Saturday, May 8, 2010

About Someone Else's Term Project

Overall I think everyone did a great job with the presentations. But if I had to pick one that stand out for me, it would have to be Mike's project on new media and its impact on teens. The numbers and statistics shown in this presentation were astonishing. People who are constantly using new media such as SNS and the computer or the 'heavy users' were reported to have lower grades while the 'light users' reported doing better in school. Heavy users also have family issues while light users seem happier with family members. There is definitely a correlation between overusing new media and ones person life. Teens are the ones especially vulnerable to this since they seem to have the most free time.

However, the researchers don't take into account that people usually multitask while using the computer. So although there might be an increase in hours of using the computer, people/ teens may also be doing their homework assignments (since schools are starting to offer hw to be done online) while being active on a SNS. This will go against the argument that increase computer hours means decrease school work. New media has also allow people to stay connect with family, which can actually bring families together. Overall I think there are some correlation between heavy usage of the computer and one's personal life, but there certainly need to be more research done in this area for a more valid answer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

About My Term Project

I will be be presenting about: Social Networking: Better or Worse than the Real thing? I'll first give a brief history of social networking. Then talk about the advantages and disadvantages of social networking. Follow by real life in comparison with social networking. Finally I will give you my conclusion on which one I believe is better.

The ‘original’ SNS was It was the first to combine the features of creating profiles and lists of friends to share with others. The service did close down around 2000 because the users complained that there was nothing else to do after accepting friend requests (I guess they didn’t have mafia wars back then). Also most users were not interested in meeting random people, they would only add people they know fairly well. Just to show how times have changed.

Advantages of SNS are that it’s rather intimate in the sense that you are able to learn more about a person aside from their names. For instance on facebook, you can see where they went to school and what recent activities they've done. You can join groups and meet people with the same beliefs as you. If you're a fan of something that no one else appreciates you can rest assure that there is going to be at least another person on SNS that will support your beliefs. SNS has made the world a smaller place. Families and friends with an internet connected computer can stay connected with one another from around the world. SNS also give the notion of unlimited availability where you can literally make new friends and stay connected with others as you sleep. For instance, anyone can choose to follow you on twitter and bloggers. You can check someone's profile on facebook without the person even being online. You are constantly available.

There are various disadvantages as well. For instance, multiple suicides had been caused by cyber bullying. Privacy and malicious third party apps are a big issue as well, according to McAfee users should be weary of the links they click on in facebook. What might look like an invite can actually be malicious third party apps. Ironically although you are socializing in SNS, you can become less social-able in real life. I actually know a people who are very lively online but rather quiet when in real life, which I find odd. This can also affect your job interviewing skills as well.

When you socialize in real life you can see the other persons emotions and reactions to what you do or say. People can write 'LOL' and not actually laugh. It's just not the same as real life because you get to physically be there with the person. Instead of chatrooms you can physically hang out. People can also put up fake photos or photos can be photoshoped on SNS, this way you will be able to see the real person.

But disadvantages of real life are pretty obvious. It's hard to stay connect with people who lives far away without SNS. It's even hard to stay connected with people you go to the same school with. For instance, you and your friend go to Baruch, but you may never see or hang out with one another due to your class schedule and job. Another disadvantage is that it'll harder for you to lie to someone in real life compared with SNS, you'll have to practice to be a good actor whereas on SNS you can just bs the whole way, with an elaborate story and photoshoped pictures to prove your point. ;]

Ultimately SNS and real life are just "Two-halves to support a local community". One shouldn’t just exclude oneself to a particular field because it’s only when you combine both that will get the best results. This is pretty much what I’m going to cover in my presentation.