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.

Social Networks as a Weapon

Most teenagers currently are obsessed with social media, whether it be on a computer or smart phone. With multiple, and a growing amount, of social network platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat, teenagers are spending a huge amount of time constantly updating and checking these platforms. However, while social media is mostly used for communication between friends, family, or updates on celebrity lives, many people use it as a weapon as well. Some people put threats on social networks, and strangers can get one’s information much easier with people putting personal information on their profiles. If one is careful they can avoid this, but many people still are being attacked and threatened with social media, leading to social networking being both beneficial and detrimental.

With the younger generation constantly on social networks, many people have taken to cyber bullying as a way to hurt people and make them feel harmed. For example, instead of students getting in trouble for physical bullying at school, some students will personally offend others online. This has become a serious issue with the rise of social media, and is still constantly happening today. Another harm that social networks bring are threats to specific people, schools, businesses, or even general cities. For example, with the clown sightings recently, there have been multiple “clown” accounts threatening people and schools, saying that they will attack a specific institution at a specific time. Ordinary people are feeling scared and threatened due to these accounts, whether they be real or not. Another example can be ISIS threatening and showing violence on social network platforms. Some predators also use social networks to receive personal information, which can be very easy to access if one does not make their accounts private. While sharing information can lead to communication with regular people, others use this as a tool for violence and can be harmful in a much easier way.

If one is not safe and shares too much personal information on social networks, that person can be in serious danger. Many people lurk social networks waiting for people to be vulnerable to attack, and thus those people could be in serious danger. Social networks should not be a place for violence, but unfortunately some people are not safe with what they share on these platforms, and start to be in danger with others. Unfortunately, the social media companies can not necessarily change these settings to make people’s information much more private; it is the user’s responsibility to make sure that they know who they are friends with online, and how much information they share to the public. Social networks can be used as a serious tool for violence, and with the constant evolution and rise of different platforms for sharing information, one has to make sure they are extremely safe and invulnerable to attack.

One way in Which Depression is Caused by Social Media

In modern times, the rise of social media has lent a hand in starting a new type of depression, called F.O.M.O, or the Fear of Missing Out. The fear of missing out is quite self-explanatory. It is defined by Google as, “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” F.O.M.O may seem like something that happens to very few people or on rare occasion, but shockingly it happens to millions of people multiple times per day. For example, a teenager gets home from school and they are watching a bit of TV. The F.O.M.O unconsciously occurs in their mind and so they are prompted to check social media. Once on social media they see pictures and posts of all these people doing fun things which they are not a part of. This causes the teen to think negative thoughts about their own life and how they are missing out on all these things. Unfortunately, there will always be someone or something out there more interesting, and so F.O.M.O can easily happen over and over again.

Recently a study was conducted by experts from the Australian Psychological Society to measure the levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression that teenagers experienced as a result of F.O.M.O created by social media. The study included questions about F.O.M.O asked to teens 13 to 17 years old. Here are some of the results:

Of all the teenagers involved in the survey 24% percent said that they connect to social media while eating breakfast and lunch every day. More than 40% used social media a minimum of 10 minutes before bed every night, and an astounding 50% of the teens in the report said they felt the fear of missing out on their friends’ inside jokes and events, as well as the chance to show everyone that they’re having fun on social media. (Rahamathulla)

From this data we know without question that so many teenagers are affected negatively in these ways. Especially from the last line, “as well as the chance to show everyone that they’re having fun on social media” shows that the teens also felt left out because they were unable to share any experiences that they were having. Why would this be? Well if likes and follower’s equal popularity, then the way to achieve it would be to post things that causes others to have F.O.M.O. So social media platforms are all essentially one big vicious cycle, whereby all users, to a degree, have F.OM.O and so are forced by themselves check their social media. Then once they do, they are somewhat forced into feeling anxiety or depression for seeing that they are being left out and so are urged to post exiting things of their own. This then is seen by other users who have gone through the same process and now are feeling left out by that person. In the end, people are hurting both each-other and themselves through F.O.M.O, and it is all the fault of our social media culture.

 

Works Cited

Google. “FO-MO.” Google.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2016. <https://www.google.com/search?q=fomo&oq=foMO&aqs=chrome.0.0l6.947j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8>.

Rahamathulla, Mubarak, Dr. “#FOMO Leads to Depression and Anxiety in Teen Social Media Users.” techtimes.com. N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 24 May 2016.

