What are the consequences of failing to be intentional about what we share?

What are the consequences of failing to be intentional about what we share?

They point out that social life is traditionally studied in terms of groups. In other words, if I wanted to evaluate the social support available to a given person, I’d want to look at what groups they were involved in (e.g., clubs, family, religious organizations) and go from there. However, the authors suggest, based on their own observation and some developments in social research, that contemporary social life is better described in terms of social networks. They argue that there are three crucial revolutions that contributed to this situation (which we will examine in more detail in the next module), then they set up the topics that will be explored in the rest of the book.

  1. What do Rainie and Wellman mean when they say we have moved into an age of networked individualism? If networked individualism is the modern form of social relationships, what were some of its previous forms? Ultimately, is the rise of the networked individual a positive development, in your opinion? Why or why not?

The readings from the two chapters by Fuchs present an introduction to the concept of social media and begin to outline a critical analysis of social media. One important discussion (that you will find in most writings about technology today) revolves around the concept of Web 2.0.

  1. In YOUR words, what distinguishes Web 1.0 from Web 2.0? Would you describe your life on the internet as being shaped more by Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 experiences? How so?

Taken together, these readings suggest that social media is distinct from – but related to – the concept of social networks. With this in mind,

  1. In YOUR words, distinguish between social networks and social media. Does the use of social media necessarily constitute social networking? Why or why not?

Module 3 Discussion- SnapChat Group

  1. What are the potential dangers posed to society by closed networks, such as those shown on page 54 of Networked? Considering what you’ve learned about social networks, how might we go about bridging closed political networks to facilitate more open interaction and exchange of information and ideas?
  2. Identify and briefly (in 1-2 sentences) describe each of the four subcultures discussed in Networked Chapter 3 in your own terms. How much influence do you think each subculture has right now? (Go into some detail about which subculture you think is MOST important and why; this should give your classmates something interesting to comment on).
  3. What are the major consequences of a hyperconnected population, both for individuals and society? Is “absent presence” a problem for contemporary society? Do the potential benefits of “connected presence” and “present absence” outweigh the potential problems related to the Mobile Revolution? Why?

Module 4 Discussion – SnapChat Group

Rainie and Wellman dive into the implications of The Triple Revolution in this chapter, focusing on changes to North American households.

  1. What are the most important changes to U.S. households since the 1970s? Using supporting evidence from the book, why are American households different now than they were 40 years ago? Are the recent changes a net positive or a net negative? Why or why not (draw from the book in your answer)?

Moving on to social media specific information, Rainie and Wellman discuss how the use of ICTs has changed the way family members interact with one another. With that in mind, answer the following:

  1. Based on Networked, would you say that families interact with one another more or less than they did prior to the advent of ICTs? Why? Specifically, how has the advent of ICTs altered the parent-child relationship? What do parents have to take into consideration now compared to before the rise of ICTs?

Household changes since the 1970s have had an impact on how mass media functions as a social institution. According to Silverblatt, mass media has assumed a number of the functions that were previously addressed by other institutions (e.g., religious and educational organizations). He further points out that “media systems were never intended to serve as a social institution” (original emphasis, p. 40).

  1. Does intention really matter? How might mass media (in the U.S.) “function” differently if it had been intentionally created to meet these needs?

Module 5 Discussion – SnapChat Group

Using Networked as a reference, respond to the following discussion questions. You should aim to include a good balance of information from the text and your own impressions, experiences (if applicable), and critiques.

Which of the trends in the changing nature of work has the biggest impact on our social reality in general?
What are some of the positive effects of working in the digital age in terms of our social experiences? What are some of the negative effects?
How should we, as a society, respond to the emerging challenges of working in the 21st century?
Module 6 Discussion – SnapChat Group

  1. Fuchs discusses different models of media organization. He defines capitalist media, as well as alternative models of public media and civil society media. Define each type IN YOUR OWN WORDS and identify at least one example of each. Review the main websites and/or social media sites of these examples and suggest how each one influences a political public sphere.
  2. Do you agree with Fuchs (and Dean and Gladwell and Morozov) that social media (as it exists today) cannot constitute a political public sphere? Fuchs suggests that true social change can only come from public (and potentially risky, as suggested by Gladwell) protests and collective action. Do you agree? Can you identify any specific examples that would help support the arguments of Shirky, Papacharissi, or boyd?
  3. What do you think about Fuchs’ suggestion that we should use a “left realist” approach to hate speech and violence on social media? (He details this position in the last paragraph on page 241.) What barriers exist to the implementation of this approach?

Module 6 Discussion – SnapChat Group

  1. Fuchs discusses different models of media organization. He defines capitalist media, as well as alternative models of public media and civil society media. Define each type IN YOUR OWN WORDS and identify at least one example of each. Review the main websites and/or social media sites of these examples and suggest how each one influences a political public sphere.
  2. Do you agree with Fuchs (and Dean and Gladwell and Morozov) that social media (as it exists today) cannot constitute a political public sphere? Fuchs suggests that true social change can only come from public (and potentially risky, as suggested by Gladwell) protests and collective action. Do you agree? Can you identify any specific examples that would help support the arguments of Shirky, Papacharissi, or boyd?
  3. What do you think about Fuchs’ suggestion that we should use a “left realist” approach to hate speech and violence on social media? (He details this position in the last paragraph on page 241.) What barriers exist to the implementation of this approach?

Module 7 Discussion – SnapChat Group

Witte and Mannon include a section in their book about the implications of differential social media usage on digital privacy (pp 149-152). Although this book was published in 2010, the data were collected in 2007.

