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Thank you very much for the feedback! I’ve made some changes and I hope that my assignment is now improved.
This draft is off to an excellent start.
Here are some points to consider for improvement:
- You note the infancy of the internet as dating to the early aughts but a) don’t specify which people were oblivious of how it worked; b) then later in the essay give the example of Bieber which is (now very commonly!) argued as being outdated. If you are going to make the point that it is as possible to gain recognition today as it was in Bieber’s time, what is the evidence of this, and in which context?
- The beginning of the conclusion contains anecdotal evidence that is not related to the rest of the essay. It also contains a point that was not developed in the essay though is related to the excerpt. Therefore, either it is necessary to develop this point, with sources providing ‘evidence’ or to change the conclusion and excerpt.

I hereby confirm that this work is solely the result of my own independent scholarly work and that if any ideas, text passages, or diagrams from books, papers, the Web or other sources have been copied, paraphrased, or in any other way used, all references – including those found in electronic media – have been clearly acknowledged and fully cited.

In not so distant 2004 Facebook was founded, and no one could have even imagined what it would become today. Although it has been only 16 years there has been a dramatic change in the society, not only in the US but also all around the world ( Facebook ). Some generations, including myself, grew up as the social media grew and now it is so widespread that younger generations cannot even imagine a life without a phone as well as social media.
One of the risks of social media that lurks in the shadows is the very fact that the majority of social media users are often unaware of how their data is used and the potential dangers of it. In the early 2000s when the Internet was still at its infancy ordinary people who didn’t know algorithms of the Big Tech were oblivious of how it worked. The Big Tech such as Google at first wanted to protect their own users and their data but the investors demanded more money and profit so Google’s founders started adding advertisements ( Carr, N. 2019 ). According to Shoshana Zuboff, that was only the beginning of the surveillance capitalism. (Carr, N. 2019) When we think about it now, isn’t it suspicious that all these useful apps and platforms are free? It is because they are not actually free. At every turn we are bombarded with advertisements. Also, the scariest thing is that we grew accustomed to it. Zuboff makes an excellent and rather terrifying point “that the bargain we’ve struck with the internet giants is a Faustian one” (Carr, N. 2019). Furthermore, our colleague Nebz pointed out a very interesting fact about Instagram and how their Data Policy had been updated ( http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=26 ). He stated that he was unaware of to what extent Instagram was allowed to use his data. Moreover, 7-8 years ago when I signed in and created a social media account for example on Instagram and Facebook, there was no transparency about their data collecting whatsoever.
Another risk of social media is that a great number of people in the US use social media to get informed on a daily basis, oblivious of the validity and veracity of the news source they are exposed to. In the article published in Scientific American, the authors draw the attention to the fact that there are three types of bias that help with disseminating misinformation on social media: bias in the brain, bias in society, and bias in the machine. ( Ciampaglia, G. L., Menczer, F. 2018) The one that is tightly related to how algorithms of social media work is the bias in the machine. Since social media, such as Facebook, are programed to show you similar things to what you “liked”, thus creating the so-called “filter bubble” effect, meaning that, you are not exposed to different opinions or perspectives (Ciampaglia, G. L., Menczer, F. 2018). The bias in society and in the machine go hand in hand in the sense that they both lead to “homogeneity bias” where people are completely unaware of other people’s opinions that are not similar to their own (Ciampaglia, G. L., Menczer, F. 2018). If people are bereft of diverse perspectives on a certain topic how are they going to form a valid judgment if they cannot use the critical thinking skills?

However, like our colleague L. says – there is a possibility that a social media user could benefit from the fact that social media platforms use their data. One of the main points from our colleague is that by tracking our activities and habits, we could improve out health ( http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16 ). Also, for the first time in history people are able to communicate with other people all around the world. This new form of communication can be very useful, and people might feel less alone when they are dealing with a problem that people around them don’t quite understand or have never experienced. For instance, a very popular social movement the MeToo movement, was created on social media. The Me Too movement is a movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment and we can see how social media can be used in a positive way, as to raise awareness and fight against a certain problem. ( Me Too Movement )
Also, our colleague chickclique emphasizes that it is up to the users of social media to take the advantage of it, and that people can advertise their own businesses and it does not mean that only the Big Tech companies are going to benefit from their users (http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=13 ). A lot of people that want to promote their music or art have that opportunity on social media platforms, and everyone has an equal chance of fulfilling their dreams. Just one of many people that became famous because of social media is Justin Bieber. If he had never uploaded videos of him singing on YouTube he would not have become what he is today. ( Justin Bieber ) However, today more and more people want to gain fame like he did, thus it has become harder to gain recognition. Nonetheless, it is still possible for young artists to become popular through social media and one of the new artists, who became popular on several social media platforms is Doja Cat. Her songs became very popular on the social media platform TikTok, but her first viral song was posted on YouTube.(Hills, M.C. 2020 ) She got the award for the Push Best New Artist at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.( 2020 MTV Video Music Awards )
Overall, social media has its advantages and disadvantages but in my opinion, the positive effects outweigh the negative ones. I think that the real ingenuity in social media is the fact that people are connected and can share their problems and struggles, thus their mental and physical health can be improved. Also, on social media people can follow their dreams and share their art, thus they might have a chance to gain recognition. However, people should always be careful and aware of what they are sharing on social media and how that data can be used. Although, social media is our virtual reality it is still a reality and people should protect themselves online as they do it in real life.

S.S.

Resources:
Carr, N. (2019, January 15). Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism. Los Angeles Review of Books . Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/thieves-of-experience-how-google-and-facebook-corrupted-capitalism/
Ciampaglia, G. L., Menczer, F. (2018, June 21). Biases Make People Vulnerable to Misinformation Spread by Social Media. Scientific American . Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/biases-make-people-vulnerable-to-misinformation-spread-by-social-media/
Hills, M.C. (2020, May 14). Who is Doja Cat? The Say So singer and rapper breaking mainstream music after dominating TikTok. Evening Standard . Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://www.standard.co.uk/insider/celebrity/dojo-cat-tiktok-say-so-singer-rapper-a4374231.html
Nebz’s comment from Intercultural Extraneity Forum, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=26
L.’s comment from Intercultural Extraneity Forum, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16
chickclique’s comment from Intercultural Extraneity Forum, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from http://interculturalextraneity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=13
Wikipedia. Me Too Movement, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement
Wikipedia. Facebook, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement
Wikipedia. Justin Bieber, Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Bieber#:~:text=Discovered%20at%20age%2013%20by,on%20the%20Billboard%20Hot%20100.
Wikipedia. 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_MTV_Video_Music_Awards

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