One Big Happy Community
I find online communities very interesting. Through them we are able to show how many friends we have, what type of people we are, and just try and be cool. I do not belong to any of the three groups that were linked this week, I do, however, belong to Facebook. I like using facebook because it helps me find out how my friends ( and people that I am not a fan of) are doing. It also helps that I can learn their birthdays and screenames so I can IM them and start a conversation to see how they are doing. While I do enjoy Facebook, I can see the negatives that come from it. We can stalk people using social networks and possibly, "mate poach" if we see that a girl has just gone single, we can jump at the opportunity right away. I also enjoy reading posts and blogs, I try and not respond, however, because people take things way too seriously and soon there is just name calling and put downs on the discussion board.
In the case of the Baym article, I found it interesting that while this article was dated, chat rooms were still really popular even at the very beginning of the internet when the connections were slow and it was difficult to look at pages. I totally agree with her statement that "There are two ways to participate in any newsgroup...lurking involves reading without ever posting and posting which means writing messages" (Baym, 105). I consider myself a lurker because I do not like to get into arguments with random people. However, I do find some of the arguments that they present on the different sites I look at interesting. There are also many cases where poeple post spoilers and interesting facts about favorite shows on the website or a place like imdb.com. If you read and post on blogs continuously, you can get to know the people that also post regularly. I also found it amazing that acronyms such as ROTFL (Baym, 113), were created so long ago. I still do not know what they all mean. From reading the Baym article I concluded that if she did the same research that she had done in 1991 now, she would get results that are similar. I am amazed that while so much has changed with the internet, many things have stayed the same.
In the Boyd article I believe that she is somewhat correct in her outlook on Friendster, MySpace, etc... While I agree that we like to have access to as many profiles as we can and can show how many friends we have, this is just not the case for me. I have often rejected people that have tried to be my friend because either I do not know them, or I knew them and didn't like them and I knew that they did not like me. Why would I want to associate myself with someone that I will just talk bad about when they leave the room? From what Boyd states, "varied populations who began to participate and define context through their Friends were faced with context collision when people from different facets of their lives joined the site." It seems to me that social networking sites have almost created cliques on another level. There are groups that peopel cannot get into unless they are asked to join, parties that you need to be invited to, and groups that you know there are certain people in them. I agree with Boyd that many people do do this sort of thing in social networks, however, it is not something that I like to do
As a previous poster said, it is easier for people to communicate in social networks. However, I do not know if this is a good thing. People know that no one knows who you are unless you want to reveal yourself. You could say somehurtful things and get into an argument without ever meeting someone, when, in fact, you and that person would have been great friends if you met in a class or at work. I think people need to realize that it is not that important how many friends you have because when you do things like "Top Eight" or the feed on Facebook could hurt the feelings of a true friend and that relationship should be the one you want to save.