Monthly Archives: April 2013

Facebook-less

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facebook iphoneLast Thursday night, my professor challenged my class to go exactly one week without using their Facebook account. At first I thought nothing of this. This was easy. Who really needs Facebook anyway? Well I have the app on my iPhone and I never knew how much I actually clicked on it through out my day. I use other social media apps like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but they just didn’t seem as fun without little old Facebook to go on as well. For instance, whenever I post edited pictures on Instagram, I automatically click “share” on Faceboook and Twitter when I’m about to post the picture. I posted a picture of my eight month old nephew this week on Facebook, even though I wasn’t supposed to be using it…it’s just a hard habit to break.

So this week I had to force myself to click around on different apps on my phone instead of using Facebook. What did I do before I made a Facebook account? Well I made a Myspace account when I was in ninth grade. I thought I was soooo cool. Now when I look back on that, I can’t believe how boring that website really was. I used to get so frustrated with making stupid backrounds and fonts. Facebook is straight forward and user friendly. I suppose another social network will come out in the next five or so years that’s better and more popular and we’ll all leave our Facebook accounts in the dust.

I learned a lot about myself from this past week without Facebook. I learned that I go on my Facebook way too much. I mostly use it to kill time between classes, when commercials come on the TV (because God forbid I’m bored for three minutes), or when I should be writing papers for class because I’ll be happy to log back on tonight after class but do I need to go on Facebook and read peoples’ whiney posts? Nope.

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Byebye Facebook! It’s been real.

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Social media websites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr have become a part of our daily lives whether we would like to admit it or not. For me these sites have become my morning routine. I wake up and browse through my Iphone to see whats been going on while I’ve been sleeping. Personally, I feel that Facebook’s days are becoming numbered, people are now turning to these other forms of social media to help them connect to others. rather then posting status updates. So when I was told that I would be unable to use Facebook for a week I wasn’t to worried. 

The first thing that I did to unsure that I wouldn’t be using it was moving it to another page of apps on my phone so it wasn’t as easy for my to get to. The only time that I struggled with this was when something funny happened that I thought one of my friends would appreciate, normally I would go and post it onto there walls, but now I text or call them. Another thing that I noticed was that since we can not post onto each others walls we started tweeting to each other more often. Therefore we still feel the need to publicly chat with each other in another form rather then privately between the two of us. 

I’m not really sure how I feel about all this, because it’s not just me and my friends who have this struggle, it’s just about everyone. We all feel this constant need to post about ourselves and what we are doing, whether we are aware of it or not. 

Blondes have more fun!

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I’m Sarah 🙂 5’10, blonde hair and green eyes. I’m a PR major who loves modeling and going to the beach…

 

Okay, let’s be real. We have all created little summaries about ourselves on social media websites like Facebook, twitter, and even myspace (back in the day). That little summary allows us to be and say whatever we want about ourselves. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am the opposite of what that summary says. I’m no where near 5’10, but hair is super dark brown, and I hide from cameras like it’s my job. It’s truly amazing how many people lie over the internet or “stretch the truth” about themselves. There have been multiple shows made such as, catfish on mtv, that focus on this topic. 

The article “Who Am We” by Sherry Turkle discusses this topic in further detail but also makes a point to remind her readers that computers were not always used as a way to communicate socially, they were used strictly as a tool and mainly for math and calculating probability. The fact that computers have turned into our right hand is both a good and a bad thing. I feel that computers have provided us with more ways to become efficient and focus our energy in writing rather then finding facts. On the social side of this I also feel that being able to communicate with our family members and close friends easily by sharing posts, photos, music, and videos has brought us to a whole new level of closeness. My only fear about all of this is that people will/ have been becoming lazy and lost their sense of reality. We all go on facebook or twitter and end up spending way more time on it then we wanted to. Also there are many fears such as the one that I discussed earlier. We can pretend to be who ever we want to be, which is a scary yet creative thing. 

 

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Facebook Withdrawl? Not so much.

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I feel like lately, Facebook is a social media site that is slowly becoming less and less popular. More of those who are wrapped in the social media networks are beginning to favor other new trending networks leaving Facebook in the dust. Things such as Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and some blogging sites, are easily the more popular of the bunch. However, Facebook is still hanging in there with many still communicating and interacting on the site. I know that the only reason that I still have my Facebook activated is for some family members who like the updates or the easy way of communication through messaging or wall posts via the site. Since I still have my account I have to admit that I am guilty of going on several times a week when I am bored and have nothing better to do, checking out what is going on in other people’s lives on my news feed. It passes the time when Twitter and Instagram just don’t cut it. Even though I am not as obsessed with Facebook as I used to be just as everyone else, I was still pretty nervous when Dr. Wolff told us that we were not going to be able to use it for a whole week.

