Twitter and Tear Gas Response

One of the primary focuses of this article was to discuss how we stay connected online. This is explained in terms of “weak ties” and “strong ties”. People we have strong ties to are usually our close friends and family, and we have weak ties to our coworkers, classmates, acquaintances, etc. While it is relatively easy to maintain a relationship with our strong ties because we see them face-to-face more often, social media has created a way for us to still keep in touch with our weak ties. It is interesting to think about how we have the potential to know anything and everything about our best friend from preschool that moved away when we were four years old, when in a world with no social media we might forget them entirely.

An interesting thing to point out is how the article mentions that, as hard as this is to believe, only a small population of the world uses new and current communication technologies. However, the population of the world that does not use these technologies is still significantly impacted by them because they are close to others who use them. They have their friends to keep them in the loop and inform them on how the world is changing via new communication technologies.

This article was very articulate in explaining how different social media platforms are allowing us to become more politically active and aware. I like to think of myself as a politically involved person, but reading this article made me realize how much of my political interest was sparked from the internet. While I think that it is great that social media is encouraging people like me to become more politically aware, the article also brings up a good point about “slacktivism”, which occurs when an individual shares or posts political opinions online, but doesn’t actually do anything to help the issues they are talking about. Reading this made me realize that I seem to have fallen into that category, but it is good that I have become aware of this so now I can work on improving myself.  While it is great that social media is informing people on important issues, it is still important and necessary for people to go out and make a difference based upon what they have learned.

In class on Thursday, we discussed the role politics play on Facebook. Something that was mentioned was how it seems like Facebook knows what side of the political spectrum we are on, and it shows us more of the content we would agree with than content we would not agree with. I think this contributes to why we are more inclined to share about our own views. Since Facebook seems to be telling us that our opinion is the right opinion, it justifies our actions when we post our opinions. Even though many would agree that this shows how we are influenced by biases, I think there is good in this too because Facebook is giving us the confidence to speak our mind.

In conclusion, this article was very articulate in discussing the role politics plays in the virtual world and how that also impacts who we are as people. As long as we are aware of slacktivism and how different social platforms like Facebook target messages to us, we have the potential of using social media to the best of its ability by becoming politically active citizens.

The Future of Reputation Response

This article provided great insight into both points of view of what is okay to post online and what is not.  More importantly, it discusses how people’s lives may be impacted by what is posted about them online.  This article uses the “dog poop girl” as a specific example.  The dog poop girl became famous on the internet after telling others to “mind their own business” on a subway after telling her to pick up her dog’s poop.  These people on the subway snapped pictures of her and posted them to social media and explained what had happened on the subway.  Many were offended by the dog poop girl’s rude actions, and continued to share the posts to further humiliate the dog poop girl.  In the days before the internet, the dog poop girl’s rude actions would have soon been forgotten about.  However, the internet ensures that her rude actions will forever be remembered.  Some may argue that her rude actions should be preserved and remembered through social media, but I believe that she deserves some privacy.  In fact, I remember in high school one of the rules in my choir class was that you were not allowed to take pictures of other students without their permission, for obvious reasons.

Although refusing to clean up your dog’s mess is very rude, it is impossible for us as strangers to this lady to understand where she is coming from.  Also, everybody has done something rude at some point in their lives weather they know it or not.  I think we can all agree that nobody should be defined by one negative thing they have done.  Maybe the dog poop girl could have done something remarkable with her life, but we will never know because the sharing on the internet has limited her to just that small act of rudeness.

However, there is also the argument that when you are out in public nothing you do is secret and whatever you do in public is subject to viewing by anybody who is there, and also their friends and followers on social media.  I find this argument to be extremely tasteless.  As people who inhabit the same earth, breathe the same air and walk the same grounds, we should all understand that we should treat people the way we want to be treated.  This includes respecting others privacy.  Just because somebody was out in public or on their way to class, work, etc. does not give anybody else the right to dehumanize them in any way.  We are all people with the same basic needs and wants, and occasionally we make mistakes.  While I do think the dog poop girl should have received some consequence for her actions, those consequences should not have been life-altering or shared to the whole world.

The other passengers on that subway have made it impossible for the dog poop girl to grow as a person because she is now chained to that one mistake for the rest of her life.  New people that she comes into contact with will have a biased opinion of her from the moment they meet her and will not give her a chance to explain herself or improve herself as a person.  We should not know that much information about somebody before we meet them for that reason.  We should be able to know them as a person before we judge their mistakes.

Some may argue that the freedom of speech should allow people to say whatever they want about whoever they want.  While I do agree with free speech, I think people need to understand the price that may come with it.  Even if you’re not the one paying the price, you still need to consider if what you are going to say is actually worth it.  You also need to consider if this is really a pressing issue that needs to be addressed.  Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it to ruin somebody’s life just because it will make you happier in the second it takes you to post or share it.

This case serves as a great example of the ethical dilemmas that are rising due to new communication technologies.  While there may be no correct black and white answer, it is important for us to ponder each case carefully and arrive at certain conclusions on a case-by-case basis.  I think the most important thing to remember is to treat people the way you want to be treated, and nobody is perfect.

