Blog Post 6- The Social Future and You: The consumer or consumed?

 

 

 

 

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The consumer or consumed?
Scout Willis, daughter of Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, has recently taken to a topless protest to advocate against Instagram and some of it’s policies regarding censorship and it’s user’s posts. According to ‘The Independant’ During the last week of May, Willis took to the streets of New York, topless, to protest her removal form Instagram’s network, after sharing a photo of two topless women. Outraged by the removal, Willis removed her account permanently from Instagram after being allowed access again to the Social Platform.

 

Now I don’t have any problem with protests in general. Especially protests regarding gender inequality, women’s rights, freedom of speech and expression, or any other human rights violations or issues. Men and women should have the equal right to express their beliefs and ideas in public without the threat or fear of shame, ridicule or abuse. We are entitled to it and should give others the entitlement they deserve. However, the only thing that really made me raise an eyebrow over this matter was just the fact that it was a protest sparked by a Social Media issue.

RIP QR codes

To me, human rights and the freedom of expression and belief is paramount. It is everything we are and have the potential to be. Without our freedom’s, a lot of our lives may become passionless and have no meaning. But, have we gotten to the point where social media and their platforms play such a big part in our lives that we feel the need to protest against it. To be blunt, social media is a luxury to most. With a vast number of the global population not using social media and/or even having access to the concept of it or the internet, does it seem like a valuable use of our right and time to advocate for social media freedom? Yes it’s one of the many next steps in our social evolution, interaction and the creative potential of the human being, but, with many more serious and horrifying issues are going on unnoticed and without awreness around the world,was it the best use of her social platform and voice in pop culture?

And have we become so dependant on social media and technology that we have numbed ourselves to a point of digital addiction. and we are missing the bigger picture? I believe we have a stage at our fingertips. Our own personal stage. Brand You. And I think it should not be misused or abuses of it’s power and reach. But again, to be clear, maybe this particular protest by Scout Willis was designed to make us question our values and lives even deeper than intended or seemed to be. To me it raised a question of importance, and what holds higher in my life. What really matters?

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Blog Post 5- The Social Future and You: The Social Butterfly…Effect

The Social Butterfly…Effect

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‘The Butterfly Effect’. For those of you who don’t know what this is, although I’m sure everyone has heard some sort of reference to it, is the idea that things we do in life, our actions, or occurrences can become the product of something so much bigger. On a scale that we, could never fathom, due to things we have done in our own lives that effect others or the globe or a colony of ants you washed away with the hose. Metaphorically at it’s basic level, I see it to be every action, spoken word, or thought has consequences. Good or bad, something will come of it.

Easy enough concept to grasp, but at our point in time people have come to experience life on a grander scale. The speed at which we interact, communicate and share information is far greater than our past ancestors and civilizations in the past. And for better or worse, that pace is growing quicker by the day. Today, with the use of various social media platforms, instant messaging and online communities, people can share with one another and communicate almost instantaneously… if you have a good connection. What we may fail to realize or forget sometimes is that even our online actions hold consequence and carry a possible greater weight along with it.

A viral video is an excellent example. Something happens, it gets recorded and thrown up on the web. Whether it’s meant to have the viral magnitude or not, the action of putting it on the Internet gives this video the potential to be seen by pretty much anyone with access to the Internet. Think about that. You’re silly video. You’re dog with its head stuck in a box, which the cat also is stuck in. Shaving your buddy’s toes, or your bands rough take at an original song, can all be seen and shared by millions of people. Our actions and rants can have a faster impact compared to the times that have past.

To think about it, it’s almost a little scary that my twitter feed updates and photo posts might have a greater impact on someone else’s life or lives. Not to sound vein or anything, like my social media interaction smells like roses so to speak or that anything we do in life will grow to be such a global issue. But remember that we still have an impact on the lives of people around us and in our online social or else we probably wouldn’t be there, doing what we do. And the notion is an interesting one. How has our butterfly effect changed with social media? Or has it at all.

Blog Post 4- The Social Future and You: The Secret is Out

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The Secret is Out

 

It would be naive of us to think that our online presence, however grande or small it may be, can go unnoticed and private on our social media platforms. Countless posts about our feelings, where/what we’re doing, photgraphs of documented memories to share with your friends, and let’s not forget the contact information and personal details on some profiles.

