Social Media is "US"

Social Media is here to stay whether you like it or not. When it comes to Social Media there are two things that pop in my head, Facebook and Twitter. I am an avid twitter and Facebook user and enjoy mostly everything that has to do with Social Media. However there are times when I have to take a step back because I am shocked with the stream of information that I am voluntarily putting on the Internet and the information I am receiving from other sources. Take yesterday, October 4th, 2011 for example I was fixated on my computer and cell phone, sitting on Engadget (online technology blog) watching a live blog and twitter updates from the Apple conference. This is what social media is all about now.

I no longer receive my information from the news, magazines, papers, but rather from a constant live stream from friends, companies, fans and anyone who share my interest. The best part is that it’s instant, and now a days for someone to wait for something is shocking because society has turned into such a instant satisfaction culture for the most part. I know for myself waiting has gone out of the window, I am more impulsive than ever and it is because I usually am only one click away from anything.

Everyone in the business has gotten so good at underlying social media that we do it unconsciously, we advertise or spread news for a company with out even knowing. As soon as information was released about the iPhone 4S, I didn’t even need to be on engadget.com or macrumors.com to find out. All I would have needed to do was just check twitter or Facebook once and watch my friends pour information, opinions, and news about what was going on with the conference. But like them we all stayed plugged in, and social media keeps us plugged in.

In order to make a connection, I am going to jump to the movie Matrix, yes we are talking about the Keanu Reeves flick (woahh).  But the idea that we are plugged in and receiving information non stop, regardless what medium you choose (Unless your John Connor and you are off the grid) has gotten a lot of people worried. I know for a fact when I was doing my background check for the NYPD, which I passed, I was so worried they would find something I left on MySpace, Facebook, or twitter that would disqualify me from proceeding.

Eventually privacy and openness is my only discretion when it comes to Social Media, but that’s even changing as social media and society is changing with it. I am unsure if it is changing for the better or worse but I will say one thing, and that is I like it. Lets just hope were not becoming numb to what is ethical behavior but we are becoming open and transparent to except the world that is around us. With social media I just hope that it stays out of government control and leaves it to the people to decide what they want to tune in and out. A pretty famous guy, who created something pretty cool, can sum up my thoughts; Mark Zuckerberg creator of Facebook was quoted saying “the goal of Thefacebook was to help people understand the world around them”.  And that is where I hope social media takes us some day.


Jonathan Agha
BA Information Science
IT Consultant

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4 thoughts on “Social Media is "US"

  1. The Mark Zuckerberg quote that you put into the end of your post, and your opinion on it, are both very true, and I don’t think that anyone would argue with this point. But, look at it from the opposite angle – is social media helping the world understand people as well?You talked about how you were worried about the NYPD finding out about your background just because of something you may have posted on a social media site. And the truth is, employers everywhere are using social media as a tool to find out more information about the individual.Government agencies, media companies, political parties, big businesses, and even colleges are using these technologies to find out about the population – and in certain cases, they pinpoint specific individuals. This is the part of the equation that I believe Mark Zuckerberg has to look into further when updating Facebook in the future. If he wants information transparency, he should take all sides into the equation while pushing for it.

  2. As one who has never been too concerned about reading the news I find it interesting to hear the diferent thoughts people have about the transition from printed news to news from Twitter and the like. Many seem to love the instant aquisition of recent events while others seem much less interested. I’m one of those less interested in things like Twitter, to me it’s just things like: "forgot to buy egs at the store" or "just had the best burger ever". Perhaps the novelty of such a thing just out weighs its usefullness in my mind leaving me unimpressed. Perhaps this is for the best though since it seems there are many things to worry about should one conduct themselves poorly while using Twitter.

  3. I also found out about the iPhone 4S from Facebook. I’m pretty sure it got to Facebook faster than an Apple news site. I totally agree with you about not finding out new information from the news, magazines or papers. I find just about everything out from Facebook and Twitter. This is a good thing though because I rarely watch the news anyways. Having an iPhone definitely helps with the whole social media thing and finding out news. Thanks to my iPhone, I don’t even need a TV anymore 🙂

  4. This article definitely hit home, with regards to always being "plugged" into the never-ending stream of news and social data that floods the internet on a nanosecond by nanosecond basis. I feel it has gone beyond a want or desire to know current information, or stay up to date on current affairs, news and generally how the world is doing; it has moved beyond the simple desire to know, it has moved beyond curiosity. "To what has it moved onto?", you may be asking, simple..An addiction! Though it may be a harsh word, with negative undertones due to it’s inherent association with drug and alcohol use, but if the shoe fits!? Like you Jay, on the day of the iPhone 4S press conference, I could not wait to know every juicy detail, know which rumors were true or false, and I needed to know the very second they revealed it! But without being at the conference in person that would normally be very difficult (telepaths and psychics need apply here!) But because there were Engadget.com staffers at the event, updating their twitter feed constantly I was able to have my Twitter account forward each and every tweet they made directly to my phone via SMS messaging. I was like a drug addict with information, my appetite would not be satiated and I was constantly waiting for my next fix..(is is a 5 MegaPixel sensor or an 8! I NEEDED TO KNOW!) Ultimately I agree that social media will help the majority of people understand more thoroughly the world in which they occupy, however, there is no such thing as a free lunch and as social media grows and peoples involuntary and unconscious ambivalence towards sharing their most intimate secrets with the world becomes the norm, it will only lead to disappointment, embarrassment and pain…

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