“All this said, people are already divided and we accept that people from different backgrounds inhabit different environments. We cannot expect technology to automatically integrate people and generate cultural harmony. Although most of you call these sites "social networking sites," there's almost no networking going on. People use these sites to connect to the people they know. In other words, even if they could talk across the divide, they might not anyhow. And even when people talk across differences, it doesn't automatically solve underlying tensions. Racial integration of schools was valuable for many reasons, but it didn't solve racism in this country.”
I disagree with this whole paragraph. I felt that this did not grasp the notion of social media/networking thoroughly, instead a bit more biasly and/or in a negative light. My question is: is there really a divide on social networking websites and/or the web?
Yes, it is true that “People use these sites to connect to the people they know” but it is not the only truth. Social networking sites are definitely used to ‘network’, get connections. When social networking is utilized and understood thoroughly, the results can be quite beneficial. This website summarizes it up pretty clearly. http://tinyurl.com/3huelch <--
“Thanks to social networking sites, meeting someone in person has become a thing of the past. "Poking" has become the new handshake. Making friends and renewing old ones is easy. Thus, meeting people and staying connected with classmates and friends is a major benefit of social networking sites.”
I don’t see how a divide is visible within these facts. Social networking makes the world a much smaller place. You can build and re-build your profile and reputation. You can join various networks and pages and follow your favorite website/celebrity/politician/etc. on twitter with no restraints. Within these social networks- Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, you can discover mutual friends, then expand from there. I am not the one to add random friends on Facebook, however I have added mutual friends, who I barely knew, through my friends due to certain connections they may have. For example, a company they work for that may be of assistance to me at some point. Also some people find their significant others online, there is no divide when finding a person you’re attracted to – real life or online. Another example is this blog for instance. When we go to comment on each other’s blogs, we aren’t really looking at who’s writing the, we are simply commenting on them. (Well, in my case anyhow.) I am not looking for who’s black and who’s white, I’m just looking for a blog to read to comment on.
Online, it is like we are one race, in one world – the cyber world. Essentially there are no limits. I can do anything you can do, and vice versa. Online media/social networking allows us to come together in one pool. As we discussed in this course, there are plenty many issues online, but nonetheless the benefits tend to outweigh, and we overlook the issues. Ignorant people in real life, may be ignorant on the web also, but just like in real life, we’d probably avoid them. However online people who want to speak up but are not willing enough, can dare to question and comment without being afraid. There is no big divide. There is only the WORLD WIDE WEB. It is not the “only Asian web” or the “only black web”. It is the World Wide Web, where we can all come together and not worry about ‘divides’, rather embrace new technologies and innovations that may connect us to old and new friends and great networks.