Saying goodbye to Facebook in class on Thursday, I was nervous that I was going to start to miss it and feel as though I needed to go on just because of the fact that I wasn’t able to. The feeling of wanting something that you can’t have can be pretty powerful at times . I also thought that there was a good possibility that I was going to crack on accident as well. Open up the app on my phone out of instinct or click on it by accident trying to click something else. But I can proudly say that none of that has happened so far. It has been 5 days since I have last been on Facebook and I actually don’t even miss it…at all. This project, or experiment that Dr. Wolff had us complete has really given me a whole new lite on Facebook and its role in my life. I am actually considering maybe deleting it and setting up new forms of communication with the few members of my family that would really want to stay connect. We’ll see what happens when I get it back, but I definitely do not feel as dependent or reliant on Facebook as I did before and it is quite refreshing to feel that way.

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Of course we have freedom of speech, right?

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As we all know one of the main things that America prides itself on is it’s promise of freedom. People from all over the wold come here to have new opportunities and live whatever type of life they chose. I for one am thankful to be living in this country, although I do feel that America’s definition of freedom has some differences from the actual definition of freedom. So, what is the actual definition of freedom you ask? Well according to dictionary.com freedom is “the power to determine action without restraint.” Therefore we should be able to do whatever we please without anyone telling us not to.

One of the main ways that America shows this is through the freedom of speech philosophy  So my question is what are the limits on freedom of speech? While I was investigating this further I came across an interesting article that was posted by the New York Times. This article focused on a a court case that involved a reporter withholding names because she felt that they weren’t needed. This was taken to the courts because the state accused her of with holding important information in a crime. She is arguing that it was her right to without whatever names or information that she wants to since America has freedom of speech. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this, part of me feels that she is correct since it was not a life or death situation. But when it comes down to is I’m not so sure how much freedom of speech we really have. Image

Is The Internet Stripping Us Of Our Freedom?

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As Americans we are given the right of freedom of speech, but with our sources of communication grow and adapt to the new typesof technology that freedom of speech might slowly be slipping from our fingertips when it comes to communicating via the internet.

Twitter has fastly become one of the most used social networks on the internet today. In fact as I am writing this right now, four of the group of six people that I am sitting with are checking their twitter accounts on their phones. But don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of using twitter  just as much. Whether it is tweeting something sad, or happy, or exciting that happened, or just checking to see what is going on in everyone else’s lives on my twitter feed, I’m constantly on the site or the app. Twitter is a place of communication where so many go to express themselves and communicate with others. It is also a public website where you control your words and you, as the account holder, should be able to express yourself and say whatever you might want in order to do so. However, this is becoming the opposite of what the internet and websites such as Twitter allow. Twitter has the power and decision to delete any tweet, post, or message that they dislike, whenever they feel like. Why should they have the power to do this? Why should they be able to control the expression of your thoughts and your writing? Writing is one of the greatest forms of expression and being denied the right to be able to use that form of expression and share it with others is just wrong.

The article, “Tweets of rage: does free speech on the internet actually exist? “even says that Apple has some restrictions to their freedom of use as well. If you are using iCloud, you might need to be careful of the things that you decide to back up on it. Apple has the ability to view the items and even delete them if they find them “0bjectionable”. Not only is Twitter limiting our speech on the internet but now we are being stripped of the freedom to save and back up certain items that we do not want to loose?

These companies are taking over our right to freedom on and off of the internet and I strongly believe that this is something that we need to stand up against and fight for our cyber freedom. 

 

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Tweets of rage: does free speech on the internet actually exist?

Who are you to tell me what I can do? : Regulation on the Internet

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If I asked you who is in “charge” of the internet and its rules, would you be able to tell me?  In fact, is anyone in charge?

There are a plethora of accepted rules and standards acknowledged and accepted  for internet usage among children, teens, and adults alike, but who is that gets to decide these? And when did our freedom of speech become limited  because of a computer?

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Internet regulation is a growing concern among users and government alike. Yes, as American’s we are protected under freedom of speech, but how much can you say before it is too far and offensive or even putting others in danger? Should anyone be able to tell us it is too far, or too much? Sociable Blog lists ten reasons the government should not have the right to regulate the internet, and after reading them, I really got to thinking, maybe they are right…

Here’s just a few..

1. To protect the first amendment

2. Encouraging entrepreneurial activity

3. Facilitating Innovation

4. Complications of Regulating Legitimate Sites Under Sweeping Legislation

5. “Offensive” is arbitrary

The internet is used for more things then just communication. It is a livelihood for some, a means of researching for others. Why should someone have the right to censor or take away information just because they think it is wrong? What if what you were taught is wrong is different from the next person, and the next. Based on different beliefs, the internet could be shut down completely if we were going off of what ” offends people”. Freedom is freedom. No one should be able to take that from us.

Shopping Carts to Mouse Clicks

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In Kevin Kelly‘s, We Are the Web, he makes some interesting points about the past, present and future of the computer and all of it’s uses for society. He mentions many times through out the post that “That remarkable achievement was not in anyone’s 10-year plan.” (Kelly 2). I don’t think any one could have imagined that the internet could provide the endless services that it does today. People can have their careers completely on the internet based off of the services it provides.

