Monday, February 28, 2011


Twitter: A simple, yet effective social network. My favorite thing about Twitter is the simplicity of it. You go on the site, enter your username and password, and you're good. You can see what others have tweeted or post your own tweet. You don't have to worry about setting up a detailed profile with a full bio or uploading all your spring break photos for the world to see.

I use Twitter to follow celebrities, politicians, athletes, and close friends. It's a great tool to get your news, because it's instantaneous. With a click of the button, you can share a tweet with your friends, or retweet someone else's tweet. It's also cool seeing what's on the mind of your favorite athletes or musicians and even being able to respond and receive feedback from them (although the chances of them replying to you are slim). It's easy to use on your phone, so you can stay up-to-date virtually anywhere.

Since it is relatively new, people are still trying to figure out how to use it appropriately. Certain athletes have gotten in trouble for tweeting during games or inappropriate tweets. ESPN and news channels have embraced it as an interactive communication platform between the program and the audience. If you're looking for a good way to receive news that you care about, and avoid news that you're not interested in, Twitter is a great tool.

Bitter About Twitter

I remember when I first heard about Twitter in Spring 2008.  The websites headquarters are actually located in my hometown, San Francisco, California.  Although I have known about the site for a fairly long time, I do not have an account on the website. I do occasionally look at the Twitter pages of certain celebrities and news outlets to catch up on news and gossip though.  I find the concept of Twitter interesting and I think for certain people it is a useful and convenient tool.  However, I don't find it a necessary tool for someone like myself.  Let's be honest, I can probably count the number of people on one hand who are actually interested in my daily on-goings and location.  I know if I had an account I would obsessively post quotes, links, and photographs that I found interesting.  However, I feel that as an average college student, not many people would find me significant enough to follow.  Twitter, to me, only seems useful for celebrities and people of high importance.  It is great in order to receive breaking news immediately from a respected source, and it is fun to read information posted by celebrities themselves rather than paparazzi.  Celebrities likely appreciate Twitter because it provides them an outlet to let their fans know the truth rather than what the tabloids make up.  This makes information about celebrities more reliable and it makes fans feel a special connection with their favorite stars.  Unlike Facebook, Twitter focuses mostly on constant status updates and the Twitter user shares his or her insight with all of his or her followers.  Facebook focuses more on pictures and comments between friends.  Twitter does allow people to direct their statuses at specific individuals, but it mostly highlights announcement-type messages to everyone with the users network.
I think Twitter is comparable to the most simplistic and brief form of a blog.  The 140 character maximum keeps Twitter casual but it functions as an outlet for individuals ideas and expressions.  The concept is quite fresh and fun, but I find it most useful for following celebrities and news outlets rather than as a social network for teenagers and young adults.  I personally do not have enough interest in the constant on-goings and insights of my peers who feel it necessary to frequently announce their achievements and locations.  Instead, I would like to learn legitimate news right when it breaks and receive celebrity gossip and tips from the most reliable source...those celebrities.

If it's important, it'll be on Twitter

That's a joke my friends and I have. If something is important enough these days, you don't watch CNN or go to the BBC website... You definitely don't read the newspaper. Jokingly, although sadly half-meant, we think that is something is newsworthy, it will trend on Twitter.

While there are the usual nonsensical #hashtag trends as well as the occasional promoted topics, but for the most part, if it's one of the top trends on Twitter, it'll be the main headline on CNN.

Twitter has allowed anyone to express their opinions in 140 characters or less. I think the character limit is what makes Twitter very appealing to people. You don't have to write lengthy articles in a blog, and the complications of Facebook or Myspace don't come into play. Twitter is simple. You create an account and you post away, simple as that.

To be honest, I became aware of a lot of news items because of Twitter. Everything from the latest NBA trades to celebrity deaths (or hoax deaths), even the latest on the Middle Eastern protests, I've gotten from Twitter. I think it's a great resource and it's fun to use once you get familiar with all the features.

It's probably the most direct way to keep up to date with your favorite celebrities as well. I know some people say that they don't care what an actor ate for breakfast, but I've gotten free concert tickets from responding to a celebrity Tweet. Celebrities like Olivia Munn also keep close contact with their fans, usually inviting them to some event. Munn invited the first however-many followers to join her in ringing the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange earlier today. I also mentioned in an earlier post how Twitter helped me launch a blog and get an endorsement from the owner of Liverpool Football Club.

