RE: Social Media Taking Over
Posted by paul1838
Chapter two in Qualman’s book: Socialnomics was interesting to read because I related to much of the content being covered. Qualman suggests, “ Cameras document everything, and technologies like Facebook’s Mobile Upload and ‘tagging’ can disseminate a naked keg stand to your network faster than you can count to five.” I recently attended a birthday party for a relative, and my niece recorded the whole thing via her smart phone. I don’t think she ever actually watched the party through her own eyes—rather through her display screen. After the recording was finished, she was so excited to upload it to Facebook. I didn’t understand this—I asked myself: why can’t we just enjoy the moment anymore? I asked her why she recorded the party to put on Facebook, she didn’t have much of an answer.
This need to record and post everything is also true in other situations. Anytime I go out with my friends, someone is taking pictures and uploading them to Facebook, no longer does privacy exist. I am not sure if this is bad necessarily, but it is different. The notion of connecting with one’s children via social media rather than through oral conversation is also different. Qualman notes, “In many instances, social media can help bring families a little closer by enabling parents to unobtrusively follow their kids’ lives.’” Perhaps in some cases, but I can certainly see how this may backfire. More to the point however, if parents begin to rely solely on social media to communicate with their children—to find out about their day—what is lost as a result? To argue that passive communication is better than active is also interesting to consider.
One topic that I have not considered, addressed in chapter 3 is the notion that email may go extinct. I send many emails everyday, so the idea that in the not so distant future email will be obsolete is hard to fathom. However, I don’t doubt it. The rate at which technology now evolves is staggering. For instance, as Qulaman notes, even the way we date has changed due to technology. Qualman states:
First, people used to give out their home phone number. Then people began to give out their email address instead. At first it seemed odd to ask someone for a date over email, but then it became quite natural. Then we progressed to mobile phone numbers because some people didn’t have land lines anymore. Besides it was easier to message one another—it was less intrusive and awkward: ‘What are you doing tonight?’
To some extent I think it is appropriate to ask the tough questions in person, or over the phone, rather that take the passive approach—perhaps I am just a traditionalist. While text messaging and social media offer a means to gain knowledge about another person—it is only portrayed information. That is, what you see on Facebook may not be what you get in real-life. As such, in-person conversations may still be the most fruitful. Overall, chapter 2 and 3 in this book forced me to question my own decision regarding my use (or lack their of) of social media. Further, it provided a lot of good insight regarding why social media is so popular which is beneficial to someone like me who does not have a very good understanding of it due to never participating in it.
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