Reflection

After all, social media has left a huge impact on most of us. For some of us, a part of our lifesetyle involves the social media. The social media websites helps us to communicate with our friends and families easier, especially if they are out of the country. Websites like the facebook is used by many and it allow users to upload pictures and videos for them to share with anyone.

Websites like Youtube, is a very useful source for online exhibitionism. Anyone can easily expose themselves via Youtube with the intention of getting famous (Alexander, 2006). Most people does not like the idea of sharing their personal life. However, that is not the case these days. People are blogging and video blogging, also know as Vlog, to share their daily lives with their subscribers on Youtube. There are also people who showcase their talents on Youtube. Some are discovered by television or movie producers therefore changing these users from being famous on online media to mainstream media (Kamp, 2008). There also users who were not chosen by television producers but still continuously uploaded videos for their subscribers. According to the theory of micro-celebrity, even though they are not a film star, they are also not just an ordinary person as their life are exposed to the public (Thompson, 2007).

myspace

somebody
An illustration showing the the micro-celebrity theory

Why is the social media trending? This is because of the mass society theory. People join social movement assuming that it offers them a sense of belonging, usually to satisfy their psychological needs of belonging to something that is larger than themselves. They want to gain a sense of identity and purpose. They do not want to feel left out when the majority of people are already part of the social network.

Apart from the reason stated above, social media is also an improved version of the traditional media. Traditional media is unidirectional as viewers are not able to give their feedback while social media is quite the opposite. As long as a person creates an account online, they could give feedback and ideas. They could even interact with each other. Moreover, this is made easy with modern technologies these days. People no longer need to just depend on the computer in order to surf the internet. They could do so through their mobile phones. Huge social media websites usually have another version of their website specially made for mobile phones.

The mobile phones are known to be human’s best friend. But they will not be one without the existence of social media. Many years back, the mobile phones were just made for calling and texting. Today, the mobile phone is everything to us. With the many applications users can download from the application store, they could mostly do many things such as, searching for directions wherever they are and many more. A part of these users are hooked to their mobile phone because they do not feel lonely even when they are alone. Even the way people text each other is not the same. There is an application known as ‘Whatsapp’ available on all smartphones. Users can text, send images, videos, audios and even maps locating where they are to anyone. This application requires the use of an Internet otherwise the app will not work. Users are attracted to it as they could send anything without having to pay extra. This is different as compared to the traditional way of texting where one has to pay extra to send pictures and videos.

The popular culture has influenced many viewers, dividing them into the likes and the hates respectively. For example, when a music video on Youtube starts to get millions of viewers, there will be people who love it and there will be those who hate it. Those who love it will give encouraging comments while those who hate it will criticize. This will be a disadvantage, as other people will be influenced by the comments given. If a user sees a criticism made that he agrees with, he will then start to give hate comments in the future to anything he dislike on the website. This goes with Albert Bandura’s social learning theory where one will follows an action upon seeing one.

However, in my opinion, social media cannot be blamed for the disadvantages listed. It is not the reason why people are misusing it. The way people use it depends on individuals. Therefore social media can also be used to engage its audiences to raise awareness on the dangers of internet. In conclusion, despite the bad effects social media have contributed to, it has much more positive impact on people and I could see the social media lasting for a very long time.

Word count : 780

References:

Brian Alexander, (2006). The thrill of putting it all out there.
Retrieved from http://www.today.com/id/14061673/ns/today-relationships
/t/thrill-putting-it-all-out-there/#.UVHJuM0yG8E

Clive Thompson, (2007). Clive Thompson on the age of microcelebrity: Why everyone’s a little brad pitt.
Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-12/st_thompson

David Kamp, (2008). Requiem for a Micro-celebrity.
Retrieved from http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/10/ashe200810

Mass Society Theory – http://www.newinfluencer.com/mediapedia/mass-society-theory/

Myspace celebrity photo taken from

http://www.socialmediaphilanthropy.com/2011/08/08/the-rise-of-microcelebrity/

Microcelebrity photo taken from http://www.top100influencers.com/?attachment_id=641

Social Media – 2 Way Street

Despite all the disadvantages social media have contributed to, it does have its advantages. Social media does make most our lives easier. For example, teachers take advantage of their students’ social networking abilities to do their assignments through blog, youtube and many more.

Social media also helps people in reaching to their targeted customers through niche network (Nathan Mendenhall, 2013). If a person is interested in comics, there are social network websites made for comic lovers who can interact with one another to discuss only about comics. So if he wants to start an online business selling comic books, that website could help him as a starter. This is made much easier for people rather than selling something on a website where many different people have different interests.

Users could make use of social media to get feedback on ideas. It is also a platform where different people share many different views (Dachary Carey, 2013). This is convenient for many people.

