Social Media as a News Platform

Today more than ever Social media is prevalent in the lives of teens and young adults. We use social media to stay connected with friends, entertain ourselves, and build a digital profile. What we tend to over look is how we use social media to receive our news today. Whether it is the score of last nights Yankee game or the presidential election, many people are using social media as a platform to stay up to date with what is going on in the world. It seems that digital news has taken over the newspaper in today’s generation, and this is one of the ways it is happening.

Business insider explains that Generation Z, teens ages 13-18 are consuming nearly nine hours of entertainment media. A good portion of this is used checking the news. One reason teens are using social media to obtain their news today is that these apps help them stay up to date on current events. Apps such as Twitter and Snapchat present news to you even if you do not look it up. Teens are not looking for specific articles or news sites but will go on apps that have already chosen the news for them. Teens enjoy using apps to consume their news because they can share it with their friends as well. They may find an article or breaking news that they want to get to their friends and social media makes this possible. There is an ease and accessibility to news on social media and this is what teens are looking for.

Another big reason for teens using social media as a platform for news is it contains a wide variety of news. Business insider interviewed teens on how they choose certain types of news brought up to them and one explained “”My favorite Snapchat story is the Cosmo one because they’re usually relat[ed] to feminism, and today for example, it had a story about the [Stanford] rape case. “Every single one of my friends reads it too in the morning.” Isabella, 15, who does this on a daily basis, is like many other people using Snapchat as a form of news. Variety survey results showed that 44% of Snapchatters use their live story and discover features at least once a day. 30% of these users used this as their primary way to get information about the 2016 presidential election.

One issue with using social media as a news platform, and one of the reasons people still choose to use traditional methods of obtaining news is the possibility of receiving fake news. Social Media is a place where anyone can put information out. Sites such as Instagram and Twitter have many unreliable accounts that spread rumors that are not true. As we discussed in class, this is why it is important to make sure we are going through the correct steps to make sure we gaining information from reliable sources. I believe that Snapchat does a good job of this because they are only using sources that are known for their credibility. A few of these sources include Vice News, NBC, and Sportscenter, which have a long history of giving credible news.

What is very interesting about this topic and why I believe it deserves our attention for years to come is people are starting to understand the impact that social media news has on our world today, and the impact that the fake news it may present has as well. An article from CNBC explains that Brussels is now starting to take action on social media companies that have been accused of spreading fake news. They feel issues such as the Facebook data leak are a threat and “subvert our democratic systems.” The Cambridge Analytica scandal has concerned them that disinformation can be spread to vulnerable voters and have a negative impact on the outcome of their upcoming European parliament elections. European Commissioner of Security explains, “It is clear that the cyber-security threat we are facing is changing from one primarily targeting systems to one that is also increasingly about deploying cyber means to manipulate behaviour, deepen societal divides, subvert our democratic systems and raise questions about our democratic institutions.” With the increasing use of Social Media today, especially by the means we obtain our news, I think that this is something that is very important. We must take steps to clear unreliable sources that can influence some of the biggest aspects of our world today, especially if we are going to continue to use this as on our primary sources of information.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/03/07/news-guard-tackling-fake-news-epidemic.html

 

Works Cited

Godlewski, N. (2016, June 21). Teens are getting almost all of their news from Snapchat and Twitter these days. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-do-teens-get-news-2016-6

Khan, M. (2018, April 02). EU plans to crack down on ‘fake news’ in social media. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/02/eu-plans-to-crack-down-on-fake-news-in-social-media.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkle and Fenton Blog Post

Taylor Vazquez

Professor Taub

New Information Technology

May 1, 2018

One perspective from Sherry Turkle that stuck out to me was the idea that using our phones in a social setting is hurting our conversation. She explains that people feel our attention is divided because we are constantly going to our phones and it is dividing our attention. College students claim that they maintain eye contact while being on their phones but it is not the eye contact that matters, it is the idea that their focus cannot be in two different places at the same time. It is like trying to hold a conversation with two different people. Turkle goes on to explain that people feel they will never be bored because if they sense a lull in a conversation they can just go on their phone. In our world today we are losing vital social skills because we use our phone as a crutch to get ourselves out of situations.

