Thursday, 22 March 2012

Blog #4

How do you think social media will change in the future? What other trends would you add to the mix? Are there any specific technologies that you think will gain popularity or emerge?

First off, this are some very tough questions to blog about; unfortunately, I have little knowledge or imagination for the next NEW innovation when it comes to technology or new trends, so for this I have little to no idea what is next to come.  But, I will attempt to answer these questions in my own opinion, to the best of my ability!

One of my biggest issues with social media applications right now, is my right to privacy.  I don’t like that people can easily access my accounts externally and even internally, I don’t like people knowing my personal business, and my whereabouts; so, with that said, I hope social media applications in the future will give more privacy controls so that individuals such as myself feel secure when using the application.  I foresee the current social media applications such as Facebook, becoming even more difficult to use and “hi-tech,” but I would like for these applications to be more customizable so that the users may make them creative to professional.  Facebook is a good place to host your business information, but it is not very professional, so updating the application for business profiles would be a great.  Other than that, I’m sure the creators of these social media applications will come up with new types of “Groups” or fun games, and what not with time to re-invent the site.

As far as new trends, I’m not sure what new “trends” are coming, but I video conferencing (especially Skype) has become quite big, so adding applications that allow users to video conference may be a big perk, or even to just add better functions and features to existing “Chat” options.  For example, Facebook adding “chat rooms” and video conferencing would be pretty neat, I suppose.

I’m very scared for whatever new technologies may come, (I’m not a “techno-savvy” person), but I can see social media applications beginning to take on features of even mobile devices, like Blackberry Messenger; instant messaging, with profiles, and you can see when the person reads the message, etc. and vice versa, being able to access your mobile device information through social media applications.  At this point I wouldn’t even be surprised if a business owning one of these social media applications started taking on different market segments.

Like I said earlier, I’m really bad with “new technologies” or “trends,” so this is definitely a topic I know little about, but I imagine whatever is coming next will come soon and then be “updated” even sooner.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Blog #3

According to Malcom Galdwell, a well-known author in the area of social media; social media are built around weak ties and real social change can never come from loose networks of people that do not know each other.  Do you think that social media has the potential to bring about social change?

First off and put very simply, I would say yes and no to answer whether or not social media can bring actual social change within our societies.

I very much agree with Malcom Galdwell’s statement that “social media is built on weak ties and real social change can never come from loose networks of people that do not know eachother” for the following reasons...

ü  There is always two sides to every story, whether it is a good or bad story, social media applications allow numerous users to view thoughts, feelings, opinions, relationships, attitudes, and so on that no one may ever know if there is truth and sincerity about what they are view.  So, in that sense, I feel social media is very “fake,” users are “fake” and the truth, attitudes, situations, and so on need to include numerous sides to a story for viewers to fully grasp the ethical issues to determine accurate opinions and/or answers.
ü  Social media applications take away the personal aspects of communication, like body movement, physical emotion, and related compassion that you receive through face-to-face interaction; so in that sense, it is hard to actually build that intellectual and emotional and understanding between social media users.
ü  Combining the two above points, poses the question do we really know the users and viewers of the social media application? And in return, is it appropriate and smart to allow individuals to reflect, post, and blog on what others may air on social media? Do we ever actually really know these people and do they really have the same interests, morals, compassion, and understanding that we are seeking?
ü  Yes, social media is a “hip” and “technology savvy” turn to communication, but just because it is available to a broad number of people, does it really have the same effect as face-to-face interaction.  It’s crazy, a little inappropriate, and maybe way out of line, but Hitler won over a number of people due to charismatic personality; one person had the ability and passion to alter the way another thinks, feels, and acts.  Now, imagine if it was years later and he was using the same techniques through social media applications; I’m almost positive people would have had a much different reaction to his messed up ideas of the world. To make change, a society needs to have a cause and a devoted team collectively working together, with the same aspirations and intentions as well as the same understandings as one another.

Just as a personal opinion, but just because I read something through Facebook, Twitter or whatever other social media application, does not mean I fully grasp a situation, or grasp what is suppose to be felt due to the situation, and rarely does it get me out of my seat to help make change.  Maybe I am lazy, or not smart enough, or uncompassionate to others but there has to be a force to make a movement, and social media is just not enough (for me anyways).

However, on the flip side!

I do believe social media does make easier ways to communicate means of change amongst societies.  For example, Facebook is a great place to start a motion, or to meet individuals with the same interests through its “Groups” application; numerous of these “Groups” help towards not-for-profit organizations, such as 9/11 groups and army groups for charities and support, to small local news creating groups about a little innocent boy being bullied enough to kill himself in order to build awareness of this issue. These “Groups” have numerous members and followers willing to act on the issues and help make a movement towards something better, so in this sense, social media applications can definitely be a wonderful thing towards making change. Whether or not it is enough, I’m not sure; I believe social media applications are better of a tool towards change and not necessarily consider the reason for such changes that have occurred or could occur.

Friday, 3 February 2012

News Information and Social Media

Q:  Social media has allowed everyday citizens to become authors, editors, and publishers of news and information. Do you believe that social media has increased the quality of news and information or decreased it?

Social Media has allowed everyday citizens to become authors, editors, and publishers of news and information.

