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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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.

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

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

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