Social Networking

Source:

Goede, Jessica & Lee, Daniel B. & Shryock, Rebecca. (2010). Clicking for friendship: social network sites and the medium of personhood. MedieKultur, 49, 137-150.

Link: http://ojs.statsbiblioteket.dk/index.php/mediekultur/article/download/2585/3380

When I read the article, it made me think about my use of social networking sites. I used to have a MySpace, but I only use Facebook now. I have around 300 “friends” and communicate with many people through the site. I have met and know each person I am friends with, but of course there are many that I rarely talk with on the site. My profile is constructed in a way that it reflects my personality, but it does not reveal too much personal information about me. I know that without Facebook, I would not talk to many of the people I am “friends” with online. The world of social networking has greatly expanded communication and “allow[s] us to maintain stronger ties to a wider group of people than ever before.” (138) Although I don’t talk to many of my online friends, I knew all of them at some point so it’s nice to know how they are doing. I live far away from home to be in Southern California for college and I can’t imagine not having Facebook to keep in touch with people. The site keeps me connected with people at home and allows for consistent communication.

The idea of “friends” on Facebook can describe just an online friendship because people I talk to on Facebook I may never see in person again, but then there are also “friends” that I talk to a lot outside of Facebook. I like how the article described it as an “imaginary but informative environment” (139) because it is like a world where many people you know are grouped together and you are socially connected to them. It is just a virtual world, but things that go on affect the real world outside of the internet. Social networking sites have made a huge impact on society because sites like Twitter attract a lot of celebrities and make people feel connected to their favorite stars even though they most likely will never actually interact with them in real life. There have also been news stories about people being in trouble and using social networking sites to contact others and get help.

The advancements of technology and the expanding of social networking have greatly changed how people interact now. We can reach so many people in faraway places and it almost feels as if we are still close with them. My best friend is studying abroad in Italy, but with the use of Facebook we are able to regularly communicate and she doesn’t feel as far away. I really value social networking sites now that I am away from a lot of people I used to see on a daily basis. Although Facebook does have a superficial friendship element to it, I still feel like I can stay close to people that I wouldn’t get to talk to as much otherwise. Although there are arguments on whether social networking sites are relevant or not, I think it is a nice site to have to keep connected with people and it is also a good distraction when I don’t want to do my homework.

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