Thursday, September 16, 2010

So What Does This All Mean?

So bringing this all back to a version of a conclusion, what does all this mean to our identities?

I don't think I or any of us could truly answer that question. Not when the internet is expanding so rapidly. Everyday there's something new to join and be a part of. Everything that we sign up for and log in to use speaks for our identities online and "real." They are the same thing, these two aspects of our lives. And whether or not you are classified as a "Digital Native," our Twitters updates, our Photobucket pictures, and our Pandora radio stations all speak for who we are.

Everyday we leave our footprints all over the digital world, to be traced back to us so we can say "this is who you are."

Examples of who I am (websites I visit everyday):
(this is supposed to be the Facebook killer once it's released)

And what does all this say about me, about my identity? What does your list of most recently visited websites say about you?

Facebook Stats: Putting Things in Perspective

- More than 500 million active users
- 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

- There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
- Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
- Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
- More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

- More than 70 translations available on the site
- About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
- Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application

- There are more than 150 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
- People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
- There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products

Facebook: Generation Over Share

As the single most used social network in the world, why is Facebook so appealing to people? Back in the day, we used to rely on phone calls and personal hang-out dates to get to know people. Now, all we have to do is click on someone's page and hope that their privacy settings aren't too strict. With one click, we can find out someone's whole name, hometown, phone number, address too if they're stupid, as well as hundreds of pictures, their friends, and anything that person is interested in or doing at that moment. "Creeping" has become an accepted term and it's connotation really hasn't changed all that much (it's still pretty negative). We're allowed to "creep" on people's lives without them knowing. And we let people do it.

Can you remember a life before Facebook?

I certainly can. And I wish we could back to that time. But the problem is that Facebook has become such a necessity in life, especially in America. It's plays a huge part in communication (as if calling or emailing someone was so hard). Take my job for example:

I work as an RA on campus in Deviney residence hall (second year). My job requires a large amount of communication between staff and residents. Before I even met my staff in person, my bosses had created a FB group for all of us to join. I was conversing and commenting with them long before I got to shake their hands. We were "creeping" on each others' pages to see what we had in common and what we didn't. I also have a FB group for my residents so that they can get to know each other, so that I can invite them to socials and programs, and so I can keep up with them and keep them up to date without having to talk individually to all 40 girls. But the thing is, is that long before I was an RA, others were doing this job just as effectively (if not more) than I am with all my technology.

I really wish I didn't have FB because I am a "people person." I like hanging out with people, I like talking with them, and I like getting to know them. In person. Not over some chat box or wall-post. So I keep my profile as an accurate portrayal of who I am, there's nothing on my page that I wouldn't tell someone in a normal, person-to-person conversation. There's no need to keep up a facade like some people do.

But we are living in a time of over-share. And just like "creeping, over-sharing has become the norm. I really don't care that you have a paper, three class, then gym, then PARTAYYYYY. I really don't. I also don't think you're clever when you use song lyrics to make you seem deep and thoughtful (not that I haven't done it once or twice). Status updates can be funy and clever, but you're schedule...not so funny...

Just like Twitter, Facebook and Myspace (and any other social network out there) are designed to share yourself with the world. But where's the line between our online identity and sharing too much?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chuck Palahnuik said:

"Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Secret Lives of Teens Online

"These kids are still doing remarkably stupid stuff online."

This is a short news clip that demonstrates the dangers of these online identities, especially among the younger generations.

From the Early Show

Benjamin Franklin said:

"Originality is the art of concealing your sources."