I personally enjoy, like, and use Twitter regularly. I think it's an entertaining, and sometimes educational resource.

Is Twitter Worth it?

Let me start by saying I do not want a Twitter. I have no need to make one and I'll give some reasons why.

First: I understand that many people have a Twitter just so they can follow their favorite celebrities. However, there are ordinary people who like to tweet just for the fun of it. But there will always be one person who loves to tweet every detail of their day. These people exist even on Facebook, but there you can always hide their posts. I don't know if that is a setting on Twitter since you probably wouldn't follow those people anyway. But if it's one of your friends, you feel kinda obligated to follow them. That is just one of my social networking pet peeves: those people who find it necessary to tell the world every detail that's going on.

Second: I don't have a favorite celebrity that I need to know their life story. I don't have a need to follow sports teams since I can get all the information from And to be totally honest, I don't need another social networking site to procrastinate more of my time on as it is.

Third: As Professor Levinson points out, the average age of Twitter users is 37. That is probably because many of those users do not want to create a Facebook. But that means that many of my friends aren't actually Twitter users. So unless I want to follow celebrities, sports teams, or just so I can say I have a Twitter, I don't see the need for creating one.

Professor Levinson talks about a Congressman who didn't update his privacy settings on his Twitter page. It seems that many people today never actually take the time to read directions or small updates that have been made. That is why when something electronically new (that I have never used before) comes out into this world, I always try to read, or at least skim the basic directions. But I try to read the advanced directions because you never know what else something can do. For example, Gmail has filters that can automatically label, skip the inbox, or even star your messages. Sometimes, it's actually worth those extra minutes to read the features of something new, especially something that can go public.

Follow Me

Instant gratification is what our world thrives on. Whether it is losing weight quick, or hearing news first, quicker is always better when it comes to results. This is what makes Twitter so great and one of the reasons it is gaining popularity throughout the nation. While it is so simple, the concept seems to be very effective and accepted. It is all about immediate communication and status updates. People are able to create one-liners that are sent and received with the “flick of a finger.” The accounts are free and anyone can have one which makes it accessible to everybody. Ordinary people can follow their favorite celebrities throughout the day or their friends and peers. You can “tweet” them with the hope that they will “tweet” you back. My best friend who is obsessed with DJ Tiesto is an avid follower of his Twitter and was lucky enough for him to “tweet” her back when she was abroad last semester. This concept of interpersonal communication with someone that you would never be able to actually speak with is fascinating. She was ecstatic with his response and this kind of made me want to get my own Twitter in order to receive contact from my favorite celebs. Twitter also makes it possible to know where certain artists will be, whether they are having a concert or doing a book signing, otherwise not to be known.

Personally, I do not have a Twitter and do not have any desire to have one. I understand why celebrities may have one to enhance their publicity and to get their name out there, but I really do not see why ordinary people have Twitters, other than to follow celebrities or companies. People will update their statuses just as much as their Facebook, but for what reason? Does anyone actually care what you are doing at this very minute or how your midterm went? If people actually did care, they would talk to them in person, rather than broadcasting otherwise withheld information to the public. I honestly feel like it is an invasion of your own privacy, but people feel the need to let everyone know what they do and how they feel. Like Facebook, it is just another way for people to glorify their daily activities.

Twitter Craze

Although Twitter is probably the major social media form that I use the least, I seem to have a lot to say about it. This is probably because it is the most widely talked about social media outlet, in terms of tweets by celebrities, public figures, major companies, etc. Personally, I do have a twitter, but I mainly use it to follow other people and things. I have probably had my twitter for 3 months now and I have only posted 2 tweets. I find twitter a little strange in this regard. Why would I want to share what I am doing or thinking about every moment of the day. For celebs, companies tweeting about updates, sales and discounts, I can kind of understand the purpose of tweeting a little more because people would definitely be more interested, but for me I find it useless. But I also have the same opinion of Facebook status updates, so I guess I may just be against the whole idea of broadcasting my every day life.

