Bradhuther’s Blog


Final Project: What drives/does not drive us to use Facebook?
January 14, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

What drives/does not drive us to use Facebook?

In this day and age, we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. With the invention of the Internet, we have enabled society to keep in touch at all times and contribute information via web pages. We are becoming very connected to technology and communication that we even engage in them in the comfort of our own homes. Facebook is a website in which people can create a free profile and stay connected with friends and family. It has enabled us to even take this further and gives us the ability to meet new people who share our interests, and even find our future significant other! Facebook was created at Harvard College by a student named Mark Zuckerberg and with help from him friend Eduardo Saverin. These two college students realized that a social network site for college students could be a huge hit and they could become rich. So they pursued their dream and created the site in hopes that it would catch on. Sure enough, Facebook started becoming recognized by many other Harvard students and eventually by the world. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college to pursue his creation and eventually became very rich and famous from the site. This short essay explains why Facebook is so popular and examines what really drives people to use Facebook. There are many benefits to social networking but there could also be many downfalls if used irresponsibly.

face

First, lets start with the benefits that drive people to create a Facebook account. The ability to keep in touch with people and old friends is probably the most important key feature Facebook has to offer. Everyone likes to see what other people are up to in their lives and Facebook grants us the ability to do so. We can go online at anytime, comment a friend, and receive feedback within minutes! Even if you live on opposite sides of the world. Before Social Network Sites (SNS’s) like Facebook, that was virtually impossible without paying huge phone bills. It lets us stay in touch with people and show them that we care even if we are not able to physically talk to them face to face.

Another benefit to using Facebook is the ability to meet new people. You can go on Facebook at anytime and search for people and use a special filter to find the type of person you want to meet. I find this pretty amazing that technology has come so far that we can actually filter what we want to find in a person. This feature even sparks crushes and relationships over the web. Some people might be shy and prefer to meet people first on the Internet They may not be comfortable going up to someone and talking to them right away. Facebook could help people get over the awkward first meeting time in a relationship and learn a lot about each other so they have something to talk about and see if they are really interested.

Facebook is also a great way for artists to show their creativity for free over the web. Photographers, painters, digital imaging artists, and even paintwriters can express themselves through Facebook by putting up their work of art for other to see. It also a great way to connect with other artists and share you work. This definitely drives people with an interest in the arts to Facebook.


I think another key feature that drives people to using Facebook is the way people can connect with each other. There are so many groups in Facebook you can join about practically anything. People join these groups to share interests and educate eachother about virtually anything. The ability to find groups that you “fit into” definitely inspires people to join Facbook. “If your bowling league, your PTA, or your fellow Red Sox fans have connected online, you can join and connect with people who share your interests” (http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2008/04/why-do-people-p.htmlHYPERLINK “http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2008/04/why-do-people-p.html” ).

Facebook is not only good for personal connections, but many businesses are incorporating it into their strategy. People use the site to network about job opportunities, promotions, or information about competing companies. Businesses even use Facebook for putting their advertisements on in order to boost sales. Facebook could be very beneficial to businesses and many business people use this SNS in their everyday life. “I use Facebook for personal and business connections. I find it very useful for communicating with my friends, family and business associates” (http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/2008/11/21/social-media/). Facebook could be a great tool for advertising, especially to the younger crowd of people who do not routinely check the newspapers and do in fact routinely check their Facebook.

Although there are many obvious benefits to using Facebook, there are also negatives if the SNS is not properly used. People have to realize that others are going to look at their page and learn information about them. Our Facebook profile is more important than people think and can have devastating consequences if not taken seriously.

The most obvious negative aspect of Facebook is the ease to stalk other people. As I said before, people do not think that other people could use their page to get so much information from them. One example I read in an active users blog was about relationships. When people break up they change their status to “single” right away. This gets people’s attention going and brings a lot of attention to you. This is just one of the many examples of how Facebook could be an invasion of your privacy. However, as I said before, people need to realize that this information is only readily available because they put it there.

Due to the recent change in Facebook, the website allowes anyone with a valid e-mail address to join the SNS. This could in turn lead to false identities since there is no longer any proof of identification to join the site. In the beginning of the Facebook operation, people were required to have a .edu address. These addresses were only available if you were enrolled in college. The new method Facebook is using to allow users to join could in turn, lead to false identities on the site.

Another main problem many people believe is that Facebook, along with other SNS’s can cause is the isolation of people. Many people would rather just talk to someone online rather than face to face. This in turn could lead to isolation of people, lack of connection, and laziness. A lot of people argue that Facebook is taking away from the personalities of people because we are not “verbally” engaging in conversations. “These days, we are more connected than ever with our cell phones, computers and social networking — so connected that we use technology rather than talking to each other face to face”(http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=14708&Itemid=72HYPERLINK “http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14708&Itemid=72” ).

