Archive for the ‘Elizabeth’ Category

Facebook: Maintaining a positive image of yourself in a virtual world

Posted: December 10, 2011 by entertainmentxray in Elizabeth

Self-esteem is something that many young people have a hard time building up.  What most people don’t know is that using a social networking site like Facebook can have an affect on your attitude outside of the online world and how you view yourself.  Many young women’s magazines as well as major TV media outlets have been focusing in on this issue, so I wanted to see if it was really something that might be a problem. Through my research, I discovered that the common idea behind Facebook and self-esteem is that it causes narcissism as well as negative self-image.  If someone is constantly liking your status’, writing on your wall, and commenting on your pictures, it’s a pretty natural thing to feel like you are important and matter to somebody.  However, how someone communicates with you online is very different to how you would communicate with them in person.

According to Gunjan Singh, who wrote about Facebook and young people’s well being, the 18-25 year old generation has a harder time distinguishing between the validity of relationships online and offline.  Many students in college meet people on Facebook or Twitter and then have a problem striking up a conversation with them in public.  I would love to do more research into friendships like this in the future.

There has started to be more discussion nationally about the effect that social media has on our lives, and one of the biggest points that many major media outlets are trying to make is to be careful what you do and post online.  One video from CNBC states that Facebook causes narcissism, and that young people need to be careful to not reveal too much about themselves online.  (CNBC, May 2011)  Elizabeth Taddonio, a CSU graduate student, wrote her thesis on young adult use of social networking, and one of the biggest points that she argues is that young adults need a better sense of what is real and not real online.  (Taddonio, 18) Although many people might like status’ and photos, that does not necessarily mean that they want to be your best friend in public.  This is an interesting dynamic that not many people have researched or looked into yet.  However, as a personal Facebook user, I definitely see this type of interaction frequently.  I moved out of state for college, and I often receive posts from old high school friends saying “I miss you, let’s hang out when you’re home” when they really have no intention of actually calling you to see when you’re free.  It’s almost like a type of “easy out” situation to make someone feel like you’re thinking about them, but do not really care if you ever see them again.  With the rise of social media all over the globe, I am sure that this will be addressed soon.  Until then, I’ll just plan on making my Facebook as private as I can.

When applying for a job, employers now have a whole new slew of ways to look into your past as well as examine who you are.  Facebook in particular is becoming a primary place to research into who your future employees could be.  Having pictures of yourself drinking, partying, and out with friends could be harmless in other environments, but it can have damaging effects to your job if you are not careful.  The easiest way to maintain some privacy on Facebook and make sure the wrong people aren’t seeing those pictures is to simply keep up with your privacy settings and update them frequently.  According to msnbc.com, Facebook updates it’s privacy settings an average of four times a year, and sometimes they are not explicitly advertised on the home page.  It is the responsibility of the user to keep checking and make sure that your settings are where they need to be.

Many people argue that Facebook is an online version of yourself and therefore has no real say in who you truly are.  Although those people have a point,  studies show that employers can and do look at Facebook as an indicator of if they should or should not hire you.  The Washington Post team recently did a study that tracked the eye movement of thirty people while being shown different Facebook profiles.  They published their findings in an article recently, and what they came up with is that your profile picture is the most looked at thing on your Facebook, with who your friends are in the sidebar at a close second.  They also said that employers are the number one group of people that look at the profiles of individuals they do not know.  This means that people are going to be looking at your page, especially during the hiring process, and you need to be extremely careful about what you post.  Forbes magazine also did a similar study recently, saying that employers look for “creativity, well rounded-ness and ‘chastity'”.

Maintaining your privacy online has always been important, but in a new age where social networking rules a large section of everyone’s lives, it is gaining importance daily.  For more information about privacy online, check out Jonathan’s blog as well.  He provides some great information.

To be FBO or not to be FBO?

Posted: December 10, 2011 by entertainmentxray in Elizabeth

“Facebook Official”, or “FBO”, is a term used by a large majority of young adults to refer to the stage in dating when you decide to tell the world that you’re dating via Facebook.  Personally, I think that it is ridiculous to base the validity of your relationship off of something online, but as I was searching for some evidence to discuss how Facebook effects your relationships I realized there were not a whole lot of strong sources that discussed this.  A magazine article or a blog post here or there, but nothing substantial.  I believe that Americans will believe almost anything you post online about a relationship, so I decided to create my own evidence for part of this blog.

This is my friend Zack.  We have known each other since 7th grade, and I count him among some of my very best friends.  We also joke around that if neither of us are married at a certain point in the far, far future we probably will just marry each other.  I decided to ask him if he’d be my “Facebook husband” for a night and help me with a project for class.  His response?  “Well, I’d rather just be your real husband, but whatever.”  Thanks, Zack.  We went into our settings and changed our relationship status, and our Facebook’s went crazy in less than an hour.

This is what the comments section looked like

It was completely overwhelming.  Zack and his friend’s figured it was a joke.  My friend’s however, were a little bit more gullible.

I also received countless numbers of text messages and phone calls asking me if it was true.  Part of me could not stop laughing.  I had not even been DATING anyone before this, how on earth could I have been married in a day?  I guess people are more gullible than I thought.  My roommate thought this was a hilarious concept for a writing assignment, so in the spirit of trying to convince others it was real, she wrote:

My mother freaked out after reading all these comments and called me in complete hysterics asking me what I was thinking.  It took me a couple minutes to calm her down and say it was just for a blog I was writing, but I’ll remember to tell my Mom I’m fake-marrying someone on Facebook before I post it again!

What I learned from this is that most people will take something absurd that you post in three ways: either they text you about it and don’t ask you directly on Facebook so that they don’t look weird to a lot of people, they voice their confusion directly on your status, or they think it’s a joke.  In terms of Facebook relationships, this can do a couple of things to the relationship outside of the online world.  Cosmopolitan magazine recently posted an article about what is and isn’t acceptable to write about and talk about on your boyfriend’s Facebook.  If you post too much, you come off as clingy.  If you post too little, your presence is not seen enough and “another girl could sneak up and snatch him by wooing him online.”  Their words, not mine.  If you change your relationship status and your friends get too involved (as mine did when I “married” Zack), the guy could feel overwhelmed.

I think there is still a lot of research to be done about what exactly effects a relationship when it comes to social networking, but I have definitely seen that Facebook could overwhelm a couple if too many people know too quickly.  Remember to keep this in mind when deciding how public to make your relationship.