Author Archives: Gabriel's Blog

How has social media enhanced our lives

Social media has enhanced our lives in so many ways its hard to name each of them. Another reason its hard to name each of them is because social media serves a different purpose for each of us. I think with these enhancements comes the responsibility of remembering what social media and technology makes easier. Social media and technology innovations has changed the world we live in for the better if used effectively. Social media connects us to virtually everyone, but some of the social skills should not be forgotten to pass along to generations to come. These basic social skills need to be passed along because it teaches delayed-gratification, self-discipline, and needed face-to-face communication skills. These skills are what some of our fundamental social skills are built upon. One that comes to mind is  the development of patience that is learned through older communication methods. Developing patience comes from a collection of experiences and stages of maturity in life; one aspect of these of experiences that have significantly changed is instantaneously communication. The patience used in the process of writing/ sending a written letter is completely different than quickly writing an email. Since the mailing process takes significantly more time than the emailing process, the care and thoughtfulness differs. In a written letter, you take your time to make sure everything is perfect from the address to the closing remarks. In contrast, writing an email is normally quick and rushed; a majority of the time emails are sent from mobile devices so they are normally written on the go.  This is a drastic example, but it does illustrate how a luxury such as emails have affected our physical lives and behaviors.

A New definition of lonely

There are many reason to communicate ranging from it being part of our human nature to the need to transfer information. Another contributing factor is loneliness. Loneliness is a very basic feeling and a simple reason for human interaction is to not feel lonely. I think today’s technology has transformed our daily lives to always being plugged in and available to be reached at anytime. I think this thought of always being connected has changed how people experience loneliness. Before smart phones were affordable for everyone and before wifi was everywhere, people had to plan to use the internet (people also had to plan their time on the internet) because it wasn’t the limitless power source we know it to be today. During these times, people could actually have a few minutes maybe even hours to feel loneliness in the traditional sense. Loneliness upheld its true definition during these times which seem like the dark ages to our generation. Today’s definition of loneliness has a different vibe to it than it once did. Today, I think the meaning of lonely is more so frown upon with confusion because of the amount of effort it takes to be in the traditional sense lonely. I think the change of having the option to always be available changes how loneliness is perceived. The social network built through social media platforms are easily accessible through many outlets (normally more than one).  Being virtually by yourself is almost impossible, and for many people that is enough to fulfill their need for human interaction.

Too much chat room?

After our discussion of how social media as leaked into our physical lives, I thought about the basics of traditional behavior. Traditional behavior is dependent from where you come from and your family background. Personally, growing up in the south east where manners are still expected and respected, polite etiquette is emphasized from an early age. So having this in mind, the thought of social media changing our physical behaviors is quite prevalent in our communication skills or lack there of. But also where social media’s influence has impacted is traditional behaviors. For example, I was taught growing up if you enter a room with people you know such as your family or friends, you speak to everyone. The ease of exiting an online conversation or chat room has changed this simple dynamic. I have noticed just from being around kids in various basketball camps and even with family and friends that this small respectful gesture is disappearing. Not that this is a drastic loss, but it does, in my mind, reflect some of the social skills that are being loss because of the social media and development of modern technology. Social media allows many tendency that would not be accepted so easily in a face-to-face interaction. Not paying attention while someone speaks is fine when texting or digitally communicating, but is thought of as rude or disrespectful during a face-to-face conversation. This traditional behavior of being attentive during a conversation has been altered. Speaking to someone while speaking with someone else is disruptive if done in person or even on the phone, but accepted during a text conversation. Traditions change as time changes, so maybe this will be the new tradition.

How social media has changed our community

From the discussion we had today, what traits do you think makes it a community? Do you think social media and modern technology could impact on how your community functions?

A community in my mind is a system of people who have a balanced support system throughout the members. Such as in the reading, “the village” is the model community of which everybody helps everybody. Everyone depends on everyone. I feel this idea of community has been changed because of the how technology has impacted our lives. The ability to easily create/ join/ un-join a community has changed how our generation views the idea of community. Instead of needing each other to perform the simple task of sending a message to an out of state friend, we can instantly reach each other and if we choose, we can build relationships without ever seeing the other person. These amazing affordances subsequently has changed how we value community and overall relationships with people. Our technology has given us so much, but has also changed our value system in many ways.