 

Word count: 154

References:

http://www.parentfurther.com/technology-media/social-networking/benefits

Mendenhall N. (2013). Pleading the case for social media: The Pros and Cons
Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/nate-mendenhall/1227516/pleading-
case-social-media-pros-and-cons

Dachary C. (2013). What are the advantages of Social Networking.
Retrieved from http://www.life123.com/parenting/tweens-teens/social-networking/
advantages-of-social-networking.shtml

Social Network Dangers

Another attraction of the social network is the anonymity of the user. Users do not know who they are interacting online with unless they are their relatives or friends. Anything stated on the profile page of any users could be false. Many teens often communicate online with the people they do not know (Frank Greeve, 2008). They even put up information of themselves online that even allows strangers to see it. Personal pictures and videos are updated online too. But how many of their internet friends are actually really their friends? Do we give strangers on the streets our personal information? What makes the social network any different? What is worst is that teenagers are aware of the dangers of internet predators, but they could not recognize one when they meet them online (Microsoft, 2013). This is why social networking is dangerous. Without social media, there is no way internet predators could proceed to do their dirty work.

Word count: 153

References:

Fears of Internet predators unfounded, study finds –  http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/02/18/28029/fears-of-internet-predators-unfounded.html

Online predators: Help minimize risk – http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/predators.aspx

Video Source – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrSU2aTZKkE

To blame Social Media, or not to blame?

Cyber bullying is a form of bullying through the Internet and any digital technologies committed by youngsters. Examples of it are direct attacks to the victim causing them to feel emotionally hurt. The result of cyber bullying is children committing suicide after getting involved in cyber bullying.

Image

Photo taken from Stomp.com.sg

The picture shown above is an example of a girl bullying her classmate through her blog. The victim’s picture was disfigured and rude remarks were made. Is social media to blame?

My answer would be no. There are other ways where one could be cyber bullied besides using platforms like social media. However, social media does play a part in contributing to cyber bullying. It has a disadvantage of being too widely used that users are not using it the right way. The problem with users is that they take an advantage of the social media network. The social media allows people to communicate but because there are no physical interactions, people find it easier to say hurtful things to others online than in person.

The photo below shows how one can use the social media website without hurting anyone.

Image

 

Word count: 188

References:

Cyber bullying – http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/how_it_works/index.html

Photo taken from Stomp – http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/
this_urban_jungle/311794/cyber_bully_mocks_classmate_and_defaces_her_picture_on_blog.html

Photo of safebook taken from http://www.fuzion.ie/index.cfm/page/cyberbullying

A World Of Connections

” Online social networks are changing the way people communicate, work and play, and mostly for the better,” says Martin Giles, interviewed by The Economist.

Image

Photo taken from The Economist, Illustration by Ian Whadcock

The picture shown above shows how social media allows people to interact with each other within the virtual network regardless of where they are. It all begins back in 1997 when Andrew Weinreich, a well known entrepreneur & internet executive, launched the social network “Sixdegrees.com” allowing users to create their own profile and set up friend lists. Since then many social network services were created improvising Sixdegrees.com and thus leading to the second largest website, the Facebook.

There are many more ongoing social network services but more consumers are using Facebook because of the conveniences it brings. Facebook have improved drastically since it started, now allowing consumers to search graphically to find out more of what they are looking for through their friends and connections.

People who are not related to each other, are “friends” on the social network sites, commenting on each others’ posts and photos. People who are shy tend to be more of words on the sites too.

Word count: 186

References :

The Economist, A World Of Connections

http://www.economist.com/node/15351002?story_id=15351002

Social Networking In Its Infancy, Sixdegrees.com

http://blog.afridesign.com/2010/09/sixdegrees-com-social-networking-in-its-infancy/

Social Media To Be The New Mass Media?

Social media is in fact dominating around the world. According to Nielsen, consumers spent more time on social media websites than any other type of sites. Examples of the largest social media sites are Facebook and Twitter. They seemed to be replacing the traditional mass media in advertising channels. This is mainly because more consumers can easily assess the social media through their mobile phones rather than the traditional mass media where they have to buy the daily newspaper or watch the news on television at home.

The news are easily spread online since Facebook and Twitter allow consumers to “retweet” or “repost” any stories posted by others. Therefore most consumers who are socially active on these sites are usually among the first to be updated about the latest news as compared to those who still only depends on the traditional mass media.

If these social media websites continue to evolve, then my prediction would be that social media will be the new mass media in the future.

Word count: 168

References :

Social Media Report 2012

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/social-media-report-2012-social-media-comes-of-age.html

Is Social Media The New Mass Media? – http://chiefmarketer.com/social-media/0202-social-media

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