Tag Archive | Facebook

The Splintering of Identity & The Online Narratives

The Splintering Of Identity & The Online Narratives

Lately I have been interested in online identities. As citizens of the digital world, we inhabit this space through an array of social platforms. This raises the question, “How do different social networks shape one’s online identity?” Some social networks lend themselves to certain behavior. What we do on LinkedIn vs. on Facebook is different than what we say on Twitter vs. Google+. The infrastructure these social networks are built upon have been differentiated for market reasons but have also inadvertently changed the way the user uses the network. What he or she says or responds to can vary depending on the site. With each social network’s constraints and freedoms, the canvas for expression is different. These differences lend themselves to certain actions, ideologies, and conversations.

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Beware Of The Personalized Web

Beware Of The Personalized Web

Information is power and there is no real argument against that. We have shifted from an information scarce society to one of information excess. This shift has its challenges and we are still trying to come up with the best way to manage them. The internet is a beautiful thing, it knocks down knowledge barriers and levels the information playing field. It was not too long ago that I wrote about the issues surrounding net neutrality and believe me, the issues still stand, however, I am now troubled by another, less discrete herding of information; the personalized web.

Many of us have come to enjoy web 2.0 and the fruits of a more “effective, personalized” web experience. With its suggested YouTube videos, Facebook Ads, Google searches, and many other instances, our web activity is tracked in order to customize our results thus creating our own unique internet. By default (which can easily be changed through settings), Facebook aggregates your news feed by selecting and taking information from the friends you engage with the most. Have you realized that some of your Facebook friends have begun to”disappear” from your home page? This is just one example of what the personalized web means; it is a reflection of what we want to hear and see. Avoiding the enormous issues of data privacy and web tracking all together, we must begin to understand what the personalized web experience means, especially when regarding not only the short term effects but also the long term ones.

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser Briefly describing and understanding the short term benefits, we have to consider the often, unintended long term consequences. The issues of net neutrality and the exclusivity of the personalized web only differ by the gatekeepers. Though both ultimately controlled by companies, the latter is done through consent of the user. Many have heard the cautionary tales of groupthink and of narrow perspectives. As individuals and groups, we need counter arguments and perspectives to not only secure our own beliefs but to challenge them. Looking at only part of the story is still a distortion of the truth, we have to take it upon ourselves to leave our comfortable ideologies and force ourselves to try to understand the counter argument.

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Facebook: The Web Browser?

Could Facebook’s “Open Graph” be the first step towards a personalized web experience for all?

Recently Google, Twitter, and Facebook, among others, have been putting a lot of effort into adding a “social layer” to the web experience. With ideas like Facebook’s “Open Graph” and Google’s “multiple accounts” option, it is clear to see that social search is quickly gaining influence over traditional search. Some have begun to ask, what is stopping Facebook, or any social media platform for that matter, from creating their very own web browser? Read More…

Download Your Entire Facebook History: I Sure Did

Just check out your account setting, the option is right there.


During a recent conference, Facebook announced its latest move. Users now have the ability to download their entire Facebook history in a single zip file. Continuing to move towards a more “open” network, Facebook lets users download all their Facebook activity since 2006.

So why would one even need to have a hard copy of their activity? For one, it’s simply cool to own and observe all the hours that have gone into a single website. Spending afternoons on the site for years, this could easily replace a diary and come out with more detail and insight into your past than you could probably remember! This is also considerably easier to browse than having to click through hundreds of pages of wall posts, you would simply open up your extensive document and have a look. I am sure people could come up with creative ways of organizing this information too. I am excited to see what happens!

However, a scary thought comes to mind… Imagine a world where a job interview requires your full Facebook history printed out or downloaded to a PDF file? What do you have to hide? History has a funny way of repeating itself…just saying.

Who knows…It’s an interesting development at the very least. Looking at my history now, who knew I quoted R. Kelly so much?


Google Yourself: What Will You Find?

Google Yourself

If you haven’t done so by now, do it. You will be surprised with what you find. We have all seen those witty ads before, “What happens in Vegas, stays on Facebook.” Which raises an interesting yet important question, how does the internet change how people perceive you? This is an exercise I like to do somewhat regularly. You often read horrible stories of people’s pasts coming back to haunt them. Pause for a second, could you possibly have something on the web that could taint your reputation? With technology that will never forget nor be destroyed, this is one of the new challenges we face in the 21st century.

Can we change it? As of now, it looks pretty impossible. You simply have to be the judge of what is right to put up and not. Like, in most cases, I tend to suggest moderation. Don’t post pictures from your questionable spring break (come at me bro!) but at the same time, show us a little personality! People love that stuff. So go ahead, Google yourself. Google your friends. Hell, even Google your parents. Do it often too. I guess the moral of the story is simply use your head when it comes to social media and your image. Who knows, with game dynamics at work, you could be bettering yourself without you knowing it. How’s that for positive feedback?


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