Thursday, April 9, 2009

Social Media is About Sociology not Technology

In light of the changes in society we've recently discussed in the Intro classes, this blog post from Brian Solis provides a clear understanding about the significance of Twitter, Facebook, etc...relationships between people.

Question:  Do you think social networking tools such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Blogs, and others will become important parts of our lives?  What function do they serve?


  1. I think that they do because that is one of the ways that my wife and I communicated while i was in Iraq. Also, when family and friends dont talk in a while it is easy to look on their page to see how they have been doing and what all is going on. Robert Askins

  2. I think that social networking tools are beginning to replace face to face contact. I don't think that's something that's going to change. I do support networks like facebook because although you may not call someone or see someone you used to before, you can talk to someone on facebook that you normally wouldn't call. these tools are a good way to keep in touch with a whole bunch of people. Before sites like these many people graduated high school and never saw or spoke to a lot of their classmates again. this is an efficient way to keep in touch. this is just the beginning.

  3. I disagree with Social media only being about sociology. It is true that social media impacts the way people interact with each other and is changing the way relationships flow, but on a broad view, I disagree with the notion in the article that you reference that "tools are tools."

    Technology created the current social media trends and continues to drive social media as technology advances.

    As social technology evolves, social media will evolve as well.

    For instance Wordpress(blog software) was the early social media software but that basically allowed only for asynchronous communication.

    Then the desire for synchronous communication came along and twitter and friendfeed were created.

    Then the desire for video came along and QIK ( was born.

    But the thing that is common is that the "market" per se for all these did not evolve until the technology was present. Then the technology drove the social media.

    I think it is an exciting time for people to be able to be so connected and be more intimate with their friends.

    With that intimacy comes responsibility.

    Jack Wilson

  4. I think, that as humans, we take the tools and morph them to suit our own uses. In the process, they become less about technology and tools and more about a fully functional community. The tools take on lives of their own.

    MySpace now has the feeling of a dirty, seedy bar, one that you might go to if you were only looking for the "not so right" things. A case in point is a friend of mine who got an account on MySpace just so he could cheat on his girlfriend of seven years. He's been at it for more than two years now. She supposedly has no idea, thinking things are just fine between them. You know the going joke about MySpace... it's the new booty call.

    Facebook is like the cleaner, richer, brother. He's all cleaned up and streamlined, but he's still got that potential to be a bad boy.

    And Second Life, even for all it's positive potential, strikes me as being a nightmare waiting to happen. Can you imagine the worst case scenarios? Broken marriages, just because of a fictional (but still real on some level) online virtual world. I've seen the same happen happen with EverQuest... anybody remember that one? New relationships develop and old ones (like marriages) die off.

    I agree with Jack, that we're opened up for more intimacy. But is that really a good thing? It's easier to purge our secrets when we don't have to look someone in the eye when we're telling them. But do our "friends" in this community really need to know these things about us? Yes, Jack, the intimacy does come with responsibility. But how many people do you know that are that responsible?

    I think they can be great tools, when used properly... and maybe sparingly. I'm already beginning to feel uber connected and it's driving me nuts. I think after the last class this semester I might take a whole week off from my cellphone, Facebook, MySpace, and my four (yes, no wonder I'm crazy) e-mail accounts.