Thursday, March 3, 2011

WHEN SOCIAL MEDIA GO LOCO

Everyone has a Facebook account. Some enjoy Twitter and Plurk. Apart from blogging, there is microblogging called Tumbler. And for those who want to entertain questions from random strangers, Formspring keys in. All of these are social media formats that have changed the way we communicate; from face-to-face to computer mediated communication..]

As I ponder on these various social media programs, I came to list some points which articulate how does social media define the new forms of human communication. Although you can simply look at social media sites for personal consumption, there more underlying realities that we should also understand before we hit the ‘press’ button and put our shout outs for the world to know.

OPEN FOR INTERPRETATIONS. Little that most people know, anything that you post in the World Wide Web could be interpreted in different ways. By simply putting one word or some links in your page, the people who may know or may not know you can interpret these either in a positive or negative way.
 

THE ROOT OF GOSSIP. An update on a person is somehow one of the reasons why we ‘lurk’ on other people’s page. Yes oh yes, this human practice is gossiping in the digital world. People who know or may not personally know you tend to assume and even fish on the little details that you put. By simply posting an icon such as a sad face or some crazy lines on your wall, this could generate a thread of inquiries. Worse, you can even be the talk of the town in your school or at work (unless you want the attention).
  
STALKING. Based on the digitalization of personal information, social media sites can also be used by STALKERS to stalk. Given this possibility, it is best to secure your site by increasing your page’s privacy settings. Better yet, do not post any information that be used to track you such as home address, telephone numbers, etc.
  
POSE WITHOUT POISE? Banking on personalized pages, social media sites have successfully got us to addictively post our pictures online. From travels to the simplest items that we enjoy in our daily routines, nothing escapes our cam whore selves. However, we must also be cautious with what we post especially on pictures that’s indecent. While you may argue that it’s your personal page and you can post anything, you should also reflect if you will be happy and proud to show your parents the pictures you want to post online.
  
 RANTING. We all have our rants or complaints in life. We all have the right to say whatever we want to say to feel relieved. However, some of us may have just forgotten that there is a right way in handling grievances in life and not by simply posting raging shout outs for the whole world to know. I’m sure you wouldn’t want others to feast on your situation with pity and despair. So, be cautious and be in control of your self.
  
PERMANENT. Most people think that social media sites are personal spaces. We can encode whatever that runs in our mind. However, most people don’t realize the dangers that we may be heading by simply putting negative reactions or comments against others via online. Given this, be careful with what you say about your friends, parents, even your teachers or your boss. Sooner or later, they may find out what you posted and it will be taken against you. On the side, the world is now looking on making laws to address abusive online cases. I'm sure you wouldn't want to be sued for libel.

Bottom line, at the end of the day, it's your personal homepage. However, be considerate and smart enough in utilizing social media sites. It's still good to hear stories of people who have known each other via online or someone gets a pay through online jobs. It's just depressing to find out that despite the awareness on how to combat misleading engagement with the World Wide Web, the numbers of victims still arise because of complacency and neglect.

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