. I also like seeing what other people post. Some posts are annoying or are just people complaining about things, but some people have very interesting posts. The other day, one of my friends on Facebook posted a Kurt Vonnegut quote which really made me think. There is still a major distinction between being actual friends and being “friends on Facebook.” As long as people spend more time with their friends in real life than on Facebook, I think people will be fine socially though I am curious to know how Facebook will affect the future with so many people communicating indirectly. Either way, there are many reasons why I stay on Facebook, and I like being able to communicate with friends online.

Social networks

Social networks have been studied in some form since the 1800s. Why are they suddenly the biggest thing since the Internet? Why was The Social Network even made into a movie? Well, unless you want to call it a fad, I would argue that it’s a combination of technology, timing, and a bit of human nature.

While indeed kinds of social network have been studied since the 1800s, only recently have we had the technology to gather enough data to study them meaningfully. On one end, we have mass communication devices finally reaching a large number of consumers at reasonable prices; laptops, smartphones, even gaming consoles. In addition, reasonably-fast Internet connections are now ubiquitous in most first-world countries. The combination of these two things gives researchers lots and lots of data. However, equally as important, since about the 1970s, mathematical research in the field of graph theory has picked up, though it too has been studied since nearly the 1700s. Graph theory, and especially graph-related algorithms, allow us to analyze large data sets. Previously, it was somewhat difficult to actually find a use-case for graphs; with all these new technologies, it’s hard to not find one.

The human side of why social networks have exploded is essentially that we are social beings. Humans have evolved to actively seek out social interaction, and gain positive feedback when we do. It is nice, in other words, to have friends. We like having friends. So when it’s as easy as clicking a few buttons on a touchscreen, we do it a lot, as you can imagine. It’s why people often say they’re “addicted” to facebook. I don’t know if anyone has actually studied it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the brain chemistry of a really big “facebook addict” and, say, an obsessive gambler, were somewhat similar.