Response to: “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”

To me, the choice between social networks is highly relative to the person choosing, no matter their “class”. While I agree with some of the author’s observations about aesthetic divisions, she isn’t presenting anything new. For any user of social networks, these are obvious observations. What makes these observations even less interesting is the author’s constant lack of conviction for them. This article seemed generalized and subjective.

Information from the press is never objective, so it bothers me that this woman said: “Still, even with the rise of high school students, Facebook was framed as being about college. This was what was in the press. This was what college students said.” No matter if it is an academic article or not, the press is not a great reference. It made her comments fall flat. It supports generalization, while also using it as a source.

In response to the Myspace to Facebook switch and the author’s comment on rebellious behavior, Facebook was/is a lot safer than Myspace, regardless of the quantity of underage drinking pictures that might appear more on Facebook. Facebook had/has many more privacy options than Myspace, making it a much safer and private social network. Whether or not Facebook users choose to use the safety and privacy options provided is a personal decision. There are so many different kinds of people that use both of these sites. I feel that her conclusions are opinion-based and generalized.

Teenage rebellion is inevitable, as are teenage social divisions. Technology is only a new tool to distinguish these separations. Do I think that new technology perpetuates rebellious behavior? Absolutely. But if not that, it would be something else.

Question: Social networking has become part of our generational culture. Do you think adults take social networking too seriously?

Also, I feel that the author is way too bothered by this cultural and social divide, when it’s existed all along. Do you feel bothered by the supposed “divide”? Do you notice it? Do you think technology contributes to this divide?

Response to: “Social Network Site: Public, Private, or What?”

This author really bothers me. Her articles don’t seem to be well-focused. The title of the article doesn’t even make sense to what she says she is providing. This essay seems to have been written to perpetuate the fear adults have of technology and social networking. The fact that this paper was written “in order to help educators understand their role in socialising today’s youth” is hilarious to me. It is especially funny because to the youth of today, social networks are the norm. This author seems to treat the subject as if it is abstract. She is not speaking to our generation, but rather to the panicked older generations, which is exactly the idea that came to mind when I read the “Viewing American class…” essay.

I can understand why those that don’t fully understand technology are frightened by the exposure of the youth of today. But teenagers know what they’re doing. The self-representation of youth is based on morals, just as any other decision, regardless of technological use. If teaching morals is the issue, so be it, but I think that social networking is important, relevant, and extremely useful in society for personal connection, career advancements, and artistic expression. Instead of taking the frightened approach to SNSes 101, why not steer educators to enlighten students about the importance of SNSes?

One thing I really liked that the author said (though out of place with her other comments): “Too often we blame technology for what it reveals, but destroying or regulating the technology will not solve the underlying problems that are made visible through mediated publics like social network sites.” That should have been what her thesis was based on.

Question: If you were an educator, what would your response to this article be? What tactics would you use to approach social networking and its advantages and disadvantages?

Response to: “Friend Game”

This article was insightfully written, and the author is conscious of the effects and usage of social networking. She recognizes that the underlying problems social networking can perpetuate have existed for centuries. “Mistaken identities have been a staple of human interaction from Jacob and Esau to Shakespeare, but electronic communication has made misrepresentation temptingly immediate…”

I found this article very powerful and intelligent in the author’s ability to present new ideas and insight on SNSes, such as when she compares Myspace with the broken-windows theory.

Question: Do you think Myspace adds too much social pressure for teenagers to deal with?