  1. So, how has the practice of digital privacy changed in 10 years? What kinds of personal information do social media companies collect and how do they use this information? How do other institutions (i.e., governments – domestic and abroad, law enforcement, employers) use the information available on social media? What concerns do (should?) individuals have about digital privacy in the social media landscape in 2017?

At one point, Witte and Mannon ask about the possibility of virtual communities – is it possible to have online relationships characterized by Gemeinshaft and not just Gesellschaft (Toennies)? Essentially, the authors are asking if co-presence (sharing physical space) is necessary for building “true” community.

  1. What do you think? Is it possible to build Gemeinshaft-based communities online? What are some examples of virtual groups/situations where this could happen? How would this be achieved (or hindered) with social media?
  2. Do you take a techo-optimist, techno-ambivalence, or techo-pessimist view of the potential for social media to influence social movement success? Explain why you feel the way you do. Be sure to use examples and evidence to back up your position.

Module 8 Discussion – SnapChat Group

  1. in Ch. 3 of Networked, Kidd discusses how social media is a “surprisingly effective tool for undermining assumptions and changing minds” and points to the LGBTQ movement and its success in raising support for same-sex marriage as an example. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  2. In the LOGIC interview, Bethany Stevens highlights the important role social media plays for those with disabilities in helping them to express their sexuality. She raises the question “who gets to be sexual in our society?” Do you think social media can help increase awareness of the sexual rights of those who identify as disabled the way it did for those who identify as LGBTQ? Why or why not? What challenges might this goal raise for the disabled community?
  3. Why should we care about the concentration of gay and lesbian media ownership? Why should we care about the concentration of media ownership more generally? Why do these two questions have slightly different responses?

Module 9 Discussion – SnapChat Group

Consider the GamerGate issue and address the following questions:

  1. How should sociologists make sense of GamerGate? Is it really about ethics in games journalism?

Now think about the ways that GamerGate relates to larger sociological issues (pick one to answer):

  1. Give specific examples of the ways that social media (including games, email, various platforms) can be/are gendered (for example, mostly aimed at men, mostly aimed at women, or have a big focus on gender overall). Why do you think the examples you chose are gendered in these ways?
  2. Anonymous social media platforms enable the creation of public spaces where users can develop a new identity that is separate from their legal identity and share content that has inordinate social influence before attracting disciplinary surveillance and enforcement (whether by other users who enforce behavioral norms or legal action). What do such platforms offer society?

Finally, discuss how these issues may impact people on an individual-level:

  1. Give an example of a time when your (or someone else’s) gender was salient (at the forefront) online. What was the environment/situation? Note that gender can be signaled or implicated in various, sometimes small, ways (i.e., avatar options or appearance, screen name, word usage, communication style…)

Module 10 Discussion – SnapChat Group

Answer the following, making sure to use information from the two required videos and Kidd Chapter 6:

  1. Find an example of culture jamming (that has not been posted yet) and post the image or link. Explain what you think the creator of the image was trying to communicate and why.
  2. Is social media an effective tool for social change? Why/why not?
  3. What are the drawbacks of organizing with social media?
  4. Is it possible to organize social movements and protests now that don’t utilize social media in some way? What might “non-social media” organizing/social change efforts look like?

Module 11 Discussion

  1. What did you learn about Black Lives Matter that you didn’t know? Why do you think you were unaware of this info?

One thing that I learned about Black Lives Matter is that there are quite a few white people who support the organization. I think because people want to think it is an organization that black people came up to conspire about white people and especially white police officers.

  1. In your own words, what is colorblind racism? Explain how #AllLivesMatter can be seen as an example of it?

When parents choose to not talk to their children about racial or ethnic differences. They teach them not to see color and to love everyone.

  1. What can #BLM and black twitter teach us about the potential power of social media?

By using the hashtag can grow conversation around a topic and promote a message to people all around the world.

Module 12 Discussion

Choose a platform and list the top 5 people/videos/groups/etc. like Fuchs does on pages 123-6. You do not need to list the exact number of views/followers, but do list general numbers (i.e., about 1.4 million). You don’t need to make a chart exactly as he does, but include the main information, including whether the content is user or corporate-created.

What does your chart/list say about this platform/industry? How does it compare to the findings Fuchs had in 2015? Why do you think the lists look this way? Who is making money on this platform? How easy would it be to change the make-up of this platform and how could you do it?
Describe an example of a time when you (or someone else) were a “prosumer” of digital content or social media. Did someone make money/gain resources from your labor? Who? Does that bother you? Why or why not?
To what extent do you take part in the sharing economy online? Explain your level of involvement – why are you active/not active? Do you want to change your involvement (ie: do more, quit)? Do you agree with Fuchs that there are alternative sharing economies “beyond capitalism”? Why or why not?
Module 14 Discussion – SnapChat Group

  1. How does social media shape the information we use to make decisions and form opinions in every day life? Does social media actually give us more diverse information? What are the limits to the kinds of information we are likely to access via social media? What suggestions do you have for figuring out what information is actually true, relevant, useful versus the “bad” information (inclusive of “fake news”) that is out there?
  2. How aware are we, on an every day basis, of the information we are sharing with others about ourselves? Did anything from the chapter surprise you about the way others, including our friends, employers, and the government, can watch us on the Internet? How can we more intentional about the “self” that represents us through social media? What are the consequences of failing to be intentional about what we share?
  3. What is “globaloney” and how does it influence how we think about an

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