I have been finding that Twitter can have positive and negative effects on our society, depending on the way that it is used. I don't know if anyone recalls a few weeks ago when fashion designer and philanthropist, Kenneth Cole, tweeted about his new collection in relation to the events occurring in Egypt. People responded very poorly to his tweet and he had to publicly apologize for what he said, via twitter, facebook, etc. I am actually an intern at Kenneth Cole in the marketing and creative services department. That day in the office was crazy. As soon as the twitter responses started coming in and his tweet started making news, my department called a bunch of emergency meetings all aimed at trying to fix the problem and redeeming Kenneth's image as quickly as possible. Kenneth ended up putting up a facebook post apologizing, to which he posted links to on twitter. Before I sat down to write this post, I went on to twitter to try to find the link to his apology (since the original post was deleted). I, instead, found something much more interesting. I typed in Kenneth Cole in the search box and what came up were other posts in which Kenneth Cole had been mentioned. It said that the company CEO had resigned this morning. I then went to the actual Kenneth Cole twitter and there had been no mention of this. I think that this is another potential downfall of twitter. Even if people, companies are simply mentioned in a post, they appear when searched, even if it is information they did not want publicly revealed yet. I texted a couple of my friends who are in the office today and they said that they did not even know about it until I asked them about it. This shows the speed at which social media works and the way that it is surpassing human communication.

Twitter has also been in the news regarding the broadcast of the Academy Awards last night. An article on discusses how instead of watching the boring broadcast, people could have instead just monitored twitter posts by viewers and been much more entertained. The article is quite humorous. Click here to read the article. An interesting thought that was brought up was that someone said that the producers of the show should monitor the tweets during the live broadcast, and when they see that the feedback is negative, they should have a backup plan ready to go. I do not see how this is practical as of yet, just because that would be a lot of money to spend prematurely on a backup plan. However, I do imagine something like this being feasible in the near future.

As I stated earlier, I am not a very exciting tweeter, but anyone is free to follow me anyway.


Honestly, I held off on writing about Facebook for this blog simply because I really wasn't sure what to write about.

Levinson's book provides a good overview of what it is, how it works, and who it affects. I could have easily just regurgitated what he has written and commented on how much Facebook has grown since Levinson wrote his book. I could have written about my daily interactions with Facebook and how it's a fun and exciting way to connect and reconnect with people.

I just didn't feel like writing about those nor did I feel like writing about Facebook until I watched the Oscars last night.

I think The Social Network's Kevin Spacey (executive producer) made a very good point in that social media seems to have allowed people to find a voice.

Critics and pessimists will say that it just fuels our narcissistic tendencies and actually creates a disconnect between us and the real world. They will argue that it reduces human beings into brands. Self-branding is at the heart of Facebook. The mere fact that they think that I can define myself into a small box to tell people "About Me" and show my personality based on things I "like" and "people who inspire me" does seem to be over-simplifying how we define ourselves.

Apologists will argue that it has revolutionized the internet. It has brought about new ways to connect with people, it is a new business model, and like Spacey mentioned, it's a way for people to find their voices. It was an integral part in spreading information during the Iranian elections a while back, and it has played an important role (along with Twitter and blogs) in the current goings-on in the Middle East and North Africa.

Perhaps the difficulty I had of writing about Facebook is brought about by the fact that it has been so firmly engrained in my life. It's just a daily occurrence for me that it has provided little inspiration when it comes to writing material. Something crazy happening in my life is a lot easier to write about than writing about how I drink water everyday. Perhaps it is a scary or worrying thing that Facebook has become a regular part of my life that it isn't even a habit anymore. It's something that has become a huge part of many people's lives as well, and it's baffling to see how it only took a few years for this to happen.

Facebook is many things to many people. Sure it has its dark side, but there's no denying the cultural impact it has had in our generation.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Epitome of Twitter