One aspect that I think our view of community has been drastically changed by social media and modern technology is how we work through conflict. The way people had to deal with conflict before the ease of seamless communication was very different than the way our generation consequently deal with issues. “Talking it out” was the main option for conflict resolution before the age of modern technology. Today, we can just close the window on our computer if we don’t like what someone is saying to us or not respond to a text message because we don’t want to fulfill an obligation we forgot about. We can avoid conflict so easily, so we don’t properly develop the conflict resolution skills that are needed to solve real problems.

Graded by Twitter

Recently, Twitter created a map depicting the amount of Twitter followers by a color scale for each NBA team. The link to the map/ article are at the bottom of the page. I thought it was interesting the see the distribution of the amount of followers per team. The article mentioned that the Lakers are the most followed team. That was not a surprise to me because I am Lakers fan, but also the Lakers organization is one of the most prestigious organizations in the league. The Lakers always have marketable/ likeable star i.e. Magic Johnson, Kareem, Shaq. I believe this results in a better overall rating and following. I was surprised to see the small amount of followers for the Golden state warriors. The Warriors are one of the better teams in the NBA right now, but have young stars which I assume means have a smaller, younger following. Also, being in the same state as the Lakers does not do well the build a large following. Up until maybe 3 or 4 years ago, the only team in California that consistently made the playoffs (meaning finishing near the top of their respected division) was the Lakers. Its interesting to see the history of the NBA organization illustrated through Twitter followers.

Also, I thought the following in Alaska was interesting. Its a given that the followers in this area gravitate towards the closest team, the Toronto raptors. But the second and third place were the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. This demonstrates the global effects of having marketable players. After the Toronto Raptors, which have not been in playoff contention in the last two decades except for recently, people in this region chose to support the most popular teams. Earlier, I mention a few of the Lakers past marketable players, but I did not mention Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant, a future NBA hall-famer, has a large global following. He grew up outside of the country, so he has been more apt to market outside the US. The Miami Heat, until last season, had the largest name in the NBA, Lebrun James. During his time with the Heat, he won a few championships and MVPs, so a very successful stint. I think this is another reason for the great fan base in the most northern region of the continent in support of the most southern team location.

Collaboration through technology

I mention earlier that I recently started using the collaboration app stack and quip. Each of the apps basically do the same thing which is providing a cloud space to work on and save documents with team members. It’s “suppose” to be better version of Google doc which I can see in some ways after using it for a while. I’m bringing these up since we were assigned to work together for our group projects. Since we are using the forum to sign and discuss ideas regarding our group projects, I can better understand how and why collaboration apps such as the one I mentioned are growing in popularity. One tool of stack is that you can create specific to do list that are only seemed between whoever assigned the tasks and who is suppose to complete. Also, I thought having the ability to message and flag directly in a document (depending on what type of file). It is also nice to be able to import from Google, evernote, dropbox or other usable programs makes putting things together easier. Those are a few helpful tools. I still want to try some of the video conferencing app for working in teams. I have used split screen Skype to be able to speak to video chat multiple people at a time. It seems like it works great ( I have not use that feature that much), but I am sure some improvements could be made just to enhance a work environment. What do you guys think? How could a video collaboration tools create a more work than social environment?

My social media motivation

The reason I choose to participate or use social media ranges (as I am sure everyone else’s does). One of the main reason for my social media is it is our way of social networking. It sounds repetitive, but social media is the main way our generation chooses to socialize. Socializing only 20 years ago was still dominated by physical communication and dependent more on verbal skills. In today’s era, a person could really go all day without losing contact with any of their essential contacts. It is a luxury and curse because of the emphasis today’s communication puts on virtual communication skills. It is quite a luxury to be able to communicate with someone without having to see them. Its quite an affordance to be able to look up details (pictures, text conversations, search history, personal contacts/ information) about a person without having one conversation with them or someone who knows them. Its a curse in the way that newer generations are losing the fundamental skills of face to face communication which is still crucial to building lasting relationships. I think the luxury of social media agrees with the vision of the early Wellites. Their vision of creating a vehicle to transportation of information and knowledge seamlessly has been accomplished over and over again. With today’s technological innovations, creating/ sharing/ consuming information is as easy as it has ever been. Having the ability to send a word document from your cell phone across the world instantly is quite an upgrade when you think about the original mail/ phone system. The news system has drastically been altered by the growth of social media. Waiting to see the news on TV when you make it home or reading the newspaper every morning is ancient methods of finding out the latest move. I can’t remember the last time I made through any of social media feeds without seeing a real time news update of some sort. It really has changed the way news is presented and the way we expect to receive it. Being able the share so much knowledge through the many-to-many communication model so easily has changed the world we live in and the way we socialize.