Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'll be completly honest with you, probably the only reason I got a Facebook was because a girl I wanted to get to know more didn't have a Myspace. At the time Myspace was easier to use and more customizable, which I believe it still is. Both Facebook and Myspace have their pros and cons. For one of my friends who is trying to make it into the music world, his Myspace allows him to do that more neatly then Facebook. Facebook is much more for professionals in my opinion, it's not customizable, no fun colors, no music when you click on profiles, just blah!
I have both a Facebook and Myspace and the only one I actually sign into is Facebook because that's where I have more of the my friends. The thing that I don't like about these social media sites is that people will either ask you or accept you as a friend but if you try to go and talk to them at school, their like "Ugh, who are you?" All they cared about was how many friends they had. For them it's a competition. I got so fed up with all the drama that one day I just deleted almost everyone. I went from 600 friends to 250, I think it what I have now!
As far as race and classes on the social networks, it's not going to be any different on there as it is out here. If you like or don't like a certain race your not going to on the internet. For classes the thing about Facebook being for higher up classes is not true. I live in Redford and their is nothing High Class here! It's either low or middle class and we all use Facebook! SO where are the rich going to run to know on cyberspace!?
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
“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.
Boyd looks at both race and economic status when making her point. The section that popped out at me was quite small, but it really got me thinking about myself and why I chose to 'make the switch.'
Craig (17, California): The higher castes of high school moved to Facebook. It was more cultured, and less cheesy. The lower class usually were content to stick to MySpace. Any high school student who has a Facebook will tell you that MySpace users are more likely to be barely educated and obnoxious. Like Peet’s is more cultured than Starbucks, and Jazz is more cultured than bubblegum pop, and like Macs are more cultured than PC’s, Facebook is of a cooler caliber than MySpace.The series of quotes from high schoolers is what made me think. Why did I leave Facebook? And in a way, Craig summed it up for me. Between his thoughts and the thoughts of Melanie, who is quoted just below Craig in the original article, I figure out why I did it. I wanted to get away from what seemed like the "lower class." Facebook was the hot new thing, and it offered this clean slate, something that is the same for everyone, and it is "more like adultness." I was making the transition from high school to college, from this giant pool of people into this more cultured, sophisticated world, and moving to Facebook seemed like the right change to make.
More than anything, education and a sense of sophistication seem to be the deciding factors in who's on Facebook and who's on MySpace. Those who remain on MySpace seem content with what was, and they're not looking for the next best thing. And that could be because they're satisfied with where they are in life. It's a stretch, but after reading this article and seeing what some of these younger kids think, it makes you stop and really question it.
It seemed like the 'big switch' happened when transitioning from high school to college. So I wonder if transitioning from college into the 'real world' will induce another change (possibly to LinkedIn) or the dropping of social networks all together? In the very least, leaving college will change the way we use Facebook.
I had been more aware on the Digital Divide among nations, at the macro level, not so much domestically. I guess I'm a globalist in the sense of social issues. Yet, it is a reality like in any other public sphere. Reading the expressions of the youth class and racial divisions between MySpace and Facebook confirmed my observations about both social networs' environments. That there are "certain people" who use each service. I had a Facebook before I had a MySpace, and preferred it over the other because I could find my college classmates. In this sense, I was influenced by social status, not class. I also disliked MySpace's layout. Too flashy. However, I never rejected because "ghetto" people hung out at MySpace. Though, some may define flashy as "ghetto", and may perceive my rejection of MySpace as a reaction to that. However, I've been taught to be a person of consciousness or as some call it "political correctedness". I just simply liked to have a simple layout and wanted to find like-minded college students.
Boyd argues that the public spaces in social networking sites are stratified so people can find people like them in every sense of the word. This has been my experience. Ever since I became internet savvy (around 10 years ago) I tried to connect with people from my home country. I felt a craving for this "togetherness" that we could share as a group. Then, I became progressively narrower on my search for a net belonging. Thus, my new quest became to find people from back home who share other things with me, such as political views. I then began expanding my social networks to include people who shared my political activism across religion, race (I use this nonsense word for the sake of semantics), class, nationality, and ethnicity. Within that narrow niche I became motivated to reach out to others that I normally wouldn't had I not been a little picky at first.