Social networking making people less social

As mobile technology advanced and became more of a necessity, this idea of social networking was born. Virtually, it was thought that since people were on their phones or computers and then would step away in order to interact with others, why not have both interactions at the same place? Where one could be working on homework or playing a game while at the same time being able to talk to their friends and meet new people. It started with small chat rooms and evolved into one of the most common uses for technology. Nowadays, their are thousands of apps that one could download that would allow them to meet new people or connect with old ones which is truly the appeal of social networks.

The only problem though is that instead of it being originally something one would do in the background while they are doing something else, our culture is engulfed in just being on social media. People have gotten famous off of social media, when the application Vine was first starting to get popular, dozens of people were receiving large sums of money just to be on the app and endorse other products. This fixation on being social online has created a nonsocial environment offline. Now, it seems more common for someone to say “What’s your snapchat?” opposed to how years ago it was “Where do you want to meet?” or “What’s your phone number?”. We use social networks as a substitute for actual social practices thus resulting in people becoming more anti-social. This is because due to the easy access of a camera or smartphone it seems that the somewhat difficult process of talking to another human being have become lost in cyber space.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5GecYjy9-Q

Too much of anything is bad

As the axiom usually goes, too much of anything is not good. Social media and its effects have not been undocumented. From the rise in phones in schools, to more people on phones will driving we can clearly see how social media has taken a toll on us. As a society we try to figure out different ways to connect, re-invent, and socialize, but when does enough become enough. I believe that soon social media will do more harm than good, as more people are inclined to join these new social medias.
For example, the advent of snapchat has led to more people recording the moment rather than actually enjoying it. Often times people are asked to repeat their actions for social media. When did we lose the moments where we can really just connect with the people around us and not involve our phones. It’s important to remember how this one application used to connect people has distanced many.
Lastly, many of these applications have been used for bullying and negative impacts. The important connections are now being severed for the image on social media. People must achieve the highest amount of likes to stay relevant. The whole world of competitive likes, and social status has produced a new generation where filters and comments and captions mean more than the people in the photo.

Web 2.0 for Century 21

Humans are, by nature, social animals. We have a desire to share and communicate; to be involved with our fellow man. This need drives humanity to continuously innovate and create new, quicker, and more efficient ways to pass information. From the dawn of written language, to the advent of the printing press, and the birth of the web, there is a constant flow towards technological progress. The trademark of each form of communication was, however, that information was spread by a minority of producers to a majority of consumers. This trend was tremendously upset by the arrival of Web 2.0. A tool for the modern age.

I personally cannot fathom what any digital interaction would be like without the Web 2.0, as it allows anyone to produce anything for everyone to see. Its a web of the peopleby the people, and for the people. The result of this is incredible efficient and quick communication and access to information. As a student myself, this is of extreme importance as all my coursework and nearly all my class resources are located on Sakai. Sakai is a program which relies on the existence of Web 2.0 to function. Even leisure sites such as YouTube need this platform to function. In my view, this is what makes Web 2.0 so vital. It represents a shift from a few creators to many receivers, to many creators and many receivers. This change in quantity makes the amount of information and the amount of social contact increase drastically.

Such an increase in connection is evident everywhere. Enter any business and you’re likely to see somewhere on display their Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter handles. These businesses are depending on the social media born through Web 2.0 to generate more awareness. Individuals use the same services to satisfy their need for interaction as well. News can be quickly and easily accessed online as well. This is not even limited to a computer with the prevalence of smartphones and tablets. Every day that goes by, more and more facets of life become connected shaping our world into one fit for the 21st century. Fit for a time when the many refuse to be dictated to by the few, where everyone has something to say. Web 2.0 provides that platform upon which they can speak.

My Life with Web 2.0

Life is hard to imagine without the web and internet. Specifically, Web 2.0 reinvented how humans, including myself, interact, communicate, and entertain themselves and each other. The idea of humans being able to communicate in a matter of seconds, or being able to read a breaking news segment from their cell phones using the internet, is beyond revolutionary. Though at times some people use the internet and Web 2.0 for destructive reasons, such as hacking and malware, the modern internet offers new and evolving ways to learn, create, and entertain. For myself, the internet is one of the most important resources for connection between friends and family, news, and entertainment. Web 2.0 allows for easy access to communication, especially with the more recent development and use of social media, and does so for many other teenagers. Though I and many others may take this connection for granted, I owe Web 2.0 a lot of responsibility for educating me updated with news and other people’s lives in the world.