We’re a walking billboard of our lives online, to some degree at least, but do we need to be more careful what we post and share? Who might be lurking in the shadows of the internet? It’s common sense that information can be accessed at the click of a button, swipe of the finger, or quick jabber of a voice command. So what excuses us from those seekers of information, whether notorious or not?

SnapChat

‘Government snooping on social media may breach Privacy Act’

So reads the headline of a recently published CBC article outlining the questions being raised by Privacy Commissioner Chantal Bernier to the Canadian Government, concerning their retrieval of online information on Canadians. The article quotes Bernier’s written concerns form a letter,  “we are seeing evidence that personal information is being collected by government institutions from social media sites without regard for accuracy, currency and accountability.” The letter dated Feb. 13 also reads: “Should information culled from these sites be used to make administrative decisions about individuals, it is incumbent upon government institutions to ensure the accuracy of this information.”

I’m sure it was never too farfetched to imagine that big brother is watching. Tuning in on our online social lives and daily puttering about our social communities. But aren’t we entitled to some online privacy? Isn’t that what we signed up for, thinking we were in control of who viewed our content, by being selective. Surely the impression is there when selecting who follows your twitter, joins your linkdin network, or friends list on facebook.

Maybe we missed the fine print somewhere. Maybe this is the way the majority of people want things. Easily displayed information about themselves, their lives, so people can inform themselves and stay up to date with you. Unknowingly sharing countless details about yourselves or daily mishaps and adventures. Friends, companies, the government. Or do we draw the line somewhere and try and take some control over our online social interaction? If we can?

 

Resources

CBC News Online:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/chantal-bernier-says-ottawa-snooping-on-social-media-1.2635998

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/government-snooping-on-social-media-may-breach-privacy-act-1.2636905

Blog Post 3- The Social Future and You: “Anti-Social Media”

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With anything and everything ever created, acknowledged or conceived; there are always pros and cons. The argument that Social Media has actually pushed society away from eachother has been something I personally had issues with at the frontier of Social Media. When the first emergence of platforms like Facebook and Instant Messaging took off, I was an aprehensive young teen. I felt subjected to talk to my friends and piers online as opposed to face to face. I felt disconnected and thought of these new tools and devices as detrimental to society, our daily interaction and evidently our human evolution.

Pretty cynical, right? Must’ve been that teen angst thing. But that came to change, and I accepted Social Media into my life. I saw the potential it carries for so many people to interact, share ideas and their creativity. We’re connecting on a different level at a new point in the future. However, there may still be some that encourage this notion of disconnectivity from the face to face reality of our lives.

A recent app, cleverly named ‘Cloak’, helps its users do just that.

 

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The app is a sort of anti-social media tool, to help users of Foursquare and Instagram avoid certain people in their social network. The app alerts you when these selected people are in close proximity to you, so you have to upper hand to give them the slip. A great app if you’re not one for confrontation, awkward 5-minute catch-ups with acquiantancs in your life, or just don’t like some people

Personally it seems a bit much. A means to an end if youre looking for some quiet time or avoiding people, but you can’t shut everyone in life out. You’re going to be interacting with people regardless. When you get your morning coffee. At the doctors office. At work. Why wouldn’t you want it to be with someone or some people that you know better than most? And who says a nice, unpredicted conversation between peers isn’t refreshing every now and then. Maybe the Internet and Social Media platforms are just generally distancing us from ourselves. Glued to our screens whether 4.2″ or 24″, 24/7. I’m surprised hardhats aren’t required.

Is this a prime example of Anti-Social Media or just plain Anti-Social.

For more information on the App please follow the link below to a video interview of the creators.

‘Is Cloak and Anti-Social Networking App?’

 

Blog Post 2 – The Social Future and You: Grievance

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Some of us have had the unfortunate experience of losing someone. A lot of us know of people that have. It’s one of the ahrdest parts of life to deal with.

Today, people have the opportunity to reach out on a grander scale in times of need; Social Media. Facebook, Twitter, PhotoShare Platforms are all mediums people use to communicate notice of death, funeral arrangements and the like. In some cases, people create tribute pages, post condolences to family and friends of the passed. It’s a way to reach out.