In the early 1990’s, people used the internet for checking their email or typing up Word documents for work and school. Today, the internet provides services for literally every aspect of our lives. “Today, at any Net terminal, you can get: an amazing variety of music and video, an evolving encyclopedia, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, satellite images of anyplace on Earth, up-to-the-minute news from around the globe, tax forms, TV guides, road maps with driving directions, real-time stock quotes, telephone numbers, real estate listings with virtual walk-throughs, pictures of just about anything, sports scores, places to buy almost anything, records of political contributions, library catalogs, appliance manuals, live traffic reports, archives to major newspapers – all wrapped up in an interactive index that really works” (Kelly 2)

Websites like Google, Amazon and Ebay have changed the way consumers buy and sell merchandise. We don’t have to leave our houses anymore to go buy clothes, parts for our cars or even food. With the click of a button, and of course a credit card, we have the freedom to buy what we chose and when at our convenience. “Instead, we have an open global flea market that handles 1.4 billion auctions every year and operates from your bedroom. Users do most of the work; they photograph, catalog, post, and manage their own auctions” (Kelly 3). Users are creating their own businesses on web pages and marketing their products in ads and pop ups. The world of having a small, family owned business in the downtown area of your home town is no longer. You can have your very on business on a web page with all of your products without ever having to pay a monthly fee to rent out a space for your store. I don’t think past generations could have ever dreamed of a world of  all of our wants and needs all on a little computer, just a click away…

shopping cart                                                                                                           amazon

Who Do You Want To Be?: The Masks Behind Technology.

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Who do you want to be? It doesn’t matter who you are right now, what you look like, where you live, age, interests, talents, likes, dislikes. All of the things that right now define who you are can be wiped clean with the click of just a button. Did you ever think this would be possible? To completely re-create who we are to people and instantly become who we want to be? The internet has made this option so easily available for us today and the truth is that even though you may want to believe that most people are being truthful, some of them are not.

In her article “Who Am We”, Sherry Turkle talks about how the computer has went from being introduced to a college classroom as a “giant calculator” to altering our minds, ideas, and even who we are into something different. When it was first developed the computer was strictly technical and known for calculating purposes only. But, today the computer and the internet have greatly evolved to allow us to branch out to people with so many different forms of communication that it could make your head spin. Between Twitter, Facebook, Blogging sites, and much more, we have so many options to choose from. It is crazy to think that when you enter a social media site such as these that we do not have to be who we are. We can enter a totally different image of ourselves, a different personality, a different persona and fool people into thinking that we are someone that we are not. It is like we are creating our own character that we just dreamed up.

Yes, in a way this can be a great thing, we can be who we always wanted. And in some cases this can be innocent. Pretending that you played a certain sport or liked a certain band that would give you a different image or dynamic, fine. But in other cases, these lies are not quite as innocent. Due to these masked identities that we create, the world of the internet can be a scary and unexpected place. You never know if you are really talking to a boy your age that goes to Temple University or if you are actually communicating with a 40 year old man that gets a kick out of talking to young girls. Being able to create these different sides of ourselves can at times be harmless, but you still have to be cautious for the times that they are not. Next time you are talking to someone on the internet be sure you know who they really are, not someone you think they might be.

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My name is Jack. But only on Facebook : Identity on the Internet

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If I told you today, my name is Jack and I am a 35 year old man from Jacksonville, North Carolina, would you believe me?  stranger

Well , in fact, my name is not Jack, I am not  a man, I am not from North Carolina, and I am a college junior. Scary isn’t it? That I can tell you I am anyone I want, from anywhere in the world I want, and you just have to take my word for it. The internet is free and so is this country. Who has the right to tell me I can’t lie?

Sherry Turkle explores this phenomenon in her article, ” Who Am We” (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.01/turkle.html) . As she describes it, “life on the screen permits us to “project ourselves into our own dramas, dramas in which we are producer, director, and star…. Computer screens are the new location for our fantasies, both erotic and intellectual. We are using life on computer screens to become comfortable with new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, sexuality, politics, and identity.”

In other words, the internet is not real life . Maybe for some of us it is. Maybe you go on Facebook and Twitter simply to share thoughts about your  daily life, thoughts and ideas. But what if your life is too boring? What if you have tons of ideas bottled in your head that are far too inappropriate for your grandmother to see on your profile? The internet, and freedom, tells us it is OK to make something, or someone else up instead. If you don’t feel like being you today, and your boss made you really mad, you can sign up on twitter and make an anonymous account bashing your job.  No one is going to do an identity check when you sign up on social networking sites, so why not?

 Turkle adds, “That the Internet links millions of people in new spaces that are changing the way we think and the way we form our communities. That we are moving from “a modernist culture of calculation ” . We used to form our communities based on people around us, that had similar interests and desires. Doing that on the internet, could lead you to an entirely different community, with people lying about what they do, and who they are.

People lying about their identity has become an overwhelmingly popular thing to do. It used to be believed that predators would be the only ones doing it, because it was wrong. Now teenagers do it to get dates.

Freedom allows us to be whoever we want to be. Home, in school, or online. But is it OK to be three different people? In case you still don’t believe this happens, check out that trailer for  MTV’s reality show Catfish.

This is real life.