Posted tagged ‘Facebook’

Twitter for Us Old Folks?

February 21, 2008

Stumbled across an article in the NY Times titled, “If You Can’t Let Go, Twitter“. It it, the writer describes her attempt to connect with her 3 daughters (digital natives, right) via Twitter. Let’s just say, it didn’t work. After trying a number of tactics, including giving away money, she consults with a Walter J. Carl, an assistant professor of communications studies at Northeastern University, who said he wasn’t surprised. He is quoted as explaining the problem in the following way:

“You want to use these tools to keep up on others, in a good way, of course, and to let them keep up on you,” said Professor Carl, whose research focuses on social media. “But their perception is it’s surveillance.” One of the main reasons people embrace social media — Facebook, for instance — is to create identities for themselves and control other people’s perceptions of them.”

And then…

“Maybe Twitter isn’t the right tool for that job,” he said. “The people who I see using it are an older demographic, people in marketing or P.R. or advertising, who use it for work, to present themselves as particular types of people. They’ll twitter, ‘I’m traveling,’ or ‘I’m going to interesting restaurants.’ They’re using it to do identity work.”

Isn’t it interesting how this new communication tool that so many adults are using is not considered all that useful with kids… that they are more concerned with “creating identities for themselves and control other people’s perceptions of them”, as happens on Facebook and MySpace. But here’s my question: kids to love to IM and text. They thrive on social networking. One would think, in combination with social networking services, that a tool like Twitter would be “phat“. Huh!

In this new age of information glut/data smog, the importance of being information literate has grown exponentially. How do we reconcile this generation’s desire to “control other people’s perception of them”? Seem’s natural, for sure. But is the digital realm blurring the line between fact and fiction in a way that we must better address in education? Are students more accepting of blurred realities? And, if so, how does this impact one’s ability to value the truth and seek it out?

Vacation/Internet Cold Turkey

January 2, 2008

Wow… after being away for 2 weeks, and I mean 2 weeks away from any sort of Internet connection at all, I really feel behind in the world, in my social network, in my writing, email… This is the first time in a long time that I have been disconnected for so long. And, since I have become more connected on-line, this 2-week separation seemed quite hard. It now seems like quite a daunting task to catch up on all of the blogs that I enjoy following. Thanks to my RSS aggregator, NetNewsWire, this task makes it much easier. I can download all of the entries of all the blogs that I follow at once and quickly skim through entry titles and short descriptions. When something of interest catches my eye, I can read the detailed post and even visit the actual blog site from within NetNewsWire. And, all of this can be done off-line once the RSS feeds have updated. So, here’s to the power of aggregators! I still have entries to skim and perhaps read in full, but it is much less daunting this way.

Just one thing before I close this entry. It is unrelated, but I was interested in the idea of how employers are increasing their presence within social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace for the purposes of recruiting. This was one of the stories on the national news this morning. They mentioned that this new age of social networking is becoming very powerful for both employers seeking employees and individuals seeking to be employed. I went to Facebook and indeed, there are many social networks focused on employment. It makes me think that I may need to change my profile and page content to better reflect the professional rather than the personal side of my life. I have little there and certainly nothing that would put a potential job in jeopardy, but it certainly is not geared toward employability! Perhaps I need two distinctly separate profiles/accounts.

Anyway, Happy New Year. It will certainly be an exciting one, I think.