What You Reveal About Yourself Online, Without Even Realizing

One thing that I believe is very important for others to take away from this module is that you reveal so much about yourself and your personality to others, without even realizing.  I found this article by the Huffington post that accurately depicts what I mean:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/olga-levancuka/what-do-your-social-media_b_6886528.html

One thing that stood out to me in it was the conversation between a man and woman about the status of the woman’s love life. The man was able to tell instantly her relationship status purely by the wording of her posts.

Even the smallest details of your social media can tell something about you. For example, somebody who posts pictures on Instagram mostly of themselves, or of themselves with others, is someone looking for recognition and belonging. Someone who posts mostly pictures of scenery and other things means they don’t care much what others think, and don’t need everyone to always know what they are doing. The frequency of posts also says something similar about you.

Wording of posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook are also important. If you swear a lot and write rude comments frequently, people will not want to interact with you, and future employers will think of you poorly.

Social media is not by any means a 100% accurate depiction of a person, but everyone should consider how they come across by simply thinking of how they would see their own account from another’s point of view.

 

Hulu and Netflix; Should Account Restrictions Be Tightened?

Sites such as Hulu and Netflix both let people view shows while paying a monthly fee. However, you must have an account in order to use the sites. The difference between the two is that Hulu airs current TV shows the day after a new episode comes out.

Lots of people prefer using Hulu and/or Netflix instead of watching actual television, because they can watch whatever show they want, whenever and wherever they want.

In order to make this possible, these companies buy the rights to air these shows on their sites. They negotiate prices and are able to air shows and movies for a certain amount of time. For movies, they are not allowed to air them until a certain amount of time after the movie has been released in theaters. This is to ensure that the movie companies benefit from profit as much as possible while it is still new.

These companies require very strict copyright laws to ensure that first, they do not get into trouble for infringement of copyright law, and second to ensure others to not break the law while using their sites.

The companies do however lose money because people share their accounts with friends, and therefore people can view the shows for free. The companies are well aware of this, however they cannot do much about it. If these companies decide to put stricter restrictions in order to prevent this, they would probably end up losing customers because people would be unhappy about the changes. This is why I believe they should just keep restrictions as they are instead of strengthening them.

Online Visibility Means Online Responsibility

I am on quite a few platforms of social media. I mainly use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat. On all my social media accounts, I am ‘private’, so that only people I friend or allow to follow me can see my posts. However, quite a bit of my information can still be found, even though my accounts are private. My birthday, email, and profile picture is constantly given out by companies, especially when I sign in on public Wifi. Facebook tracks the articles and links I look at in order to place advertisements in my feed. Also, employers can pretty much access whatever information they like from your social media, so just by having an existing account, you allow yourself to be accessible.

I choose to have private accounts because I find it discomforting to have people I do not know looking at or commenting on my posts.  Even though my accounts are private, I still am careful about my posts. I know people who have had their social media accounts pulled up in job interviews and asked to explain a couple of her questionable posts. I understand that the image I portray online is often a first impression, and I want my first impressions to be positive. I think people our age often do not understand this, and post whatever they like.

Online Communities: Webkinz

One online community that used to be really popular among kids was Webkinz. Webkinz is an online community, similar to Club Penguin. The way you join is by buying a plush Webkinz stuffed animal that has a code on the tag. You need to have at least one stuffed animal with a valid code to start an account. There is no maximum number of pets you can have on the account. Only some toy stores carry them.

Once online, you have a house that you move the pet around in, and you can buy food, clothes and accessories. You can also visit other people’s virtual houses, and converse with them in a chat box. No bad language is allowed.

Kids benefit because it is something fun they can do with friends online, and it is completely innocent. There is no violence like there is in video games. Implications are that it can be addicting, and distracts youngsters from homework, etc. if their parents to not monitor them. It encourages kids to spend time on the computer, which is negative, but a positive is that the game is completely innocent. Eventually, kids also outgrow the game.

Here is the link: http://www.webkinz.com/

 

American News Channels

 

Something that is drastically shaped by its audience are news channels. People tend to watch whichever news channel appeals to them most and corresponds with their political views, especially in America. One example is Fox News. The overwhelming majority of the time, conservatives are the ones who tune in to this channel, while liberals are more likely to tune in to CNN or NBC News.  

These channels have specific target audiences in mind. They talk about stories that the audience will want to hear and affirm their beliefs, not contradict them. This article from Business Insider talks about bias in the news channels in America. http://www.businessinsider.com/what-your-preferred-news-outlet-says-about-your-political-ideology-2014-10?IR=T

This issue is unlikely to ever go away, but is a fact of the media. However, it causes and feeds into a lot of issues regarding politics in America. If people only listen to one news channel, and that news is all biased, they really only hear one side. As a result, Americans are not fully educated on issues and do not have a very open mind when it comes to politics. If all they hear is something that just re-affirms their own beliefs, they will not hear any other opinions. Media bias as a result contributes to the polarization of political affiliations in the country; Democrats versus Republicans.

 

Media Convergence: Reddit

One example of convergence that is common among people our age is Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/). It is an online community where people can post funny pictures or videos, share articles, start discussions about current events or important topics, and even seek advice. People use it as a resource for information and news, and also for pure entertainment.

For example, this article about the Grammys talks about how the audience was the lowest it’s been since 2009 (http://deadline.com/2016/02/grammy-awards-ratings-taylor-swift-kendrick-lamar-lady-gaga-better-call-saul-cbs-1201703167/). This link is completely for pure entertainment but was also shared not far below the other link: https://imgur.com/YOEo0Wd. Another link that was shared includes a Youtube video with Ronda Rousey on the Ellen show talking about her defeat against Holly Holm.

Reddit brings together many different types of media (pictures, video, text and audio), and also brings different websites and sources (Youtube, Business Insider, BBC, etc.) all into one place. One implication may be that some information you find isn’t totally true. Another is that it has been notorious for being a distraction, from things like homework, or other important tasks people should be doing. It affects people’s ability to focus on a singular task as opposed to constantly multitasking.

Business Insider UK

A resource I find to be particularly beneficial to students in this module is Business Insider UK. This website is a great way to read about current events, such as politics, and also read about Finance, Technology, Companies, Lifestyle, and much more.

Business Insider can relate to this module because if there is ever a time where you need to look up a current event or a specific subject, this website probably has something about it. It’s also very reliable.

The Technology section is particularly useful because a lot of what we discuss in this module revolves around social media, the development of the internet and technology. You can also find articles about how technology affects people or how they are using it. This can be particularly useful when you need to link a point in class to a specific real-life example.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/tech

A specific example is this article about how Facebook is developing a network that delivers both faster internet, and brings internet access to parts of the world that don’t yet have access. This relates to our discussions in class about globalization and how the internet contributes too much to it.

http://www.techinsider.io/facebook-testing-millimeter-wave-internet-2016-2