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I had a friend, lets call him Rudy. Rudy passed away about a year ago, one of many kids that have suddenly lost their lives from whom, I grew up with. Rudy wasn’t a very good friend of mine, maybe an acquaintance, peer. I have close friends that had good relationships with him. But we knew each other. He was a great kid, one of the brightest and most openly understanding of someone. Knew how to motivate you in some devious and condescending ways, but he was a very driven kid and always had the best intentions.

He had a very close friend, lets call him Under. Under and I weren’t the best of friends, we didn’t party together, cry over girls together, but we knew eachother. This past week Under posted a very long and heartful message about his lost friend Rudy. He recalled the day he found, his last year, grieving in a sort of solitude, and some very happy and simple memories of their time spent together.

To be honest, I didn’t know it had been that long. It felt too fresh still. Still reverberating through our social circles.

Under’s post moved me in a way. I reached out to him, but in private. I didnt need my condolencies and sympathy to shine in the limelight of someones wall. I have miuxed feeelings about death and social media from what i’ve seen, but i digress. I offered an ear if he ever needed to talk, about anything. Rudy, sports, whatever. And so we did.

We talked about books, and work and life. It was great. It was great for the right reasons, reconnecting with a friend. Ithad been sometime since we talked but the internet and social platforms like social media, along with this grim anniversary allowed us to talk again.

It may not be all the time now. We probably won’t become the best of friends because of this, but who knows we may get closer.  I just think that we sometimes dismiss the role social media plays in our lives and how attached we are to it. We create it, it’s  a part of us. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people on so many different levels, for every occasion and occurrence. So why can’t it be a beautiful thing?… Sometimes?

Blog Post 1: The Social Future and You – Follow the Leader

 

Follow the Leader

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Social media can seem to be  a big pill to swallow at times. Let’s face it, since the formation of some of the first Social Media websites like Facebook and MySpace, we’ve come a long way. Instant photo/video sharing seems like something encoded into our DNA these days. If you live it or see it, you’re pretty much going to share it shortly after, if not immediately. People care now able to conveniently conduct their own market research on products or events, at the click of a few buttons and be presented with a network of common consumers. Job boards and professional networking have even taken the online leap. But with so many sites and social media tools to choose from and aide us in our experience, overwhelming might be a bit of an understatement, especially from an amateur user.

It’s easy to ask ourselves, “Where do we fit in?”.

Although there is an increasingly vast sea of Social Media in our online world these days, I find that people need to pay more attention to the notion that the relationship between Social Media and the users (me+you), is symbiotic.

We need each other to function. As we cling to social media for news updates, current fashion trends or even just the itch to check for the blinking red light on your phone. Those platforms and the people running them are constantly updating, improving and inspecting how we use these tools. Without the human aspect to Social Media, there would be no markets, or diversity of online forums and community because there wouldn’t be a demand for it.

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The Youth of Tomorrow

Take the age-old battle between youth and seniority. Young generations have always been a driving force for change. In politics, the environment and quite clearly the way we interact and access information. We know what we want and we aren’t afraid to show it.

With adult usage of social media sites like Facebook and Linkdin seem to be on the rise, the younger generations are turning to quicker, more creative and more private sectors of Social Media. Gone are the days where kids and young adults want to socialize, share photos and posts on a single platform. Now social media has evolved to dissect and diversify the wants and needs of the individuals that use the various mediums.

We’ve seen an explosion of instant photo-sharing sites and apps that have been the target of the on-the-go lifestyle of younger people, Instagram alone providing 200 million monthly active users their app.Instant status updates for an up to the second, play-by-play of your favourite celebrity or sports team. We are herding ourselves into our desired niche markets and communities. In turn creating more select social networking circles, leaving more room for new applications and technologies to enhance our online social experience.

Do you think niche markets and communities will play a big if not bigger role in shaping Social Media’s Future, or does the ‘Social Ship’, so to speak steer itself and we’re just here for the ride?

References:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/341856/scitech/socialmedia/facebook-dominates-in-us-rush-to-social-networking

https://nitrogr.am/instagram-statistics/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3024607/dialed/5-of-the-best-and-worst-social-networking-trends-for-2014

~Devon