Blog Council on Nerd Alert


This week we enjoyed reading everyone’s posts about how changes in technology have affected us, particularly social media and the invention of the smartphone.  It is clear that advances in technology have made the world more interconnected and we are increasingly more dependent on it. It was shocking to see that we are all aware of our overuse of technology and dependence on it…will we ever cut the cord? It’s like we are on a merry go round and the momentum is too strong for us to stop it.

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Digital Collaborator


I am also a digital collaborator.  I used to be something else when I took  the quiz a few years ago.  I think they may need to update it as some questions already feel dated.  like, I don’t own a stand alone mp3 device, my phone functions as that for me.

 

How Far is Too Far?


Social media has grown hand in hand with the current generation of camera phones becoming ubiquitous.  A camera in every pocket, alongside the ease of sharing photos and videos in seconds globally,  has facilitated a revolution in the way information is shared today.  From Twitter to Facebook, media is shared to millions, with a plethora of additional information just a few clicks away.  According to the technology quiz, I am a digital collaborator, which I believe accurately describes my approach to and use of technology.  I believe in the connection of a larger community and the power of these groups to make a difference and serve a greater purpose.  Whether providing live information during natural disasters, crowd-funding business projects, or sharing footage of events and locales around the world, I believe social media has redefined how a global community can interact, sharing and discussing information like never before.

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The Facebook Friend Paradox


The recent developments in social networking sites have greatly increased our ability to communicate with large numbers of people at any given time.  We now have access to people all over the world and can share pictures, links, posts and many others to a wide range of people.  Intuitively speaking, one would think that this innovation would make us more social overall, as we have the potential to communicate with a very large number of people.  Though social networking sites have changed the way we communicate, they have not necessarily changed it for the better.

Based on Dunbar’s number, the limit to the number of stable social relationships a person can have at one time is 150.  Numbers larger than this begin to lose social connectivity, and we can see this phenomenon in social media.  Most people with a high number of Facebook friends do not interact with the majority of them.  They may know who most of them are, but would not invite them out to have a beer or send them a Christmas card.  Social media gives us the ability to communicate with others at the shallowest level, without speech or face-to-face interaction.  This shallowness, if used too frequently, can replace other communication skills, making people less experienced in more direct social interactions.

The main paradox of Facebook is that it is portrayed as a tool used to facilitate social interactions and social connections, but at the same time it can lead to prejudice and narcissism.  People generally try to boost their image as much as possible on Facebook, chasing the self-esteem boost that results when someone “likes” that person’s status or photo or wishes that person a happy birthday when the two haven’t spoken in years.  Many people attempt to make themselves appear popular by accumulating a lot of “friends” and others are prejudged as antisocial because they either don’t have a lot of “friends” or do not have a Facebook account.  Those who are engrossed in social networks can lack a critical aspect of social interactions.  A humorous portrayal of this can be found in the commercial below.

While social networking has good use in reaching a lot of people in a short period of time, it cannot replace direct communication or the development of real friendships.

Privacy Comes at a Price


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My quiz results as an ambivalent networker comes as no surprise to me. I love technology and all of the benefits it gives to me, but at the same time kind of hope that my privacy was a little more available. With camera phones, social media, and instant access to recent news all in one’s hand, it is hard to escape everyone’s business without turning off all electronics. However, this perceived lack of privacy also aids in more serious efforts such as stopping crime and catching criminals.

The NSA leaked reports from a few months ago show that our technological conversations can be easily seen or heard by government officials at the click of a button. While people cry out for individual and privacy rights, I tend to learn towards the other end of the spectrum. Don’t we want our government to be able to predict and foil attacks on our country before they actually happen? I would imagine texts with a girlfriend or calls with one’s mother are of much interest to National Security. Key terms and watch list individuals are located and followed in order to catch them before terrible actions occur. As can be read in this article about the sabotaged attack on the Federal Reserve in New York City, FBI surveillance aided in stopping the planned bombing. Instances as such cannot be ignored as successes and the people who wish for “more privacy” should remember that their privacy comes at a cost to National Security.

Social Smartphones?


I think that mobile phones, specifically smart phones that can do everything that a laptop computer can do, have had and will have the largest impact on us socially. One thing that immediately comes to mind is that essentially everyone has the power of the internet literally in the palm of their hand. I think that this may be a factor that limits us from remembering things. Since we have access to all the information that the internet holds, there is no need to remember directions, recipes, definitions etc. This is not the worst thing in the world, but it certainly makes us dependent.

