Jaigris Hodson conducted a discourse analysis, which is described as an analysis of language, of Google’s weblog from 2006 to 2011. Hodson found that Google leaders constructed the company in two ways. One was “the company as a provider of valuable (commodified) information, and the second construction was the company as a public service or an information utility provider.” Hodson also determined that Google values information over anything else with the “Strong belief that technology is the source of human progress and that technological development is inevitable . . . the unspoken subtext suggests that if people can only get access to the information they need, when they need it, via Google’s search product, then they will be happier and more successful.” By making information a commodity to make money off of advertisements Google marginalizes the workers who create the technology and the users of their product. One way this happens is by prioritizing search results with Google companies at the top. This ultimately results in two classes of people, “those who control information via their command of technology, and those who rely on others to do it for them.”
Derrick Kerckhove conducted an interdisciplinary study based on specific case studies rooted in social sciences, System Engineering Technology, Data Representation, and Science of Networks Complexity in order to create a set of comprehensive features that shape the personal and social sense of digital selfhood and identity. These features are working towards defining the digital persona and represent its complex nature. Kerckhove asserts that there is no inclusive definition of the digital persona at this time due to issues that arise from the four agents that affect the digital persona. These four agents are personal agents, technological agents, institutional and legal agents, and civic agents. The definitions that exist today do not take all of these agents into account and are missing a European Framework which is described as “a point of reference at the EU level regarding digital persona that includes identification, authentication, legal and ethical subjective identity management.” Kerckhove outlines his issues with the current definitions and promises his continued research to build on these findings and provide a comprehensive definition that includes all layers and sectors of the digital persona.
Colin Sparks explains that “The term ‘digital divide’ is used to cover a broad range of social differences in access to and the use of digital equipment and services, most notably personal computers, and the ability to access the internet in terms of both physical connection and facility of use.” The issue is relatively new and has increased with the immense importance of the internet itself. There are many ways to approach the study and analysis of the “digital divide”, its causes and effects. Sparks goes over the three main approaches. He also explains patterns of physical access that correlate limited access to the internet to the socio-economic status of an area. Spark asserts that the most important future implications of the “digital divide” will take shape around how social life itself will revolve around the internet. A society’s limited access to personal computers and the internet will prevent the society from becoming “fully networked” in knowledge, experience, confidence, and opportunity to sustain an acceptable standard of life.
This article I found very interesting. The authors describe the impact of internet when searching for a mate. This is interesting because of the rise of internet dating, communicating on social media and having relationships online have recently become a relatively normal thing. The author argues that since there are more people online it might make it easier to start something rather than to pick from the limited pool of people that you have actually met in person. Another issue that the author states is the problem of the search. Where does one find the mate? Of course the internet makes this easier as well. For example, just look at Facebook. You can search anyone and get general information about people along with looking at there pictures, without the other person even knowing about it. In my opinion there are positives and negative to this social impact that the internet created. On a positive note, you have more opportunities to talk to people that you may never see and you have more choices. On the other side, a relationship should have face to face communication. If interested in reading more about it here’s the LINK.
I thought we had some very good discussions for the social/cultural/economic impact topic. I think we addressed some important economic issues with future jobs and also some good social issues to talk about like cyber bullying. I found an article online that is about a gun company that is now taking bitcoin as a form of payment. Here is the article. We did not really talk about bitcoin’s impact, but it will definitely impact the economic and cultural aspects of the web.
Last class we discussed how technology is affecting the future of jobs. Here is an article from The Economist that you might find interesting. It talks about how we have adapted to innovations in the past but how the technology revolution is something that no one is prepared for and how the future of jobs doesn’t look so bright from their perspective.
For the past four days I’ve been reading “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” by Danah Boyd. She is currently giving away free online copies of her book here.
I feel this book’s intended audience are adults, adults who typically don’t comprehend teenagers’ use of the internet. I would say about 2/3 of this book is dedicated to those adults that continue to misunderstand us. However, the other 1/3 remaining is dedicated to us young adults struggling to maintain our digital presence in the ever evolving social media we encounter. It gave me a greater insight on many of the social implications of interactions we perform online, some things that I would never think about and I bet most young adults don’t even think about when interacting online.
