**I am travelling this weekend and will not be back in Burlington until Tuesday morning, hence the early posting**
Online social networking did not appear to me in 2004. I had heard of this thing called “The Facebook,” and my college had a beta version that was poorly designed and no one really knew what to do with it. As the year went on, thefacebook.com changed into Facebook, and opened up to more colleges and universities and then opened up to highschoolers in 2005/2006. I had heard of Friendster and all the cool kids were joining MySpace(cuz who didn’t want to be cool…right?). MySpace seemded to be *the* place to be online-posting messages, favorite songs could play in the background, and the all important Single/In a Relationship status could lead to major gossip(“Is she and that guy really together? OMG, yes” blah, blah blah).
Then, the tide turned…or should I say the point tipped?
Facebook moved ahead in the social networking world, and MySpace diminished into a small, specific niche for music makers, and the music industry. I don’t know anyone on Myspace anymore. Four years ago? Three years ago? Yes.
Albrechtslund and Boyd both wrote about the history of social networking sites(SNS), and how it all started, and where it may be going. It is a place for people to escape from the physical world and leap into cyberspace-you can reinvent yourself, if desired. Albrechtslund gives a look at the not so glamorous side of privacy issues, surveillance, and the role of sharing online. How much sharing of our own personal lives is really needed? Some overshare. Where do we draw a line? Elaine Young said in our orientation to the MFA program that she is “ambiently aware” of her sister’s life. She doesn’t see her often, but knows via her sister’s Facebook status and her tweets on Twitter how her life is going. I know most of use are like that with our friends, family, and co workers. We stay in touch to a certain degree. I appreciated both looks at this medium.
Teaching this form of technology to young adults and children is a topic that I feel parents and mentors of children need to touch on, just like any other major life moment. It’s what they are been raised around, and it’s not going away. Social media can be used for so many positive aspects, but being aware of the good and bad is necessary.