Raising awareness on the risks and ingenuity in social media is of key importance
Dear professor, I have changed my draft following your guidelines (thank you for them!). I hope that I’ve managed to write a good one this time.
As it was stated numerous times in the American Cultural Studies course, social media has become an indispensable part of our every day lives since not a day passes that we fail to check up on people we care for and news that might interest us. However, despite the fact that social media has many beneficial aspects to it, there are also many risks and I would like to discuss both in my reflection, comment on how much awareness is important when using social media and whether we should delete our social media accounts.
Back in the 1998, with the rise of Google, nobody thought that social media would become a necessity rather than a facilitating tool for work and communication. Information about anyone and anything was a click away and people were delighted with the fact how convenient it had become to keep in touch with their loved ones. They, however, were not aware of the risks that came along with the convenience. In the beginning, there were only seemingly naïve clickbaits that helped people access their desired sites without much ‘digging’. Through internet pages, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, were able to create a net map where they could observe people’s interests by scanning web pages people searched for, thus breaching their privacy. As Nicholas Carr explained it in Thieves of Experience , a rather lengthy post on surveillance capitalism, ‘The map would allow them to measure the importance of every page… [it] could also be used to record the routes and choices of people as they traveled through the network, it would provide a finely detailed account of human behavior.’ (Carr, N. Thieves of Experience) Term ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ was coined to name the new arch enemy of freedom and privacy which wore a veneer of usefulness. Useful it was, because it was more convenient for people to click on advertisements about the things they mentioned earlier instead to search for them themselves, a veneer it wore because it was an instrument for mass surveillance as Carr noted: ‘‘To improve its predictions, it had to mine as much information as possible from web users. It aggressively expanded its online services to widen the scope of its surveillance.’‘ (Carr, N. Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism) More capital for companies meant more privacy breaching for the people. What many users fail to notice is on what terms and conditions they enjoy the convenience of using social media platforms and there is a fine example given by my colleagues regarding
I want to finish my post by looking through the different lenses and take a more positive stance and I would like to comment on ingenuity of social media. As my colleagues discussed in this forum topic about deleting social media ‘The social media phenomenon offers a lot, if one knows how to take advantage of it. You don’t have to be consumed by it, devour it instead.’. It was already noted in this reflection that one of the things that social media has to offer is the fact that keeping in touch with our loved ones has never been easier. Another benefit of it might be how easy it is to make friends from all parts of the world, as stated in this forum post about online friendships: ‘virtual communities are developing more and more, and there are great places to meet people who are similar to you.’. I believe that people shouldn’t delete their social media accounts but they need to raise awareness of the dangers of social media, moreover they also need to be aware of how social media allows them to make new friends and stay in touch with the old ones.
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Carr, N. (2020, January 13). From context collapse to content collapse. Rough Type. http://www.roughtype.com/?p=8724
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Social Networks and Privacy. (2020, November 23). Intercultural Extraneity. http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=26
Should we delete our social media account/s? (2020, December 13). Intercultural Extraneity. http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=59
Online friendships. (n.d.). Intercultural Extraneity. Retrieved December 27, 2020, from http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=56