Electricity travels at 186,000 miles per second, while the world is around 24,000 miles around the equator. Electricity travels at the speed of light, which means any updates of messages sent via internet can all be viewed by anyone around the world instantly. This is what Twitter is all about.
Twitter makes New New Media a better and faster way of communication. Upon making this blog, I realized how out of the loop I was because I didn't have a twitter account. Twitter has become one of the most popular web sites in the world. It ranks very close to Myspace and Facebook, and of May 2009 even has 32 million people following twitter. I would estimate that today the number has grown even higher. Twitter is an amazing web site though because it allows the both the viewer and user many options.
The great part of Twitter is that the viewer doesn't even have to make posts or updates. If you just want to read some of the hysterical posts that someone makes then by all means go for it. Twitter is an interesting website that pertains to anyone who wants to communicate with anyone throughout the world. It amplifies communication beyond earshot to anyone who has a twitter account.
Twitter however, is also very fun and interesting for the "tweeter" or "twitter poster". Twitter allows its user to post any 140 character line of their choosing, pictures, audio, and even videos. Twitter has changed the world in that it has simplified and made fast travel communication more efficient. The power of the tweet can effect many different people in many different parts of the world. You can even use this website through your phone or mobile device making expressions and ideas that you don't want to forget easy to update instantly. Thanks to Twitter people all over the world can share opinions, ideas, videos and more at the speed of light. Although Twitter has yet to catch on to the vast majority, unlike sites such as Facebook, I predict that the number of "Tweeters" and Twitter accounts will rise exponentially in the next couple of years.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


It almost makes me sick to realize how obsessed my generation has become with Facebook. Yes, I admit that I too have an account.  I update pictures and occasionally write on my friends walls or share links through my status bar.  However, I typically check Facebook about once or twice a day on my phone and that is it. Some people, though, nearly have a panic attack if they can't log-on for several days or even several hours.  I do understand the addiction...but it was more of a problem for me in high school.  I would spend all day with my friends at school, do my after school activities, finish my homework, and then I would have nothing to do.  Therefore, I would spend hours on Facebook looking at everyone's profile, status updates and pictures.  In college, though, I spend these idle hours actually hanging out with my friends and talking to them in person or talking on the phone to my friends at home. One thing Facebook does deserve credit for is that it allows people to stay in touch much more easily.  I have several family members in Ireland who I would not necessarily call on the phone to chat with granted the time difference, but Facebook allows me to look at pictures of them and send them a quick message any time anywhere.  Facebook has also changed certain parts of our social experience even outside it's realms.  Girls have become obsessed with taking Facebook pictures for all of their "friends" to see, and parties are advertised through Facebook groups and events.  I think part of the appeal, other than being able to see everyone else's information, is the idea that everyone else can see ours.  It gives us that feeling of celebrity, as if people are watching what we do and actually care.  Ironically, celebrities really lack a presence on Facebook.  Facebook is more about our own peer group than any elite hierarchy.  If we want to know the latest celebrity gossip we turn to tabloids or Twitter; if we want to know the latest going-ons of our friends and classmates, we turn to Facebook.
 I do appreciate the ability Facebook has given me to stay in contact with people I have met in various stages of my life and it can provide entertainment for me when I am bored.  However, I find it pretty sad that people won't even pay attention in class because they have to rummage through pages and pages of useless Facebook nonsense.  It consumes people and it is downright creepy how much we can learn about people we have never even talked to by looking at their Facebook page.  My profile is set to a very private setting, but hacking is also a possibility.  One other thing that is somewhat upsetting to me is how Facebook has transformed the world of photos.  My house is full of photo collages and framed pictures, and my mom will definitely pull out the old photo albums at family 
parties.  Todays generation, though, is missing out on that opportunity to really hold and admire that glossy kodak moment.  I just don't understand how we are going to show our children all our best memories...are we going to dust off our old Facebook and pull it up for our grandchildren?  Sure every generation is subject to technological change and advancement, but this is one of which I still don't understand the long-term effects.
Oh, and one time I put up a photo album and didn't have time to tag all my this happened..... 

Ya, some people are too obsessed with Facebook.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Guys, I just don’t understand Twitter. I have an account, but I can’t really figure out its purpose. I use it more to follow magazines, news outlets, or accounts that promote lifestyle choices that I am interested in (like eating healthier). But I just don’t know what I could post on there that would be of interest to people. I could say “Hey I’m going up north tonight” but who cares? If I put it on my Facebook status at least people could comment or “like” it. But even if people respond to me via Tweet it just seems strange. I can’t grasp any deeper purpose for it beyond businesses updating their customers with information or celebrities using it as an outreach tool. I don’t mean to sound like I’m bashing Twitter because I’m not, I’m just confused.

As a PR tool, it’s great! Got a scandal? Tweet your way to a clean slate; apologize to your adoring fans and you’re in the clear. Tell them what brand shoes you just bought and it’ll be the next great product consumers have never heard of… until now. Kim Kardashian posted: “I’m breaking up with my trainer because I only need Shape-Ups” or “Come see me at Macy’s Glendale Feb. 22nd.” Wonder how crowded that’s going to get.

