A recent article in the Atlantic magazine caused a firestorm of debate over the social network’s ability to connect humankind, suggesting that it is contributing to loneliness of epic proportions. But not everyone “likes” this theory; some argue that Facebook with its almost one billion users is connecting us in new and powerful ways, even spurring for social change.
Pinterest is the new darling of the social media world. Users—over 10 million of them—‘pin’ digital images they like to their site, where others can browse and comment. Pinterest has run into recent issues surrounding potential copyright infringement, and now, a new problem has emerged: what should they do about a wave of pro-anorexia images and comments on the site?
When Loren Williams died in a motorcycle crash in 2005, his mother used his Facebook password to read posts on his wall.
"These were postings from personal friends that [said] he meant a lot to them in their lives, and it was very comforting," Karen Williams told KGW television in Portland, Ore. "There were pictures that I had never seen before of his life and just evidence of the wonderful relationships that he had established."
As I write today's entry for "Here's What's Awesome," I'm listening to a tune by Richard and Linda Thompson called "Lonely Hearts." The chorus speaks of lonely hearts in "an ocean of loneliness" and "a shipwreck of pain." As if that wasn't sunny enough, along comes this cheerful verse:
No-one needs a friend, no-one cares no more They'll look hard at you but they won't take the chain off the door O they work and slave, keep their conscience clean They come home at night and they talk to an empty screen
Posting on Facebook is an easy way to connect with people, but it also can be a means to alienate them. That can be particularly troublesome for those with low self-esteem.
People with poor self-image tend to view the glass as half empty. They complain a bit more than everyone else, and they often share their negative views and feelings when face to face with friends and acquaintances.
The shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida has sparked heated reactions across the country, but there was a lag before mainstream media picked up on the story. Not so online, where a more immediate outcry grew into a petition drive this week to encourage a federal investigation.
Now the Justice Department is looking into Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer, and black media and social media were key in demanding closer scrutiny.
"Mesh networks" are set up the way the original internet was envisioned to work – users hosting and transmitting as individuals, rather than using centralized networks. Back then, users also communicated differently with each other – on platforms with funky names like IRC and NNTP. Those systems live on today.
A select few are choosing to bypass Facebook and go old-school, with an online forum that lacks pop-up ads and animated banners, where there’s no double-clicking, no need for a mouse, and no graphics…
As the journalism world continues to grow and change, media companies are constantly brainstorming ways to find the next best revenue stream, while still trying to maintain integrity. Some experts say journalists could help the cause by building their own personal brand outside of the institutions they work for. It’s a concept that has caused lots of discussion, and some controversy, among journalists across the internet. Owen Youngman is a journalism professor at the Medill School at Northwestern University who teaches and