I like the extensive field work she has done throughout the United States. Boyd has interviewed many young adults about their opinion on social media and the way they use it in their daily lives. However, I feel like the book would’ve benefitted from surveying young adults in less economically developed countries because many of the situtations described aren’t applicable outside the United States or Canada.
In her book, Boyd points out that teens reject profile requirements in these sites because they refuse to portray themselves like these sites want them to. Teens don’t really pay attention to these requirements because for the most part the people they will be interacting with are their own peers who know them well. Boyd explains that social media are extensions of social interactions are therefore NOT ways in which teens hide from the outside world, rather they use it as a way to further extend their relationships.
Boyd looks into social issues of racial and ethnic inequality. Many people assume that the internet and social media would blur these divides in society. However, the truth is that when teens participate online they are reproducing their race based dynamics. In her chapter “Inequality” Boyd says “Although thechnology makes it possible in principle to socialize with anyone online, in practice, teens connect to the people that they know and with whom they have most in common” to signal this further division and racial and ethnic inequality of those participating in social media.
Boyd presents the idea of being in public and being public. I believe this is an idea to always keep mind. Most adults think that teens need to be part of social media is because they want attention. However, teens use social media to interact with others in a more selective way not really crying out for approval from their peers. By deciding what to post and what not to post online, teens are demonstrating a side of them without revealing their entire self, this is where they separate their digital identity and true self . Many adults claim that teens are “addicted” to social media. Having said that, Danah draws attention to the fact that constant interaction through social media for teens is a highly social behavior. Teens aren’t addicted to the components of social media but they are rather addicted to one another.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Boyd’s book on the way young people like me interact with social media. Many of the passages and interviews she did with teens make her book relatable and demonstrate concrete evidence of her explanations. I would definitely recommend this book for any one trying to understand teens’ interactions online or for a course like this one.
And to those adults out there still not understanding our constant need of the internet and social media: Go out and buy this book and OH YES IT IS COMPLICATED YOU HAVE NOOO IDEA.
Today we talked about the impacts the internet has had in our lives that be it socially, culturally or economically. This panel reminded me of one of the TED talks I watched as part of my FSEM last semester.
This TED talk is called “Txtng is killing language. JK!!” by John McWhorter. McWhorter is a professor at Columbia University and has contributed to extensive works in the fields of linguistics and politics and how these are affected by race.
I highly recommend you watch his talk which I have provided a link to above. It is not very long. Also, the funny and relaxed atmosphere he creates while communicating his ideas at his TED talk, is the one I hope to be able to attend in the future (yes, it is one of my lifelong goals to a attend a TED talk, ANY talk).
In class today, we were talking about the wink involved in texting. When people use the wink face when texting it has other connotations than simply an innocent wink. This got me thinking about the lack of tone and other aspects of face to face conversation that texting lacks. People use emojis (like the wink), the word “lol”, or a period at the end of a very brutal statement to give written speech, face-to-face conversational characteristics. In this TED talk, McWhorter describes texting as fingered speech. He further discusses what we were talking about in class today and the whole wink emoji. The internet is helping us change our forms of interaction and by doing so are also shaping these forms. McWhorter further supports the evolution of texting by saying that “ Increasing evidence is that being bilingual is cognitively beneficial. That’s also true of being bidialectal. That’s certainly true of being bidialectal in terms of your writing. And so texting actually is evidence of a balancing act that young people are using today, not consciously, of course, but it’s an expansion of their linguistic repertoire.”
We are shaping the ways we communicate with people. We try to incorporate a tone in our texting in order to imitate it the way we would say that same thing in person. We are shaping the internet and technology phenomena no more than it is shaping us and our lives!!
The internet is a world where we can meet people from all over the world, people from china can talk with the people from The US. Which is really a nice thing about the internet. Years ago before coming to the United states to finish my bachelor degree, My thoughts about the US was all that its full of those danger people like the movies, and therefore I never thought of completing my bachelor there, but after I started playing video games over the internet, I have met some awesome and great people who I will never meet in my home country and this has changed whole my life and made me fight to get to the US to complete my degree.