Promotional tool, got it… but will someone please explain the purpose of Twitter beyond just using it as another means of updating people with your every move. But hey, feel free to follow me:!/alisonrenee218

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Did NOT Remember My Birthday

It may sound strange, but I am vehemently opposed to well-wishing in an impersonal fashion. We've all done it. I used to do it, but I quit cold turkey one day when I was responding to a mass "Merry Christmas" text message. Amidst composing the message, it hit me like a ton of bricks: how much and whose time am I really wasting here? It got me thinking.

Holiday text messages, mass or personal, are entirely a waste of time. I find them interchangeable with Happy Birthday wall posts. The back-up shooting guard from modified basketball in 7th grade: Happy Birthday dude! That weird kid who moved 10 years ago and thinks the internet makes him friends with everyone and anyone: Happy Birthday man, what are you up to these days? I don't even know this guy: Happy birthday. A girl who I was never really friends with and haven't spoken to in 3 years: Happy Birthdayyyyyyyyyyy ! ! Do they all expect responses? I don't think so, how could they?

The message is in the medium, ask Marshall McLuhan. Is it really a nice thing to do? To make someones phone vibrate all day long on his or her birthday? Believe it or not, but I remember the birthdays that matter in my life. I do not need a link to your profile. I bought my girlfriend tickets to a show and took her to dinner, but I did not write on her wall. It's a waste of time and it says an infinite amount about you.

Celebrity Status

While Facebook is a great outlet for communication I believe there is much to be wary of. Psychologically, it must be taken into account the ridiculous amount of time that people spend during each day using this website. 

There are many practical reasons for this type of communication but when it comes to status updates and some pictures, we may have taken it too far. 

I believe the reason people use these sites so much is because it makes them feel important. It builds up their self esteem. 

On the computer you can be whoever you want to be.

 It allows people to express themselves in ways they would not feel comfortable doing outside of cyberspace. They are able to construct every aspect of their communication. They chose timing, they can manipulate pictures visually. I believe that it gives people a false sense of importance. 

Everyone thinks they are a are not Lindsay Lohan, or Paris Hilton, and pictures of you drunk and passed out WILL affect your future.... So stay humble and use Facebook, but don't abuse it. 

Whats on your mind?

Facebook has asked us this question....What is on your mind? The 500 million users on Facebook have a new status update almost everyday. "People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook " according to facebook statistics. Facebook statuses have became like a diary for people to pronounce there life and talk about things no one cares about. However, SO many people have become a victom to this site. With "More than 500 million active users, with an
average user having 130 friends , More than 70 translations available on the site, and more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices, " we all have become a part of this facebook community. I fall under all these statics myself, and i spend way to much time on facebook that i cant get back.
Facebook statuses are a form of communication in
themselves now you can even subscribe to a persons statuses so you will know every time they
post something new.
This is just one of the attributes of
Facebook that i think make it so popular....
The idea that we can express whats on our mind
at any given moment.

Facebook: Good or Evil?

Facebook has two very distinctive sides. One of friendship and connection with people who maybe you cannot be with or talk to otherwise. However there is a very ugly side of Facebook as well full of slander, harassment, and bitterness.
Most of us use Facebook to chat with each other, show off our new photos and let the rest of the world know how bored you are with school. Even in one of my classes now we coordinate our study time and set up meeting times to work on a project via Facebook. Facebook has become an outlet for all sorts of media. However it can take just one bad outcome to ruin it for everyone.
15 year old Phoebe Prince moved from Ireland to Massachusetts and began high school. After several months of intense bullying, she hung herself because she could not take it anymore.
This tragedy is an indelible black mark on Facebook. But does this make Facebook all bad?
No it does not. Like any other social networking site, it is nearly impossible to monitor all of the constant chatter going on to see if it is truly sincere, a modest joke, or intense bullying like in this case. Facebook offers a number of great services that over 500 million people worldwide have taken advantage of. It offers a connection to others that you can personalize and more or less put your stamp of approval on as "this is me in online form." Despite tragedies like that of Phoebe Prince, the good outweighs the bad with Facebook.

