Four Article Review
- The intimacy of anonymity
- One name to rule them all
- Is Facebook making us lonely?
- Facebook isn’t making us lonely.
The first two articles juggled the ideas of using your true identity online versus anonymity and trolling. The Intimacy of Anonymity touched upon the early chatroom that arose around the 1990s. They were a huge hit because it allowed people to connect with others across the globe. It also gave them full control of their online ‘identity’. People were able to be whoever they wanted to be and this unfortunately often times was a bad thing. Anonymity grants someone the freedom to be the worst version of themselves online without having any sort of personal repercussions. This is why trolling is a thing, and Facebook has taken a very strong stance against anonymity and being able to even choose your own name that may not be real. Facebook has a strip policy where users are required to use their real name and this has resulted in some problems as well, especially within the drag queen community. It has put limits on them and their self expression. Either design doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
The next two articles were about Facebook and loneliness. One made the argument that Facebook and social media definitely were alienating people from their real lives and the other said that there isn’t enough research to back that claim. I personally agree with the latter. I don’t think Facebook or any social media makes anyone lonely but rather people make themselves lonely by not socializing more, either online or offline. It’s a personal choice.
The article ‘The Future of Reputation’ examines the role the internet and social media play on privacy in today’s society. The article begins by telling the story of a Korean girl who refused to pick up her dog’s poo off of a subway’s floor.
This story is important because it shows just how much privacy has changed because of the internet. Shortly after the girl had refused to clean up the mess, her picture was taken and spread all over the internet. The world had begun to call her ‘Dog poop girl,’ which is a horrible thing to be known as worldwide, however, some believe that it is completely fair.
The article mentioned the idea that because she was out in public she had no right to privacy in that moment. So what would have been a small almost insignificant thing became magnified by the internet and social media.
The article mentioned the idea of a ‘free flow of information’ because of the internet, which sounds amazing. However, there is price to pay for it. Essentially no one is ‘safe’ on the internet and real life. Anyone and everyone can be subject to scrutiny just like the young Korean girl. Anyone’s reputation could be ruined because of ‘google’s unforgiving memory,’ which may seem like a small price or a large price to pay for the free flow of information.
The article just went into more detail about how the internet can hurt someone’s reputation. The lesson being that everyone just needs to be a little bit more careful.
The article “Love Online” by Henry Jenkins introduces the idea of online dating during the early 2000s. In the article, Jenkins tells the story of his teenage son who met a girl online and proceeded to date her despite the distance and fact that they were strangers to each other. Jenkins argued for their ‘unconventional’ relationship by talking about all the ways couples have dealt with distance in the past. Through out history couples have been separated by wars and have had to resort to writing letters or phone calls in the past. Online dating is not that different. He refers to courtship as being the most important aspect that goes beyond the internet. Courtship is something that still remains the same and has to eventually move into the real world.
“It takes a village to find a phone” told the story of Ivanna, a girl who lost her phone in the back of a taxi in New York. Her phone contained valuable information about her upcoming wedding so she was desperate to find it. Ivanna sought the help of her friend Evan, a programmer, to send a message to the phone offering a reward for its return. After not hearing back, Ivanna bought a new phone and some of her information was transferred by her carrier. With that information were some pictures that the person who had her original phone took. This led into an online investigation by her friend Evan who with the help of readers online found justice. The person who had the phone was a girl named Sasha and she made it very clear that she was not going to return the phone. Evan and his online readers put so much pressure on the police department that they sent detectives to Sasha’s house.
In “It takes a village to fine a phone” the author refers to Tim O’Reilly’s idea of “architecture of participation” to describe the bigger idea of group formation. Group formation is basically the internet’s ability to bring people together and to unite them under one goal or interest. This was seen in the article when Evan drew a large following of readers that were very interested in finding Ivanna’s phone. They were all heavily invested in the story helped cause change because there is power in numbers. Also, with the idea of “architecture of participation,” it means that people were able to build upon each other so each person. Each person brings in their own knowledge, experiences, skills wherever they go.
People communicate all day, everyday. It is one of human’s main characteristics. And communication has been changing through out history and we have essentially been changing along with it because we are adaptable beings. With every new communication advancement human have changed their lives to fit that new advancement. Each new communication method has impacted society greatly. The printing press changed so much, it created a whole industry and it helped people communicate on such a larger scale. Likewise, phones did the same thing and now the internet has made it so that society can be connected at all times. It’s a way of life.
I think of the greatest motivator to share info online is the need to connect. Humans have this need to want to connect with others. Like has been mentioned before, humans are social creatures. The internet has made it so people can connect without any barriers and it’s such an alluring idea. When the internet emerged, online forums and chat rooms were a huge success. People wanted to share and although it does require some trust many people are open to it. Also, since nearly everyone uses social media now it is so much easier to share information and trust because of the idea that “everyone is doing it so it must be okay.” I don’t think people are too worried because things are generally okay.
The most important thing I learned from the two articles is how socially acceptable something can become once it becomes popular. There really is something powerful about numbers, and when a large population of people online start demanding justice from the police department they listen.