First off, I don’t totally agree that Social Media has allowed everyday citizens to become authors, editors, and publishers, but I do suppose on some level that this statement is accurate.  There are just a couple things that I would like to note: a) this statement would suggest that everyday people have the time or ability to post, b) the wording of this statement suggests by using the terms “author,” “editor,” and “publisher” that this would imply these individuals are professional and unbiased, and thus c) this statement would imply that this information and news is credible and of good quality. 

Thus the question at hand, “Do you believe that Social Media has increased the quality of news and information or decreased it?”

I do believe and agree that Social Media has evolved the transmittance of news and information to a more freely state; where both professional and unprofessional individuals may post news and as well, individuals may in return freely reflect on such information.  Furthermore, another great aspect to “everyday citizens” being able to report information through Social Media applications, is that we can also get a general outlook FROM “everyday citizens”.

There are numerous Social Media websites that allow everyday individuals to post and reflect on information and news, such as Twitter, Blogger or other similar sites, as well as individuals may contact magazines or newspapers via the internet to publish such information; but the question is, at what level of quality is this information being published?

Like previously stated, I do believe that Social Media has increased the flow of information and news; however, I do not believe it has increased the quality of the information.

Because Social Media has given “everyday citizens” the ability to freely express and publish information, (I feel) it has really reinforced a theory of the “Telephone Game” when it comes to today’s news.  It is hard to defer true and accurate information from rumours and biased opinions these days when it comes to online Social Media; for example, even in classrooms today, instructors tell their students to try and defer from using as a resource when doing assignments because it can too freely be edited, as oppose to websites privately designed for a specific and more reliable purpose. 

Rumours, ideas, and biases can all start from one point and spread, gradually differing from one re-enactment to the next; and, even potentially creating a tail spin of false facts and negative attitudes, which is in return readily available to the general public.  The key point here is, whether or not we are getting reliable and accurate information from our resources and how are we really to know.

This may seem like an exaggeration, but let’s just say… A person posts a blog (based off of another individuals blog and with no other experience or background knowledge), somebody reads that blog and automatically takes on that new bias, is this justified?  Because, let’s be honest, not everyone is going to go back and check their resources or look for more resources; some will just take that same opinion. How do we know that the information is true? How do we know we can rely on it? And, at to what extent can we accept what the information says?

(SIDE NOTE: This topic reminds me a little bit of the issue of Slander; criminally punishable in our country.)

Furthermore, and again exaggerating, an 18 year old hacked the iPhone and Playstation 3; what are the odds at any given time that another individual couldn’t hack a news station website or other social media website and put a punch of gibberish on it, so how are we to say the information we read on social media websites is true at all or not.

For me, the bottom line for this question is: viewers have no idea for sure who or what posts any of the Social Media information and news and where these people actually got their information from; are they professional individuals or random people posting; and, are these people biased in the information they are posting on; and, is that information credible. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Industrial Revolution vs. Social Media

Q: What is your perception of Social Media, do you think it is a fad or the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?

First off, I think to compare the Industrial Revolution to Social Media is a little ridiculous; so I suppose with that said, I would say that the Industrial Revolution marked a significant turn in the history of our civilization and that Social Media is somewhat of a fad.

The Industrial Revolution brought an incline in our population facilitated by an increase in the average household income; which has even more so evolved over time to where we are now in consideration of double income households.  This revolution altered the lifestyle of every household in a significant way on a day-to-day basis by encouraging a by providing such means.
For our society to function or exist at all, we require a market with a stable or fluctuating economy along with numerous other aspects such as government and legislation.  To be more specific, nowadays we need financing in some way or another in order to live; households need income in order to survive (i.e. food and shelter), businesses need an income in order to operate and provide those necessities; and, the government needs income in order to sustain our provincial or country’s systematic procedures such as legislation in order to be a civil society.
Social Media has contributed significantly to our society in the sense of communication; we can now communicate within seconds, between large distances, and at any time of the day through numerous different applications.  This networking has allowed for old friends and family to reunite or simply keep in touch, for businesses to expand their promotion, for individuals and groups to provide brand awareness, and so on and at a very inexpensive cost.
For me personally, I do not use any Social Media networks and I’m not a huge fan of them; I’ve used many other ones for years and I just have little interest in them now.  Nowadays everyone and their uncle has a Facebook account and as a child growing up with the internet I have experienced online predators, and I really hope adults are watching how their children are using the internet.
Today’s society has built a generation of “plugged in” individuals who heavily rely on technology routinely on a day-to-day basis, which has only added fuel to the area of Social Media. Internet, computers, and hi-tech cellular phones were once mainly used for business purposes, but have now become a growing trend for ages 10 and up.
But, the question is what more can you really say about “Social Media”? Yes, you can go into detail analyzing and doing an in-depth study on its application and the pros and cons of the applications, but how dramatically does it affect our society?  Can we really compare Social Media to the Industrial Revolution?
In conclusion, the Industrial Revolution lead towards a new way of living, and although so has Social Media, I feel they are definitely at different ends of the spectrum. The Industrial Revolution affected every household for the better where as Social Media does not exist in every household and sometimes it does not have a positive impact, for example bullying and online predators.  To sum this up, yes I believe Social Media is a wonderful invention in terms of communication, but it doesn’t pale in comparison to the Industrial Revolution and I don’t see it as a big enough asset to our society to bother considering comparing it any further.