Love Online Response

This article discusses the relationship between two young individuals whose relationship began online in a chatroom. Told through the perspective of the father of the son, we learn about 15-year-old Henry and his journey from Cambridge to Omaha to meet his girlfriend, Sarah, face-to-face for the first time. As with most discussions of online dating, the author takes a stance on weather or not they approve of online dating. Henry’s father was very supportive of his son’s efforts to get to know Sarah and gives the reader insight as to how the couple stayed close despite the distance. As the third paragraph in the article states, “They sent each other virtual candy, flowers, and cards downloaded off various Web sites. They spoke of “going out,” even though they sat thousands of miles apart.” They also sent each other packages through the mail. Upon their meeting in real life, they discussed mainly the chatroom, sports, and videogames. Unfortunately, as most relationships do between young teenagers, their relationship fizzled out as time passed. Even though the author of this story claims that they reason they broke up was not because they met online, I would have to partially disagree. Obviously I do not know these people but I feel like in order for any relationship to be successful there must be some physical connection. The internet does help us a great deal in staying connected, but it is up to us and our ability to interact with people in real life to keep that relationship real.
While reading this article, I was very intrigued about two very young teenagers meeting online. While I am a firm believer that the internet does a wonderful job of connecting people through a virtual medium, there is still a part of me that believes two people need to be physically close to each other to achieve genuine human connection. However, I think the article brings up an interesting point that communicating through online conversations isn’t all that different from communicating through love letters, despite the fact that love letters are generally more accepted as a way of showing compassion than exchanging messages online. Even though in my opinion I feel like you should meet in person before you date, there have been many successful relationships that were formed online. It is so bizarre to believe that such a delicate and wonderful relationship could be formed having both the individuals sitting behind a screen.
The concept of “architecture of participation” is extremely relevant to online dating. When creating a profile for an online dating website, one is expected to build their profile as a representation of themselves and then participate in the act of judging weather or not others on the same dating platform would be compatible with them based on how they have built their profile.
As technology develops, online dating has evolved as well. While most people in society have met their significant others through school, clubs, etc. it is common for couples to meet online. Off the top of my head, I can think of quite a few people in my life who have met their significant others online. Sometimes I will hear my friends talk about “tinder boys” they find attractive and it becomes an entire conversation. This explains how these dating websites and apps have changed society’s rules about dating.
People are motivated to share certain information online because they want to make others fall in love with them. We know that others will be attracted to our successes, adventures, goals, etc. and try to downplay our fears, flaws, and insecurities, which are all the things that make us “real” people. As people become closer on a dating website they may feel more comfortable sharing this information, but there is a certain risk involved. You never know exactly who is on the other side of the screen. It could be somebody lying about who they are, or somebody who may not be as trustworthy as you originally thought. I think people take this risk because they think if it turns out well they will be happier because they have found somebody they can depend on.
This article teaches us how people can be brought together through online communication technologies and how it gives them a foundation to start a friendship, and even a relationship. As Henry and Sarah talked online, they learned things about each other that they could discuss face to face. So even though some may argue that online platforms do not provide much room for deep discussion, we can see how they play a crucial role for some.

It Takes a Village to Find a Phone Response

This article discusses how a virtual community of people came together to help a woman find her lost, and stolen, cell phone. After riding the taxi, a woman named Ivanna accidentally left her phone in the cab. However, upon transferring Ivanna’s information into her new phone she was able to identify a teenager who stole her phone and contact her. Sasha, the teenager who took the phone, did not respond kindly to these messages and refused to give the phone back. Using the internet, Ivanna’s friend Evan was able to form a large group of people all dedicated to the same common goal of retrieving the lost phone. After receiving help from numerous individuals and groups, including the NYPD, Evan was able to help put the phone back in the hands of its rightful owner using the amazing powers of communication technologies.
The word “community” has had various meanings over time. Traditionally it means a physical gathering of people, but as time progresses humanity has evolved into virtual communities as well. Our ways of connecting through the internet and other growing communication technologies have developed immensely. For example, we all know that it only takes a few short moments to share a viral video or tag our friends in a popular meme. In my own experience, I have been a part of many Facebook groups that serve the purpose of regulating a group and informing its members on new information and upcoming events. As time progresses, our ways of efficiently sharing will only continue to grow and thrive.
On page 17 of the article, the author mentions Tim O’Reilly’s concept of “an architecture of participation”. I believe this means that we participate in the online system of building up our lives and showing it to the world. This is why Ivanna was able to retrieve her phone, because Sasha had built up her life using these new communication technologies and others were able to find it.
It is said that when we change the way we communicate, we change society. If online communication did not exist, I am pretty sure Ivanna would not get her phone back. Since the primary form of communication in this case was online, users were able to follow discussions, updates, etc. on the case and could voice their opinions. Had these new communication technologies not existed, the case would have died, for obvious reasons. Since these new communication technologies do exist, the phone was able to be put in the hands of its rightful owner and Sasha was forced to do the right thing. This story is just one of the examples of how this new form of communication has changed society.
It is interesting to think about why people are motivated to share information about themselves. I think it comes from wanting to prove ourselves to society. When we post online, we usually post good things that have happened to us or things we are accomplishing in our lives. Although sometimes it can be risky to share so much information, we do it because this is what is socially expected by others. Also, as mentioned earlier, many clubs, classes, etc. rely on online communication within their group. Take D2L for example. As students, we are expected to check D2L for our assignments and class updates. If we did not use D2L, we would be very lost in class.
There are a few important lessons to learn from the article. The first lesson is to always do the right thing. This article shows us the humiliating consequences that come with dishonesty and works great as an example of what not to act like. Also, we learn about how communities of people are formed online and how they play a role in other people’s everyday lives via the internet.