When taking a look at Fenton’s reading, we see that she has differing thoughts on how technology and social media specifically are affecting us today. Fenton believes that it has changed our society because we are gathering information and communicating in new ways thus enhancing our creativity. Social media has become a platform for communication in so many different ways and I think that this is a testament to how far how technology has come today. An example of this is how public figures communicate with fans. Almost all if not everything that they communicate goes through one or more forms of social media. It is a quick and easy way to get your thoughts out in a clear an concise manner, whether it is an Instagram video, Facebook post, or tweet.

While I feel Fenton makes good points, I find turkles thoughts more thoughtful. While technology rules our world today, I still believe that we must act in a professional manner. Simply looking someone in they eye is lost nowadays because people are so used to sending a text or making a phone call. I feel that technology in a way has hindered our growth socially because face-to-face interaction has been greatly affected. With this we are missing very important aspects of a face-to-face encounters such as body language, and tone of voice. Turkle explains this as she says “Across generations, technology is implicated in this assault on empathy. We’ve gotten used to being connected all the time, but we have found ways around conversation — at least from conversation that is open-ended and spontaneous, in which we play with ideas and allow ourselves to be fully present and vulnerable.” But it is in this type of conversation — where we learn to make eye contact, to become aware of another person’s posture and tone, to comfort one another and respectfully challenge one another — that empathy and intimacy flourish. In these conversations, we learn who we are.”

I know personally that I would much rather have a conversation in person than over the phone whether it be text or call because I read someone based off of their mannerisms. You cannot read thing such as sarcasm or anger simply through words, and these are pieces of an interaction that may be vital.I also feel that the presence of cell phones makes conversations much less personal. Knowing that someone may take their phone out as I am talking to them makes me feel as if I am splitting conversation time with someone else. As I mentioned before with Turkle, how is it possible that someone can hold two converations at once while having 100% vested interest in both.

While I do find both articles compelling I feel that we must find a happy medium when it comes technological and face-to-face interactions. We will never have all of one or the other, so we need to find a way to make them both work without hindrance any specific one. Face-to-face conversation is something that will prove to be valuable for a long time as it is something we cannot avoid. At the same time, technology is coming to fruition more and more each day so we must not count out these interactions completely.

 

Media Manipulation

Social media is one of the most influential platforms of our time. Instagram, Facebook and twitter have manipulated in a variety of ways and continue to each and everyday. One way they manipulate is through trends. People incorporate social media into their political views, social views, and even athletics/arts views. An example of this was when Kylie Jenner tweeted about snapchat, and their stock plummeted. A simple tweet from an “influential” public figure can change things so quickly. People are quick to follow what they see on social media, even if they do not have evidence behind them to support it.

Meme Blog Post

When doing my meme I used that picture because it was one that I had seen in the past. It goes along with my words because that is the same face I would make if I was given that information. I enjoyed making the meme because it is a fun way to get your point across. They are used in so many different ways today, and bring a different feel to social media. As far as use for political messaging, memes come off as passive way to spread a message and may shed a different light on a situation as opposed to the way topics are talked normally discussed.

 

Privacy Dialogues Reflection

After conducting my own privacy dialogue interview and listening to others, one thing that I learned was how Facebook seemingly allowed the taking of our information based on something our friends have done. A simple liking of a post by a user can affect their profile and many others. I have witnessed the hacking first hand as a few of my friends have been confronted with issues. I have been sent videos through Facebook messenger from them, which if opened hacks your profile. What has confused me and many others is how privacy settings can allow such a thing. From such a large business, and an app with so many users, how can a mistake this large be made. I have always been skeptical of how strong Facebook’s privacy is and this just proves it. I have never felt it was as strong as other social media apps such as twitter and Instagram that seem to take more extensive steps to protect your data.

One thing I found very interesting was how many people are going to continue to use Facebook. Many understood the issues with there protection of privacy, but were not affected themselves so they have decided to not take further action. I myself have not done much either but this is because I very rarely use Facebook and do not have much information on it. I feel that people also think Facebook will do damage control with the issue, much less allow this to happen again. To me this shows that people understand the privacy risks they take when using technology today. The simplicity with which your information can be taken is very scary yet people continue on because technology is such a big part of our world today, and without the use of it we are not progressing.

 

http://fortune.com/2018/04/10/facebook-cambridge-analytica-what-happened/