As an 18 year old student, I cannot fully remember a life without Web 2.0. Though I mainly used the internet and Web 2.0 for online games, as I started to grow older, it meant so much more for myself and the ones around me. With the rise of social media, I was able to keep in contact with old friends, become friendlier with new friends, be updated on celebrity, musicians, or entertainers’ lives, and express myself through many different means. Like myself, many other teenagers use Web 2.0 for the same reasons, as well as many more because the web is so large with so many different options to explore. Though some may argue that the internet, cell phones, computers, and other technologic devices are making humans less social in person, humans are still able to interact with each other and develop more skills online. My family, friends, and many other strangers, rely on Web 2.0 to fulfill access to research, music (such as music streaming or YouTube), communication, creativity, and entertainment. It has made humans smarter, and even made some famous through creative expression on the internet. The internet and Web 2.0 has impacted me in more ways than none, as well as most people in the United States. Hopefully, Web 2.0 will continue to evolve into something that will make myself and many others even smarter, and help shape us into better humans.

Web 2.0, the wave of information

Web 2.0 has taken the world by storm ever since it was first created and has changed what we know about information gathering. Before, in order to understand something or find out what something means, one would have to read a book or research it themselves. But now, it has never been easier to learn about a topic that one previously knew nothing about with thousands of books, articles, and journals at the tip of your fingers. Things that appear to be common knowledge now, only became such a way because of the endless stream of information that is the internet.

I grew up when the internet was first becoming big so I was surrounded my it. From video games, to assignments from teachers it seemed almost uncommon for a person to not have a compbecome rare not to find someone with a way to access the internet around them. People alluter of some kind. With such a resource around it was almost strange for someone without a way to access the internet. People all over the world use the internet for business or pleasure, either way their is never a moment where the internet is not being used. It has become a way for everyone no matter who they are to connect and see the world the same way most see it, through a computer screen.

 

Web 2.0: What it means to me!

Web 2.0 has not really been something that I have thought too deeply about in the past. This is due to the fact that it is the only facet of internet evolution that I have ever been introduced to in my life. Web 2.0 has many brilliant features that my generation often takes for granted. In the past, with Web 1.0, users were really only able to download published content rather than add to it or upload their own. This made the transferring of information on the internet very one sided. Now with Web 2.0, users are now able to generate their own content quite easily. This has led to the emergence of websites and forums such as Yahoo answers and learning tools like Sakai, which we now all use as tools for research and inquiry. Web 2.0 has also brought along the rise of Social Media, such as Facebook and Instagram, which has and will continue to have a great impact on my life.  Also Web 2.0 has greatly contributed to the rise of online gaming, which I have had the pleasure to take part in for all my years using the internet. However, Web 2.0’s impact on me and the rest of my generation has not always been positive.

 

Some can say that with the rise of Web 2.0, crime has also risen greatly. Now that users have the ability to upload content on to the worldwide web, cases of forgeries and hacking have multiplied. This has made many, including me at times, believe the internet not to be safe. Additionally, there may be too much information on the internet as well. With many people uploading information to the internet, there may be too much information on a topic coupled with many different biases. This will make the information posted on the internet less reliable making academic research and other inquiries on certain issues and topics more tiresome.

 

Overall in my opinion, the benefits of Web 2.0 have greatly outweighed the negative effects of it. However, this does not mean we can completely trust whatever is said on social media and other sites. In the future, we must verify every single piece of information posted on the worldwide web. By doing this, we can truly say that the internet is a place for learning and growth rather than a place for exploitation and profit.

World 2.0

Web 2.0 marks the transition into a bigger corporate greed. This is seen through the fact that Web 2.0 has moved into a more secretive way to create profit.  For example, advertising has changed into a way that steals data to create these advertisements more personalized. More than that, articles have shown that these companies are getting this data and using it more malevolent way to click-bait users. This now brings me into my next segment of how cost per clicks now have replaced page views. The Web 2.0 is creating a bigger way to connect advertisements to users that would click it. For example, one user of he inter-web was viewing leather faux jackets on his laptop. His laptop had his social media website up. The next day he logged onto his phone’s social media and the advertisements for jackets appeared there. Web 2.0, or World 2.0 has the power to move cross devices.
Web 2.0 has affected my life through advertisements being more apparent. More mass media is using user interface and user participation. For example, YouTubers now create content that requires their viewers to interact through liking, sharing and commenting. These interactions are increased as YouTubers use their videos to attract viewers and bring them to different platform websites. Web 2.0 has created a World 2.0 where the internet now has become more interactive. Now normal high school students can edit scholarly articles that used to be reserved for pundits.
Web 2.0 has created a World 2.0 where now things around us are always moving, from tablet to tablet.