Evolution of Technology (TEC 154 2014S) : Readings

Readings on Social Media (1)


boyd, danah, and Nicole Ellison. "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x/full Read "Social Network Sites: A Definition" section only.

danah boyd's "it's complicated" chapter 1 http://unglue.it/work/130412/.

Pew Research Social Networking Fact Sheet http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/

Part one and part three of http://philosophyforchange.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/foucault-and-social-media-life-in-a-virtual-panopticon/


Regarding the Pew Research claim, "The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American" is counterintuitive to the constant claims about millennials being unable to socialize on a real level. Is this claim by Pew suggesting that millennials are forming different relationships than we saw before the big computing age?

On page 39 of Identity they say, "The context of a particular site is not determined by the technical features of that site but, rather, by the interplay between teens and the site. in sociological parlance, the context of social media sites is socially constructed." What are the possible implications of the constant archiving of social media data when decades from now a post can be taken entirely out of its current socially constructed context?

Rayner asserts that "there is a self-reflexive structure to sharing content on Facebook or Twitter. Just as actors on stage know that they are being watched by the audience and tailor their behaviour to find the best effect, effective use of social media implies selecting and framing content with a view to pleasing and/or impressing a certain crowd." To what extent does posting on social media distort our perceptions of others? Our perceptions of ourselves?

The social networking fact sheet states that Facebook users have closer relationships, are more trusting, and have the ability to revive "dormant relationships." Do these seem like accurate, realistic claims? Through what mechanism might the use of Facebook allow someone to have closer relationships than a non-Facebook user?

On the social media fact sheet it claims, "The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American." Is this really true? How did the research measure what a "close tie" is? Couldn't it just be that the individual thinks they have closer ties because of increased interaction over a computer?

The Fact sheet claims, "Myspace users are more likely to be open to opposing points of view." Is this because MySpace isn't a mainstream social media site? Is there a connection between choosing MySpace over other sites and being open to opposing views?

The modern social media site was created in 1997, and websites like Facebook and Instagram already consume a tremendous amount of time each for the the user. What does this mean for future social websites? Is it plausible that all interactions with others will come through similar technologies? (Bill Joy-esque)

How do "social networking" sites contribute to our understandings (and definitions) of technology?

What are some consequences to using social networking (facebook, blogs, twitter, etc) sites?

Even from the data provided by Pew Research, to what extent do you think social media is affecting individual's social skills, specifically, speaking skills and physical interactions with others? Given the assumption that it is much easier to be social behind a computer screen and keyboard.

According to the data provided by Pew Research, 71% of adults online use Facebook. Is this a healthy hobby? What other, possibly more important, things could adults be doing with there time rather than using social media like Facebook? Based on these other activities, would you argue that social media is a distraction from more important things?

Social media was shown to increase political activism in people. Did social media simply increase the amount of political propaganda a person is reading from their own side?

How many different social media sites can we actively use and still consider ourselves a whole person, rather than a collection of fractured parts?

Is a social network website's purpose characterized by its display of connections that a person has as Boyd and Ellison suggests? Is the various forms of interactions between its users far more essential as a function of a SNS?

What does it mean for a person to maintain multiple identities (real-life and online presence)? Are we truly becoming interconnected?

Copyright (c) 2014 Samuel A. Rebelsky.

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