The articles made me pond on the idea that these narrow niches can help people to expand their horizons, and challenge the socially and racially stratified structure. When we find ourselves among people who are too much like us we begin to feel an itch to go outside the box. In my experience, I got tired of all "kinds" of Puerto Ricans, so I wanted to find "specific ones". However, it became very boring, and I noticed that it paused my progress as a thinker and activist because I had other interests outside this very narrow niche. I, thus, began to open myself up to "Other" people. Watkins has noted that Latinos and Blacks had been progressively migrating from MySpace to Facebook. This could be due to a number of issues. I would argue that one reason could be that they become bored of the same, and want to explore a new venue like in my case. By migrating from the "ghetto" (MySpace), these Latinos and Blacks are exposed to diversity, and may open up their horizons. An opportunity not afforded by the outside public space which is less intimate.
Nonetheless, racial and ethnic segregation wouldn't be automatically stopped by the wide range interactions of the new digital world. As Boyd noted on her ethnography, interest or ethnic groups tend to band together wherever their crowds move. Thus, to bring integration across race, class, and ethnicity there needs to be a value system to promote that. Most privileged people grow up with values that tell them to not be like the "Other". It is part of their belief system that keeps them in their privileged positions. On the other hand, the "Others" also grow up with a value system driven by beliefs about the privileged as well. Thus, it is a social contestation that needs repairing beyond the internet. Though, the internet certainly helps to engage both parties within public places, we have seen Latinos and Blacks have their own public spaces (MySpace), as well as their own way of accessing these pubic places (mobile connection). Moreover, the internet has also been a public space to promote racism. An example was the UCLA's student's rant against Asians. The net was used as a tool for racism, not for eliminating it. Engaging people to learn about the "Other", to interact with the "Other", and to accept the "Other" will take us a step further in trying to eradicate social and ethnic stratification; and, the internet can play a large role in this but it won't be the cause of it. Racism and classism go beyond that. Thus, I sadly say that for the foreseeable future classism and racism will be part of our online lives. More so now with the increasing socio economic crisis that is increasing class conflict (which is also overwhelmingly about race).
Based on the readings, there are significant gender differences in the way men and women use social networking sites (namely, Facebook). According to Watkins and Lee, those discrepancies include women being more likely to post comments, "like" things, engage in personal conversation, and post photos. On the other side, men are more likely to post links to current events, and news related topics, and post videos to their wall (Watkins/Lee p11). Why do these differences exist?
There are a variety of reasons for this, the most significant being the way men and women are socialized. Women are brought up to value friendships and social interaction. This likely accounts for the increased number of photos posted and engaging in personal conversation on Facebook. Conversely, men are brought up to be opinionated and more individualistic. This explains the fact that men are more likely to post their views and links supporting them as opposed to commenting on other people's walls.
The difference in socialization also accounts for the fact that women are more likely than men to keep up with long distance friends. According to the study, 55% of females find it very important to communicate with friends who live in a different state or country while only 34.7% of men believe the same thing (Watkins/Lee p14). In the 20 or so psychology classes I've taken, it has become very clear that women are brought up to be more family oriented as well, and are more likely to be caretakers for elderly family later in life. Again, the familial socialization of women comes into play when it comes to the importance of communicating with family. 40.3% of women find it very important to chat with kin on Facebook whereas only 26.4% of men feel the same.
Though socialization is not the only reason for differences, I believe it is the strongest motivator for the discrepancies.
According to Danah Boyd in "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online", white people left MySpace for Facebook to escape minorities and the poor. Danah says that, "What happened was modern day white flight." While it may be true that many white people and better educated people left MySpace, I think this article is making the mistake of assuming correlation implies causation; I just don't see this being the reason why people left MySpace.
"...Modern day white flight. Whites were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. The educated were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those from wealthier backgrounds were more likely to leave or choose Facebook. Those from the suburbs were more likely to leave or choose Facebook."