THE Social Network

Having just seen the movie Social Network over the weekend, I think this is a great time to express my feelings towards this phenomenon. While I do love Facebook, there are times where I can hate it. I am not a huge Facebooker, but do use the site to keep in touch with friends and people who I do not see too often. It is great for communication but I feel that some people take advantage of Facebook as they feel the need to post things that are of little importance. It is also crazy to see how people react towards things seen posted on Facebook. I have witnessed huge fights break out between boyfriends and girlfriends simply because of a picture or comment posted to the public. It seems that there is a lack of privacy, making things that would not be read or "heard" blatantly viewed by everyone. This is important to understand when displaying information or tagging yourself in a picture in the real world. The wrong person may see a photo of you at a party, not only now, but in the future. I remember when we were applying to colleges, my college advisor forced us to "clean up" our pages, making sure there was no evidence of bad behavior in order to prevent any negative judgment being passed on us. It is very important to understand that as much as you think your page or pictures are private, this information can still be found if one wants to see it. People post much more information on their pages than they would initially tell you in person. Studies have shown that people are much more open to disclose their personal information on a site such as Facebook, then to simply meeting a person for the first time. This is very interesting and I find it kind of sad to see that this is what our society is coming to. People would rather talk through a computer than actually speak with a person face to face. As time goes on, Facebook continues to grow, Zuckerberg gets richer, and people continue the addiction.


While I don't think Facebook is an entirely good site, I do believe it has it's advantages. When I was a junior in high school I spent the summer at School of Visual Arts. There I met people from all over the world and three of my best friends - one from Switzerland, one living in Saudi Arabia and the other in Boston. I don't think it would have been viable to keep these relationships if we hadn't kept in touch via Facebook. We even continue to be friends today while they attend SVA and I attend Fordham.

I may not be a celebrity or important figure, but these people find Facebook very useful. They are able to make their page and post about upcoming events. The Black Keys so kindly reminded me that they would be appearing on Conan last night - thanks guys.

Although Facebook can be found useful, there is much on the site that is quite unnecessary. I do not care if a girl I went to middle school with is taking a bath then eating dinner then sleeping and that she loves her boyfriend or that my Grandma just did the laundry and made lasagna.

I miss when Facebook had boundaries, when it was only a community of college students... then college and high school students. Facebook, I will have an account with you, but not forever.

FBWI- Facebooking While Intoxicated

Since it's creation, the discussion and depiction of alcohol has been present in countless photo albums, walls, and groups. This could be due to the fact that Facebook has established itself as a social necessity for the high school and college crowd. And let's face it, this age group wants to talk about drinking. Alcohol is an integral part for most American adolescents living in the modern world. This obsession has inevitably transcended over to the online world, most notably including Facebook. While it may be funny to post embarrassing, yet hilarious pictures and videos of your friends (and of yourself) getting hammered and behaving nonsensically, the consequences of this can be detrimental to both one's reputation and credibility.

I witnessed these consequences firsthand when, in high school, several classmates posted pictures of a weekend party in which copious amounts of alcoholic beverages were present. Included in the album were pictures of fellow students displaying obvious drunkenness and posing with various bottles of vodka and tequila. While the"harmless" photos garnered plenty of comments and tags, it also managed to attract the attention of our high school deans. It seemed to them, the photos were not so funny or harmless. Although the drinking did not take place on school grounds or during school hours, every person tagged in the pictures participating in the "indecent" activities was called in to be questioned and reviewed for disciplinary action. Several of the students involved ended up receiving a number of weeks of detention and/or suspension. Needless to say, the collection of seemingly innocuous photos cost many students their after school freedom as well as their reputation among the faculty. It was argued by many of the accused students that it was unfair for the deans to punish them for activities, however inappropriate, that took place outside school premises and on the students' free time. The response: The display of such indecent and illicit behavior on the students' Facebook profiles is a reflection of the student's character and integrity, as well as a reflection of the school. Additionally, since the behavior portrayed violated the school's student code of conduct, the deans have every right to hold the students in question accountable for their actions.

This example is an increasingly typical one as more and more students are judged and/or punished for their off-campus activities. Not only are they being punished, but many students seeking jobs and internships are also being passed over if they have inappropriate content on their various social network profiles. This comes as a shock to most young members of the social networking sphere because they view the information they share as fun and trivial. Now it seems that one's social network profile can speak volumes about that person's integrity and reputation and have a great effect (whether positive or negative) on their academic and professional standing. The lesson to be learned from this new age of Facebook and other forms of social networking is to be careful what you post because chances are, your friends aren't the only ones looking.

