One of the undervalued things about social media is its ability to teach and expose us to various viewpoints. Social media is largely unfiltered. What goes online are the raw thoughts of people from all over the world. While some are thoughtful and educated posts, others can be hard to read or watch. When sifting through those posts, I was particularly concerned about the overall state of our society. How can people think like this?
Then I remember that not everyone comes from the same background and not everyone was raised the same way I was. Social media allows me to see the raw thoughts of people from such a wide variety of backgrounds. I am not receiving the information through the mouths of news reporters, who have carefully picked scripts aimed to deliver a certain agenda. There are video hosting websites that have footage that would never make it to public television because they are too offensive. Some of those videos are less significant, but my choice to watch those videos gives me the opportunity to see firsthand what other parts of the world are like. Watching that kind of content isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s bad that those kinds of things still exist in the world. Without exposure to that kind of content, we’d be ignorant for living our lives so comfortably in America without any consideration for what’s going on in the rest of the world.
In today’s day and age, social networks are universal among the younger generations. To find someone without a Facebook or Twitter is not only uncommon, but rare. Social networking has, and continues, to alter socialization. It is often argued that these networks are detrimental to human interaction. They interfere with face to face communication, change the definition of friendship, and catalyze negative events that would render obsolete without online socialization.
On the other hand, social networking heavily increases the amount of available information and socialization options. News is capable of being spread at record speeds, which can be positive or negative depending on the situation. While many complain about younger children using these tools, they are actually able to supply them with unlimited information regarding current world events and people of like age groups with similar interests. Overall, social networking possesses more positives than negatives, and the allowance of rapid information and online interaction is one that will continue to prosper with online interaction.
Every new social network seems to be a development of the previous one. Consider Myspace, which reached its highest point of success before the creation of Facebook, the site that offered a simpler interface and minor features like best friends, relationship statuses, event planning, chat features, and groups. Years after Facebook, Instagram broke the social media landscape, simplifying the dynamics of Facebook even further. Instagram offered an interface in which users may simply share snapshots of their daily life, minus the clutter of advertisements that one may find on Facebook. Snapchat took the social media landscape further, taking the concept of picture messaging and moving it to a faster, quicker interface that allowed for conversation via pictures and videos.
The development of social media truly goes to show that social media users prefer a simplified interface. Myspace required that users know html code in order to customize their profile. Meanwhile, Facebook already had the interface set up. However, Facebook’s interface was still cluttered with advertisements and fan page posts. That is why Instagram and Snapchat became so popular. Instagram and Snapchat have no advertisements with the exception of a few. Also, the dynamics of each application are straightforward. The user simply uploads a photo and that’s it! This goes to show that the success of a social media site relies on simplicity.
Social networking has had positive and negative influences on our society, that is certain. As far the negative goes, it has made the more current generations much less talkative and approachable than the older ones. The art of simply making small talk has been turned into more of an awkward encounter than it should be. And the social network era is to blame for this change in public interaction. It’s hard to say that everyone has this new subconscious, but it is definitely able to be seen.
But we cannot forget about the positives that the social network has done for our lives. First and foremost, it is way of plugging oneself into groups and being part of a “community” (whether it is Facebook, Instagram, etc.). For example, through Facebook I was able to join the Rutgers Class of 2018 page, and that has answered countless questions of mine that dealt with Rutgers. Or it can even be used to plan huge events such as sports games, tailgates, parties etc. Without social networking, it would be much more difficult to make these connections that so many people have made through these social networking sites and apps. Social networking has the potential to change our lives for the better, or for the worse.
The Social Network is a movie that was release on October 1, 2010 and feature young actor Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius who created the social network site known as Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg is approach by two brothers (Winklevoss tins) who ask Mark to help them in developing a website for Harvard staff and students but Mark realize the potential that this website had. Mark continues to work on the website with the help of his once best friend Eduardo Savarin, who provided money for the company, and Sean Parker, the founder of Napster. Together they were able to make Facebook the most popular social network with over millions of users. Mark Zuckerberg became the youngest billionaire in history but was sued by the two brothers who claim Mark stole their idea and by Eduardo Savarin who was removed from the names of the creators on Facebook and who became furious when his shares with the company dropped from 30% to .5%.
The Social Network uses flashbacks to explain events that had occurred prior to the law suit. The movie gave its viewer the knowledge of the formation of Facebook and how it became popular among everyone, not just college students. The movie also won 3 Oscars and inspired many people to create a Facebook page. In just a short time Facebook had over millions of users and after a couple of years it now has over billions of users. Facebook plays a major role in allowing users to interact with anyone they know like family/relatives or meet people who have similar interest. Facebook gave its users the ability to share videos, photos, and thoughts instantly to all of one’s Facebook friends. With technology advancing, users are now capable of going on Facebook with their smartphones at almost any location. Watch this fantastic movie if you haven’t already and explore the wonders of social network.
Personally I feel as though people today could not live without social networking. People are naturally nosy and almost always concerned with what others are doing, how they are feeling, and what plans they have made. It is strange how you will most likely never meet someone who has not made at least one social networking account. Everyone today has a phone and/or a computer and through this they have endless potentials to create social networks as well as look up others on these sites. While walking around Rutgers, you can often see people sitting down, avoiding conversation, and on some sort of social network. It has become an addiction for some. That is strange to say, but many people wake up and the first thing they do is check their phones for update o their social network account.
