COMM 2F00 Module 2
I enjoy using social media sites as well as the Internet as a whole. Similar, to many people, I cannot see my life without the Internet. I use various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pintrest. Perhaps it is an oxymoron, but I prefer to stay somewhat private on the Internet. I prefer to keep Facebook more private than other websites. I enjoy sharing photos on Facebook so that friends and family can see what I am up to. I agree with Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) whom suggest that Facebook is used to maintain “existing offline relationships or solidify offline connections”, as opposed to meeting new people (Boyd & Ellison, 222). I use Facebook to connect with old friends while also keeping in touch with new ones. I believe Facebook is a good tool to maintain relationships with people you may not see very often. For example, cousins in Italy! Although, I have control over who views my content on Facebook I am still very reserved with what I would post. I feel I need to remain appropriate while also not exposing my personal life to the public (I also have my mom on Facebook). However, I am not even sure if “personal” is the same as it used to be. Is sharing on Facebook who your sister is personal? However, with this current private-public-personal dichotomy it is very interesting people still feel they can remain private online. “Online services offer their users the opportunity to be known by several different names” (Turkell, 1999,643). Often, when I am applying for jobs I will change my Facebook name so I cannot be searched so easily. This is one way to keep semi-anonymous while being in such a public domain.
I also frequently use twitter. My tweets on twitter are blocked and only my followers can see. However, I do post a lot of tweets and allow my followers to see my semi-personal life in 140 characters or less in the public realm. Turkell (2012) argues that it is appealing for users to have Facebook pages or Twitter feeds when “no one is listening”. Often, I feel like I can post tweets on Twitter with the personal satisfaction that my message will be reached by someone. Oddly, it allows me to feel connected when there is no one to talk to, or no one is listening.
Furthermore, I do believe social media allows us to present the self we want to be, in which we can edit and delete (Turkle, 2012). I have deleted posts or pictures from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in which did not portray my current self or perhaps the self I wanted to represent at the time.
Lastly, with so many people in modern society relying on the Internet for news, texting for conversation and tweeting as therapy, I believe privacy is necessary. Teaching people at a younger age about privacy on the Internet is so crucial today. Furthermore, I agree with Turkle (2012) who suggests making spaces (like the kitchen) to be alone, and making room for solitude! We are taking for granted this “alone together” time (Turkle, 2012). I know, in my own life I am trying to cut back from this “alone together” even if it means not texting, tweeting and so on in the passenger seat of a car. Life is short, and technology should not control our lives, we ought to embrace the moments spent with others!
Boyd, Dannah & Nicole B. Ellison “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship” danah m. boyd Nicole B. Ellison Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 13, Issue 1, pages 210–230, October 2007
Turkle, Sherry. “Cyberspace and Identity” Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648 http://www.jstor.org.proxy.library.brocku.ca/stable/pdfplus/2655534.pdf?acceptTC=true
Turkle, Sherry. “The Flight From Conversation”. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html?pagewanted=all
Turkle, Sherry. “Places we don’t want to go” at TED2012 http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/01/places-we-dont-want-to-go-sherry-turkle-at-ted2012/