*here are some links to articles I found about this issue.

I Want My Share

In the business section of yesterday's issue of The New York Times there was an article entitled "Online, A Nation of Serfs" by David Carr. The article was also posted online under the title "At Media Companies, A Nation of Serfs." Currently valued at around $50 billion, Facebook has 500 million users worldwide(as of July 2010). The point of the article was that Facebook's value, the value of other social networking sites, and all sites with user-generated content is created by people for free. As users continue to add content to sites like Facebook, they contribute to the overall value. In Facebook's case, it is being made into an empire by all of the unpaid users. Facebook's value comes from advertising, which continues to "flow toward social and amateur media," which makes "low-cost and no-cost content" the norm.

In New New Media Dr. Levinson says " the new new medium is not ours completely" (132). Facebook and all other sites which users can contribute to are owned by other people or companies. We have the right to supply content, but we don't have control over the layout, advertising, the code, etc. Referencing the same point, Carr cites the Tumblr of Anthony De Rosa. “We live in a world of Digital Feudalism,” he wrote. “The land many live on is owned by someone else, be it Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr, or some other service that offers up free land and the content provided by the renter of that land essentially becomes owned by the platform that owns the land.”

Everyone with a profile helps make Facebook a media outlet, a news source, and a social network at no cost. With every video posted on someone's wall, every link to another website, and comment on a status, Facebook becomes the one place to do everything. Carr thinks content can "remain bifurcated into professional and amateur streams, but as social networks eat away at media mindshare and the advertising base, [he's] not so sure." If sites with user-generated content offer free information, then why pay? I think there is value in paying for news created by journalists or reporters, but more and more people seem to disagree. I hope that in the year 2157 there isn't a site that runs a monopoly on all news and media provided by users. It hardly seems fair that the people running Facebook own something worth $50 billion thanks to user content, and at the same time newspapers, with content written by journalists, are dying.


Facebook is something that has become a worldwide phenomenon very quickly. Even since New New Media was published facebook has grown immensely and there has even been a hollywood film produced about it. Almost everyone in our generation has a facebook, and it has recently started to expand out to older and younger generations. There are also fan pages on facebook for almost any company, celebrity, public figure, etc. It is amazing to me, not only how useful it is for the common folk who use it simply to keep tabs on friends, family, etc. but also how often facebook is employed for other reasons. One of the pages that I am a fan of is for the Morning Mash Up, which is an XM radio station. On their page they post questions and topics that they are discussing on-air at that very moment and ask for replies and responses. Hundreds of people respond within minutes and the hosts themselves sort through the answers and read some live on the show. This has changed the radio game completely. One used to have to call in to the station and often not get through or not get put on the air. Nowadays, everyone has the opportunity to respond and get their posts read.

Another aspect of facebook that I was actually discussing over the weekend with my family was the advertisement aspect. A friend of mine who is very computer and internet savvy told us that facebook actually tracks our internet usage and other sites that we visit, other than just facebook. If you are logged into facebook, but on another website, facebook can track you. They use this to personalize advertisements so that they are the most relevant to you. I have to say that in the past, I have noticed that the facebook ads shown on my page are somewhat relevant, which leads me to believe that facebook is doing a good job stalking my internet usage. However, I can't say that I have ever clicked on an ad or followed through with whatever it was telling me to do.


It's weird to think about but it was around five years ago, when I first made my Facebook profile. In those past five years a lot has changed. Facebook has made drastic changes to keep things new, interesting and more convenient/efficient. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook has started a craze that has shaped social networking, and communication forever. Although there have been other social networking websites before Facebook like Myspace or Friendster, Mark Zuckerberg perfected the idea of a free social networking website and made Facebook the most popular social networking service in the world.

