Media Criticism Spring 2012

Part 1: Deconstructing Super Bowl Ads

The Life and Times of Social Networking

Posted on | April 27, 2012 | No Comments

Social networking is the new fad nowadays. Everyone I know probably has one or more of the following: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, Flickr, or Pinterest. Even I will admit that I have the majority of these, and visit them all dozens upon dozens of times every day. They help me keep all of my friends sorted for easy access (and the occasional

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easy creeping… No shame, we all do it), share all of my favorite things with my friends, keep tabs on my favorite celebrity, and share silly pictures with strangers – not to mention, they are all right there on your laptop, smart phone, or iPad.  With the use of social networking on a steady rise, I’m sure that within the next few years, nearly everyone will have one account for at least one of these social networking sites, especially Facebook. Keep in mind though, not only are social networking sites fun and convenient, they are also dangerous – not only socially, but emotionally as well.

According to, as of 2011, they found well over 500,000,000 active and ready Facebook accounts from all over the world. That’s equals to about 1 out of 13 people on the planet having and using a Facbook account pretty regularly. Not very surprisingly, a few years ago, a study showed that nearly 50% of all users were between the ages of 18-35 – the prime age to be “in the know” about everything. Truth be told, nearly 50% of young Facebook users find out the news while browsing through timelines and profiles. It’s no newspaper, but at least the kids these days know something about what’s going on.

As I mentioned earlier, there are so many dangers to having a social networking account, one of the most dangerous and real ones being cyber bullying. Cyber bullying consists of leaving mean or threatening messages on someone’s profile, whether they’re private or public, taking hurtful pictures and spreading them on the sites, and of course, spreading rumors. A surprising 1 out of 3 young people have experienced a cyber threat or mean message online, but less than half report cyber bullying to their parents or another adult. Cyber bullying is easy to do, considering the number of internet users and the option of anonymity. If one witnesses or is a victim of cyber bullying, they are urged to call the Cyber Bullying Hotline at 617-534-5050.

When Mark Zuckerberg took reign of Facebook, it was no easy deal for him to get going. Now that he’s been so successful with it, he tries to rope in more and more people every day by adding games, challenges, changing the

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layout, etc. This strategy to gain more people’s support is called the “new” technique. People love new things they get to experience and explore. Just recently, Facebook changed into the new timeline layout. Either someone liked it and kept it on the timeline option, or hated it and kept it the same as before. Now, Facebook has finally forced users to switch to the timeline layout as an attempt to get them to explore the new site and adding more things to keep them hooked longer.

Even though social networking sites are convenient and easy way to stay on top of things, events, and people’s lives, it may not be the smartest route to go. It almost creates a false sense of friendship, because you could be “friends” with someone you’ve spoken to twice – it doesn’t matter. I’d like to urge people to branch out and not only see things the way they see them on sites like Facebook. It’s great that people get news from networking sites, but it is often biased and one-sided.  If you want to get the real scoop on what’s happening with your friends and in the world, pick up a news paper or get a cup of coffee with a friend. It will be more beneficial to you in the long run, and more personal!



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