Picture 1 Humans connecting, community, group, close proximity, tight knit groups, yet it is in fact people networking, too; taking care of each others’ needs, strong ties
Picture 2 Humans connecting through shared interests, occupation, family ties, values, by friend of a friend; networks-dominant form of social interaction, multiple networks, on the fly, simultaneously, portable, strong ties possible but maybe not face to face, maybe never face to face, support, sense of belonging, social identity, strength of weak ties
While reading this chapter, I kept going inside of my head to sort what was being said most people having always connected, the impact of change with regards to communication, variances between nations on earth, and the ever day practices of social networking (what the chapter was REALLy about). There were some questions and some background information that was helpful for me to sift and sort information. The idea of networked individualism was interesting. The more I thought about that term, the more it made sense as I thought about digital social networking. For social networking, I am the center of what and where and when and who and why. I am the one reaching out. There is a distinction in that online social networking services do connect people, but they are profile driven (Facebook, My Space).
Strong ties and weak ties have been discussed from the standpoint of social networking. It seems the consensus is that stronger ties represent the people more connected and interdependent with one another, face to face interactions are most likely. While weaker ties are said to be the opposite. Those terms placed into the social network environment become altered. Due to the multiplied connections, the weaker ties where you many not know someone just may prove to be a stronger tie. The thinking is that even innovations happen through the connectedness of people. That left me wondering about the times now gone where great innovations happened, arts and architecture flourished, yet there were no devices to connect people. The way it is written it is as if to say that the computer had to be around for people to connect to create.
I submit that people create and innovate with or without electronic devices.
The targeted or specific social networks have become more prevalent for education networks include places like LinkedIn and Academia.edu. The term findability was used to describe these sites. I thought of the word intentionality. Passions or needs drive people to search for let’s say a specific job or interest. Key word help you hone in on what you are looking for. People are encouraged to put themselves out there for other to find, to market yourself, to get the word out about who you are and what you are doing.
I see the importance of utilizing what is now at my fingertips, yet I am still on the more cautious side of social networking, or reserved. Putting yourself out there still feels like ‘the boaster’ to me and I’m not entirely comfortable with that. Knowing someone who know someone is also a bit strange to me still. I’ve gotten the friend requests on fb, Google+, LinkedIn etc. from people I do not know. For fb I am still inclined to not accept their advances unless I get a heads up from a friend about so and so. LinkedIn and Google+ will have to be in a different category, especially if I will be looking for a career change down the road.
I will say that being so involved with the social networking sites 24/7/365 is not healthy in my humble opinion. I think there is a point that you could be consumed by it all. It is interesting to read what others (Lankshear, Knobel, Wellman, Granovetter) have studied and theorized on regarding humans and our connectedness. Even in taking several passages through, I’ve missed a lot. I think of situation that have occurred with rolling brown outs, and networks that have gone down, and I wonder what the future will hold? I have lived without being networked or linked. My youngest asked me when she was in elementary…”Mom, what was your password when you were in school?” R-I-G-H-T! I would hate to see networking that brings us face to face falter and become less than desirable for sure.
There were three people followed in this chapter for their Facebook activity. In a way, it was rather sad, looking at each of them in such a microscopic way. It reminded me of the days in high school where the Homecoming King and Queen are elected because they are popular. It kind of seems like our human attributes have only but carried over into the digital realm. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. There are definite positives, and yet there are also negatives. Not to leave on a downer…
I am enjoying discovering the social networking world through these online courses. I do see the value in being connected, in finding kindred souls for my passions, in finding others or having others find me based on our goals and interests for education. I love the ability to combine images with text rather instantly, and I have enjoyed blogging. I have stepped farther into the social networking sphere than anticipated. There truly is something out there for everyone.