I frequently use Facebook throughout my day, for many different reasons. I check to see if anyone has messaged me, friended me or wrote on my wall. Facebook has become one of my main ways of communication. If I ever need to ask a question to a friend about anything, even homework surprisingly enough, I can almost guarantee that my friend will get back to me later that day because it is fair to assume that almost everyone checks their Facebooks' during the day. Facebook can be used for other resources as well. I can post a picture of myself, that I think makes me look good and portray my image as almost better version of myself through my Facebook. Facebook allows the user to put up all the good qualities about themselves without sharing the flaws or other embarrassing details about themselves. Facebook allows people to delete things that are on their profiles so that cyber bullying and embarrassing posts do not have to be shown to all of your viewers. Creating this new and better virtual persona also comes in handy when getting in touch with an old friend that you haven't seen in years.
Thanks to Facebook I am able to not only talk and communicate with old friends and relatives, but I can also check in and see what they are doing and what they look like. Facebook has made stocking easy and acceptable. I can communicate with a girl that I am attracted to through Facebook and start a relationship because of this useful tool. Facebook came up with the idea of a chat room. It's very similar to that of AIM or Ichat, except I just have to be friends with this person on Facebook and I don't have to worry about their AIM or Ichat adress. Whether you disagree with this new style of building or starting relationships, it has become part of the new world and although it replaces traditional ways of starting relationships, we have to realize that times are changing and just like our profile pictures, our relationships and ideas will change as well. In summation, Facebook is a very important source for information, and communication. Facebook is the best form of social networking in todays society.

Freak Show Update

Dr. Levinson's thoughts on Facebook have motivated me to give a status update (see what I did there?) on my circus freak existence. His insights on Facebook in particular, but also social networking in general, have led me to examine if not Facebook, then how do I connect with others online? I have found a few examples illustrating perhaps I'm a bit more normal than I thought.

Oh my goodness. My life began anew when I found this site. More work of mine has gone incomplete because of this website than any other reason except for probably the second example listed below. The premise is you fill out a profile, with the most important part being a checklist of your interests. Next, click on the Stumble button and you'll be directed to a page that fits under your listed interests. Not only that, but you can connect with friends online and directly share pages that they've "stumbled upon" with you. Very cool, very fun, and ridiculously easy to waste time on. Although it's not a traditional social networking site, by the strictest definition, it definitely qualifies as one.

Playstation Network

Bear with me on this one, folks. Get all the nerd jokes out now. But in playing the game Madden 11, I have met over 300 PSN users and had some interaction online with approximately a quarter of them. Most of the time it's nothing more than trash talk, (if you think you can take me down, hit me up: PSN: xNotThatGoodx) but sometimes it turns into more than that. Offensive strategy discussion, real life NFL debates, even other games can become the topic of conversation. Although it is still relatively fledgeling in its maturity, voice chat and other innovations have taken PSN a long way as a legitimate form of "new new media".

So even though it's not Facebook specifically, I'm not quite under a rock as far as the Internet goes. Not having pictures or anything like that up of myself online prevents me from having to trust myself to be the camera police at any social gatherings or anything else of the sort. Every online interaction is headed towards qualification as social media, and there's nowhere to hide from it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Importance of Facebook in College

I became a part of the Facebook Network in 2006 - my sophomore year in high school. At first, I didn't think it was that great. With MySpace, I could design my own page, all of my friends were on there, and it was a great place to listen to uprising bands. I really liked MySpace, until it was bombarded with virus and spam. My friends told me Facebook was better, so I switched.

For high school students, Facebook wasn't really necessary. I saw all of my friends every day at school. As for the ones I hang out with, they had my cell phone number. In high school, Facebook was just a fad that everyone wanted to be a part of.

Once I entered college, everything changed - including Facebook. I don't just mean the interface of the profile (though that does change very frequently), but the way students used it. Facebook was actually important and necessary. For me, I joined several Fordham groups asking questions about the living situation, what to bring, and the different groups on campus. But then, I get the letter telling me who my roommate was. And the stalking begins! I friended my roommate just so I look at what kind of person I would be living with for the next year. Because of Facebook, I learned his favorite music, movies, tv shows, etc. I also had the chance to view his photos so I can see what kind of people he hangs out with and see if he was a party animal. I remember saying to someone during the Summer "How did people do it before Facebook?" Before Facebook, college students knew nothing, unless they actually met the roommate beforehand. Facebook was my way of preparing for the school year.

After being a part of the Fordham community for over a year now, I've come to realize how important events and groups are as well. Honestly, without Facebook, I would have no idea when any of the events occur. I don't really look at fliers, usually because I'm in a rush to get somewhere or I'm talking to someone. But if you send me a Facebook event, chances of being being there are much higher.
Whether Facebook was invented to stalk people or to bring the thousands of college students on campus together, Facebook has really made a different on college campus around the world.