What I would like to add however is that social networking is not necessarily preventing us from conversation. People would once use newspapers to avoid social interactions and so today people have the potential to interact with others through a form of media without having to speak to someone sitting across from them. I do not really use social networking, so I find it odd how so many people seem to always be on their social network and constantly posting information on it about random things that most people do not even care about. But it could also seem as though some social networking allows us to be able to say things that you would not say in public as a way to relieve stress. And they could also be used to catch up with old friends that you have not seen for a long time. So although social networks might not seem so bad, it is an undoubtable fact that some people need social networking in their life.
One this that fascinates me about the social network is the difference between the two kinds- the in person and online.
In person social networks are what we basically consider as relationships. Joe who lives down the hall is my friend. Patty down the street is my neighbor. Taylor is on the tennis team with me. These people are friends or acquaintances that we use for pleasure or for some mutual goal. If we’re friends, I enjoy spending time with them and hearing about their lives. If we’re just acquaintances we happily coexist. It’s generally easy to tell how each feels about the other, and who everyone values.
The online social networks are completely different. Yes, generally we friend and follow the people we like online, but a lot of the times, we find ourselves friending people we don’t know or following people we don’t like. In real life, we get the benefit of seeing how that person responds to us, but online we’ll never know. We don’t know if that “:)” means they’re actually smiling or if they say “I’m sorry” they actually are. This miscommunication is a breeding ground for tension and problems because friends and strangers alike.
There’s a certain kind of sincerity that comes with a real life relationship that you just won’t get online.
Social networks have created a whole new online world. Not only can we communicate easier, but can also voice our opinions and feelings instantaneously. Although social networks have been around for quite some time, only recently have networks like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter really engaged people in online communication.
People have definitely used social networks to its full potential. Social networks function as means of meeting friends, long lost relatives and even spouses. It has come to my attention that the older people are, the more skeptical they are about this new mode of communication. Older generations are less willing to put their trust into an online database for connecting with people all around the world. I believe as the generations move forward, social networks will become a second nature, if they have not already been for people of my generation and younger.
On another note, social networks have an irony within. They are used to be “social” and keep in contact with your friends and family, yet people use it to avoid real life socializing. I think part of the reason why people have resorted to finding a partner through the internet has to do with people lacking the skill in real life. In addition, people no longer meet the old fashioned way like accidentally bumping into someone on the bus or train. Instead, people have lost the confidence to make eye contact with people in public places. Social networks have many helpful tools, but until people stop hiding behind their phones, this socializing problem will continue to occur.
I think social networks (through the form of websites and apps) have altered the relationship between citizens and established government. As part of the Arab Spring in 2011 (around the same time The Social Network came out), Egyptian activists organized and led rallies to protest their current president. Their anger was aimed at the economic situation and corruption within the government but also involved freedom of speech, feminist issues and police brutality. Activists and journalists turned to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr to show firsthand accounts of what was happening in Tahir Square and raised an enormous amount of global outrage and solidarity, which eventually led to the resignation of the president. The social network campaign was especially heightened due to censorship that was happening in Egypt and led many to realize the power individual voices had in the face of government oppression.
A similar situation happened in Ferguson a few months ago, where a few photos and blogs about policy brutality towards blacks in the United States sparked an uproar of activism and civilian revolt. This created an unprecedented amount of civilian interest and critical analysis of governmental power, which allowed many Americans to step forward and challenge governmental authority, even in smaller matters. I think the ability of social networks – to spread current news and events among a global audience – is truly changing the way we view government as a whole. Because citizens are realizing the power of social spaces to raise awareness of smaller causes and uniting with others that share this drive, they are taking the power away from government and spreading it among themselves. In this way, the masses become more worthy of fear than the government because they have learned how to use social networks – a tool necessary to spark change – as a weapon against injustice.
Facebook. One of many social media networks that people use now a days. Back when it first became popular, I was very reluctant to join the crowd and create my own Facebook. However, as time passed, I realized it was essential to group work in school since I was restricted to only 1000 texts a month. This became the start of my social life. As a little kid, I always kept my circle of friends small, but after joining Facebook, a lot of my classmates started adding me. I don’t know how many of them realized I existed before this social media platform existed, but I accepted their friend requests anyway. Why not right? My news feed bled of updates of their daily lives, status updates and pictures that ranged from changes in relationship to hangouts with their friends. What I realized was, I didn’t care about these things. I was “friends” with these people now though. I was expected to know what was going on in their lives now because everything was being blasted on Facebook. I just didn’t understand why I had to intervene in their personal lives when I wasn’t even that close to them. Yes, I understand that she was mean to you, but attacking her on social media won’t solve anything. Any how, I adapted and soon joined them in their dramatic ways for a short time until I grew tired and weary of the same old things bothering the same old people. Now my Facebook is purely used to keep in touch with my high school robotics team as well as some far away friends. Just because we are friends on Facebook, doesn’t mean we are friends in real life. That’s the reality of it. A push of a button doesn’t automatically make us friends. We need to actually talk to each other face to face first.