Additionally, I believe that the fact that everyone also has a video camera in their pocket takes away from people simply enjoying life. For example, if one were to walk by a street performer on a city block singing a beautiful ballad, they would also see every single observer recording said ballad with their phone. I also find myself doing this a lot, trying to document the things I see with my camera phone. For example, this past semester I went to an Imagine Dragons concert in Prague, and without really noticing what I was doing I took a video of nearly every single song that was performed. Did this take away from my experience while at the concert? It may have… but it may also have been worth it, in order to re-watch the concert from my point of view at a later date.

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Texting: Like OMG We Can’t Stop #Miley


One aspect of technology that has greatly changed social interactions is texting. How often do you actually pick up the phone to call someone?

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“I used to call people, then I got into emailing, then texting, and now I just ignore everyone.”– The New Yorker

I admit, I am an avid texter.  Often, I would much rather text someone than call them (but I’m working on it!). The most appealing thing about texting to me is that it allows you to multitask. You can be working out on the elliptical and texting five people at the same time and still listen to your music. Continue reading

The Use of Technology in Social Situations


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In today’s world, especially in the United States, everyone relies so heavily on technology. The question “How difficult would it be, if at all, to give up the following things in your life? Your television, Your cell phone, The Internet” really threw me off a bit. The options “very hard”, “somewhat hard”, “not too hard”, “not at all hard” are almost comical. The only option I could think of was ‘impossible.”  It would be impossible for me to live my life without these things. I think this would be true for pretty much everyone else in America.

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TechnOlympics


I found in the quiz that I am an ambivalent networker – I have allowed technology to help me in my everyday life via interactions and entertainment, but I still find too much digital communication to be intrusive. This seems perfect for me as I know I’m not the fastest texter and I like having a face to face conversation or telephone communication before typing one out. But, I also use the computer for EVERYTHING from school work to Netflix. So I like to think I am ambivalent towards technology, at least for now.

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When I read the prompt, I knew I wanted to look at how sports was changed by technology and then remembered that it was an Olympic year. So I did a little research about how the Olympics has changed because of technology since the last Winter Games. Continue reading

Socializing the Sports World


First looking at this prompt, I knew that there were a lot of different directions in which I could take this blog. I debated looking at the role that social media played in the Obama-Romney election, but decided that I wanted to look into something that is even more current and still changing: social media in professional sports. Though not all that noticeable to some, social media has played an increasingly important role in the world of professional sports for both the franchises themselves and the fans. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to find a professional team that does not operate its own Facebook page and Twitter account and now the leagues are continuously adopting new ways to incorporate social media into its day-to-day operations. Continue reading

Put the Phone Down


cell-phone-lightsAs a “Roving Node” according to the tech user quiz, I am personally quite involved with technology. I enjoy using my phone and computer in order to be productive in school and also for my social life. I also enjoy many different social media outlets because they allow me to stay in touch with friends and family, while also allowing access to all different types of information. At the same time, I realize that social media and technology can sometimes take away from face to face social interactions. I think a lot of us, including myself, are guilty of being too immersed in their phones or other types of technology and we end up not paying full attention to the people around us. Continue reading

Google Maps War


Did Google start a war?

In November of 2010, Nicaraguan officials started a construction project on a piece of land that was culturally accepted to belong to Costa Rica. Officials from Nicaragua justified this move through the use of Google Maps- which claimed that the land belonged to Nicaragua. The ownership of this area, which only spans a few square miles, has been disputed for hundreds of years (For more information, look up the  Cañas-Jerez Treaty of 1858 and the arbitration of the dispute by President Grover Cleveland in 1888).The countries and Google debated the correct border for a few days; in the meantime, Nicaraguan troops occupied the space. While Google didn’t start a war, it played a role in perpetuating tensions between the two countries. Continue reading

NOMS no more?


It was a somber, rainy day and I was in no mood to do anything but lounge around and stare at the ceiling. After a few hours of pure enjoyment and noticing some spots that could really use a touch up coat of paint I picked up my phone and started looking through old photos, reliving old memories. As I flipped through all my photos, on my phone and subsequently on my computer I started to get very hungry. This hunger was not the result of a lack of food, as I had been munching on snacks all day as I laid around. No, this hunger was the result of an alarming number of photos of delicious food I kept running into in my massive catalogue of photos. Not only did this make me hungry, it really made me question how much time I spend eating and buying food. Continue reading

Social Media, You, and Business-Society


For this week’s blog post, we will be looking into technology and its impact on society.  You have three options for your prompt.

First, we suggest you take this short quiz to see what kind of technology user you are.

The first is to discuss the effect that social media has on organizations.  Talk about both positives and negatives and try to give examples of organizations that have been successful or unsuccessful in utilizing social media. Continue reading