While I was busy meeting white kids online, it was rare to chat with other black kids. It wasn't until high school when more of my peers had broadband internet. Before, they would use school to access internet since it wasn't seen as a necessity in their homes("The primary reasons are “don’t need/not interested” and “too expensive.” In all likelihood black and Latino kids live in homes that can not afford the internet versus homes that are simply not interested." -Watkins).
I've even noticed many black people I've friended on Facebook have Metro PCS (the company logo shows up when they upload pics) since social networking is so important to our society. It's clearly better to be late in the game and have a pre-paid package like Metro PCS than to be left out in the world.
I also agreed with danah boyd's homophily theory. In my experience, sites fade like any fashion. I'd been using Tumblr forever. However it seemed like in a certain week, my sister, cousin, and their friends all jumped on. One of the teens boyd interviewed mentioned preferring Facebook over Myspace because the Top 8 creates a divide. Someone created an application on Facebook for top friends, but it slowly faded away.
My concern is that the divide will only get worse. Nothing will bring all people together unless we force ourselves to do it, and in person. Not even technology can help this one. Even in our class, this connection falls flat. We all have things in common. We're UM-D students, and we're all in JASS 403. We tweet for class, but how many of us really connect with one another? There is still a divide because we only network with those we know or need to know who have multiple similarities to us.
|Internet doesn't always me Interconnected|
Race, ethnicity and class play a major role in our society today, as well as in the past. It has especially affected technology through social networks. Some social networks like Facebook and MySpace have greatly influenced the types of people that belong to these social networks. I always wonder why I joined these social websites in the first place.
I know that I joined these sites because of the type of people that were on them. My friends and family were all using these networks to keep in touch with each other. MySpace was first introduced to me in 2004 I believe and I have seen the change in people it has since. It was mainly directed towards the younger generation of teenagers before, and as we grew older, we grew out of MySpace and went to the more mature network, Facebook.
“Real-life” is reflected and also changes in online social networks for many reasons. Because of the heavy usage form the general public, companies started doing their advertising on these networks. Schools, students, and even parents use these websites to connect to what the most recent updates are.
Now I know I didn’t not join these sites just because of class, race, or gender, but only because I did it to keep in touch with the updates in my social groups. This is how social networks can affect real life. It’s easy to start conversations on these social networks that actually mean something. Many people have made awareness groups and more to get things noticed because the web is viewed WORLDWIDE. Basically you have the freedom of speech for everyone to hear and respond to on these networks.
Some questions that came up to me in the readings were why do these types of networks exist? Who joins them? What types of people do their networks attract?
I guess the simple answers to these questions are that the social networks exist for the sole purpose of entertainment, spread of information and socialization among all types of people.
Many of these social networks attract mainly white people, or so it seems, but with my own encounter in the social websites, I generally stick with my own ethnic group. I notice that there is a lot of differences between my ethnic group, Mexican, and other ethnicities that are portrayed in the networks. I believe that a lot has to do wit influences within the culture. This can lead to social divisions and even negative conduct among social networks.
Although that race, class and ethnicity are independently functional, the dependence on one another is greatly impacted between them all. The social networks help these influences bring people together virtually rather than in “real-life”. I think that the certain standards among these ethnicities and races are greatly impacted by the networks and they happen to lessen the divide among people. This opens up doors to new diversity and opportunities in the web based life.
The power of the social networks is unquestionable because they help unite groups together that would not normally be able to socialize in real life. social networks are definitely transforming the ways in which we socialize, and have made face to face interaction less uncomfortable to a certain level.
I found an interesting link on facebook vs. myspace that might show how the demographics from one influence the other, or don’t.
Like Danah Boyd pointed out in her talk, people tend to stick with people like themselves. This holds true for the Internet. Most people tend to not go to websites or do activities on the Internet (such as games) that they aren't interested in, just like outside of the Internet. If you don't like to go bowling then you probably aren't going to go bowling very often. How does this relate to race or class and such? I'm not sure. I don't know how much race or ethnicity affects our choices of who we interact with on the Internet. Certainly people will be more likely to visit websites and socialize with people who speak their own language, so where you live definitely makes an impact. I suppose race and ethnicity will influence who you decide to socialize with, but I think that, on the Internet, it's an indirect influence and not a conscious choice for most people (especially since it's hard to know race and such without people telling you, unlike outside the Internet). From my own experience I could not tell you the race or ethnicity of most of the people I socialize with on the Internet outside of my non-Internet friends.