People using Facebook need to realize that Facebook could in fact, ruin their reputation. I read a story about a guy who had a wild night of drinking with his friends and next day called out of work, lying about the reason, saying he was naturally ill. In reality however, the reason he did not go to work was because he was too hungover. Sure we have all had nights like those but you may be asking yourself, “how does this relate to Facebook?” Well, this guy’s friends took photographs of him partying and posted them on Facebook and he also posted on his page he was throwing a party that night. Since so many people have Facebook, these pictures got back to his boss and he was fired on the spot for lying to the company and displaying irresponsibility toward his job. “He was an intern who called in sick, only to be caught lying to his thank to pictures of himself attending a party posted on his Facebook page. Calvin was famously called out by his boss, and then fired, leaving many shaking their heads and wondering how someone could do something so stupid” (http://www.switched.com/tag/facebook).

embarass

The last negative of Facebook I will discuss has to do with the facebook “beacon”. This beacon basically invaded the privacy of Facebook users by monitoring what they clicked on to the benefit of advertisements. When they clicked on these links, not only were they monitored and recorded, but their actions were sent to their Facebook friends. Many Facebook users did not know this was actually happening and when they found out they felt like their trust for the site was violated. This is an example of how Facebook users do not know everything that goes on behind closed doors. This example also illustrates how Facebook could make users feel a sense of mistrust and invasion of privacy without any knowledge.

Whether you are considering joining Facebook or are already on Facebook, there are many thing to be taken into consideration. There are many different things that attract people to Facebook, but at the same time, there are also many factors that make people not want to join the popular SNS. Facebook has many benefits but also many downfalls. It is important that people use Facebook responsibly or they could suffer from many repercussions. Your Facebook experience is what you make out of it and the information you decide to put on your page is essential to you experience. Facebook could connect lost relatives and friends, or it could get your fired from you job. People need to consider every extreme result with what they do on Facebook.

Sources

http://blogs.forrester.com/groundswell/2008/04/why-do-people-p.html

http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/2008/11/21/social-media/

http://www.startup-review.com/blog/facebook-case-study-offline-behavior-drives-online-usage.php

http://www.switched.com/tag/facebook

http://www.theshorthorn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14708&Itemid=72

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/11/26/facebook-will-sink-u.html

http://pointlessbanter.net/2008/09/30/i-hate-people-that-use-their-facebook-relationship-status-for- attention/

http://chimprawk.blogspot.com/2006/05/facebooks-critical-success-factors.html

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do? command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9050698&pageNumber=1



Readings 6: Privacy and Surveillance
January 5, 2009, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

Readings 6

On the Record, All the Time”

This article on life-blog creeped me out a bit and made me think of what the world and technology is really coming to. I found it a bit uncomfortable that this researcher walked around with a recorder around his neck for such a long amount of time and a sign saying our conversation is being recorded. I know if someone came up to me with that around his neck and started to talk to me I would walk away without saying anything and think he was nuts. Why is this? Maybe because I feel like our lives should be private. When I am talking to someone I might say things I do not want anyone else to hear. I feel like the idea of life-blogging through audio recording is an invasion of privacy to the people around you and of the law itself. Another reason I am anti-life blogging is because what if something your experienced was not something you want to remember. The author discusses how his child was injured and how he could not even listen back to the tape. Some memories just should not be remembered. I can think of many things I am glad I don’t have recorded, probably more than I wish I did! It also breaches the law of consent. If we are recording everything all the time, including people in the public, how can we be so sure they would allow it? I can see how this can be argued through people taking videos and pictures, and I really don’t have an answer to how it is different and I think it could be a very questionable topic. My final point is that through life-blogging, people could have the tendency to feel like they are “on stage” or have to act a certain way or say certain things. When people are being monitored they act different. I think life-blogging could turn us into programed computers and make us feel like we can not act ourselves either because of embarrassment, shyness, or nervousness.

1. How do you feel about wearing a tape recorder around your neck all the time to record memories and discussions in your life?

2. If someone came up to you with a recorder around their neck and a sign that said “our conversation will be recorded, do you think you would act in a different way than you normally would? Why or why not?

Facebook’s Beacon Just the Tip of the Privacy Iceberg”

Like the first article, I found this article informative, but at the same time a bit “creepy”. I will be honest and say I really had no idea that on Facebook our “clicking” on link are monitored. It makes me feel a bit uneasy to realize that people are monitoring what I do on certain websites. It makes me think how many websites do companies really do this for? I am starting to believe its a lot more than we think. It also makes me question if we signed up for these sites, if we signed an agreement stating our information will be constantly monitored by someone. We all have done it before: skipped the 5 paragraph essay on the terms for a website and agreed to them. Could these terms have stated we will be constantly monitored? I understand the whole idea is a great marketing strategy and can tell a lot about target market behaviors and preferences, but I do believe it is an infringement of privacy. At the same time, I also believe it is the Internet, and everything we do could and probably is constantly monitored by some “greater being”. This article made that belief more evident to me and acted as a reminder. The internet could be a more dangerous tool than we think and many things can be going on that we don’t even know about.

1. Were you aware that when we click on links and ads for Facebook our activity is being monitored?

2. Do you think this is an invasion of privacy, a good marketing research strategy, or both?