Last week we began with a TED talk recommended by Nóra. In her 20-minute long presentation, Sherry Turkle talks about how social networks have changed relationships and the way we shape our self-image. The witty title Connected, but alone? suggests that even though we are able to get in touch with a huge number of people via the net, it isn’t necessarily the way out of solitude. As a matter of fact, it might have the opposite effect.
Zoli reflected on the presentation in detail by giving a speech offhand. He pointed out that it’s not the technology that influences social behavior, but the way we use it. He says that a weak-minded person or somebody who is inherently socially awkward will easily fall victim to virtual reality. It is up to us to keep it under control. You will be able to read more in his upcoming post.
After discussing how much time we spend socializing online, we attempted to collect the pros and cons with regard to social networks. Among the most useful features are organizing groups or events. The advertising potential of these sites are also worth mentioning. In addition to inviting all your contacts to check out your new page, you have the possibility to invest money into advertising. You can even narrow down your target audience based on age, gender, or anything.
The most irritating downside is obviously the loads of spam we encounter on these sites. Besides constantly receiving requests from friends (asking to vote on their pictures or videos for a contest), we come across the most malicious invention of the internet: hoax – scientifically doubtful writings that warn us about the dangers of butter, or fake solicitations with stock photos… and the list goes on forever. Unfortunately, people don’t take the trouble to look them up on sites specializing in scams and hoaxes, just carelessly click on share.
We finished our discussion with the question “Have you had any unpleasant experiences with online communication?” The most frequent answer was related to the previously mentioned socially awkward people who act totally differently behind the screen and in person.
We will keep pursuing exciting and controversial topics. Check our Facebook page for the latest event.