While reading through this week's article "The Not-So-Hidden politics of Class Online" made me stop and think. Why did I join MySpace? Why did I join Facebook? It was not because of Race, or economic status, or my social category. Not because I was more educated then others. It was simple, just my choice. MySpace always seem to be more for the teenager or the more artist person, then adults. I remember my son stating when I mentioned about joining MySpace that, "I was too old", it was for his age group. Once I did join I realized he was right. Honestly I did join, not that I'm proud of but to keep an eye on what he, my nieces, & nephews were up too.
As stated by Kaitlyn from Georgia in the article, "Facebook is for old people". I guess I'm one of those old folks. Basically my friends were there rich, poor, educated, non-educated, black, white, brown, giving us all a chance to reconnect.
Found this Study, based on data collected from a national survey"Got Facebook? Investigating What's Social about Social Media." This presents findings in regards to the social, cultural, and political activities that Facebook users engage. How they interact and the types of media and information they share. Which is quite interesting?
Why is it that the facebook crowd is the norm, and the other networks are the social minorities? Sure, they may have an audience that is considered "minority" by our social standards, but only when compared to the NORMALNESS of white, suburban America. There's no call to embrace myspace or orkut, spread from facebook onwards, or ignore it all together. Only to assimilate these minorities into the most popular social tool of the day. "Make them come to us" seems to be the goal here, not understanding or embracing very real cultural divides, but ignoring them and their legitimate differences to sustain the traditional values, goals, etc. held by our society.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Having a Facebook page myself, I believe that social networking sites help bring people together in ways that probably wouldn't occur in real life. Since digital technology has and is evolving in ways like never before since Facebook and Myspace helps break down barriers between people and unite them.
One reason can be because of how people tend to be more open and communicative across the Internet rather than in real life. Going further, the ability to partner up and play games online helps bring people of different demographics together.
A recent example of this is the WordsWithFriends application, which allows multiple people to play a Scrabble-like game to build words and earn points. I realized that the game unites all kinds of people, like African Americans, Caucasians, Mexicans, and Arabic.
In a real-life setting, one would probably not find all these ethnicities playing this type of game, which speaks to the power of social networks and applications.
Here, real life isn't necessarily being reflected, but definitely transformed since people's comfort levels tend to be higher when face-to-face contact is not available, or not preferred.
As I was reading "The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online" I was surprised by how fearful the author seemed to be. She says things like "white flight should send warning signals" and "we should be truly alarmed" by people switching from MySpace to Facebook. Truly alarmed? I really can't believe this woman is serious. She says that she is worried that these "social divisions" will cause underpriviledged and minority people to be unheard by their representatives because they're not on Facebook. That's quite a stretch. Most people that are on Facebook talk don't talk to their state representatives at all and if users of MySpace want to contact their representatives they can do that by joining Facebook, by email, through their webpage, a phone call, or maybe they could even write a letter.
Why does it matter if someone uses Facebook or MySpace? Maybe they choose one over the other because it fits their personality better. People spend time in places they like. Most people I know have a favorite restaurant or club. They may even go to these places with their friends. As Danah says, "(people) go where their friends go" and, based on my experience, people are usually friends with people they work with, go to school with, or live near. Quite often those people are similar to ourselves. I don't feel this is cause for "alarm".
Danah doesn't make much sense to me. Even though she says that it matters whether people use Facebook or MySpace I don't believe her. She doesn't make a strong case for why the division of people on these websites is bad and she doesn't say anything about people who don't use these sites at all. She speaks with too much fear and she comes across as a weak person. Ultimately she is just not believable.
* I had to do this blog post on only the Danah Boyd article because I couldn't access the other two.