Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wed Section: Social Networking

What I found particularly interesting about Danah Boyd's article about social networking was her suggestion that applications like Myspace and Facebook are somehow interwoven into a teenager's existence and become a part of their lives. In some aspects, I tend to disagree with this point of view. I believe that social networking is more like a second life. One has complete control over how one portrays oneself. Even appearance can be changed if one so desires.

I have also found, that what happens on social networking sites is to some extent ignored in real life. For example, if A writes on B's wall, B is more likely to respond via a wall post rather than call A or even reply to A face to face even though they may be neighbours and in the same class in high school. Thus, the point I am trying to make is that I believe that more than being a part of life, social networking sites have created a new life for us which we have much more control over. They are simply less evolved versions of the popular application 'Second Life.'

1 comment:

Jamie Lynn Harris said...

I totally agree with you, Rohan. It seems as though sites like Facebook and MySpace are not extensions of life experience but a whole another experience; What occurs on those platforms IS usually ignored or not part of the real public.

I think where the Boyd's article still does apply even with the extension of your argument is that these platforms can be a new public, even though this public might not have any barring on the public which is reality.

I think Boyd's argument that Facebook/MySpace is a new public sphere in which teenagers learn how to participate in democracy might still hold true with your argument to an extent. Boyd's argument that these platforms are the public, is based on a definition of public, based on Habernas, that is defunct in "the real world"; the public of ancient times in which all citizens can be heard and can participate no longer exists, leaving me with the following question: What kind of democractic public is Facebook preparing us for?