Reflect on the “Archiving our Facebook Selves” article on our syllabus (E-Reserves per Feb 26 reading) as you examine your own FB identity online through the content posted/shared over the last 8–12 weeks or so. Share your thoughts here as a comment in a couple of sentences responding to the following questions:
- How does Boyd and Ellison’s definition of a social network (SNS) (p. 26) apply to you FB experience?
- Explain Toffler’s idea of the “modular man” (p. 26, last para). To what extent do you think it reflects your relationships? Do you think you have met more people today than you would have if you were not on SNS’s?
- How do SNS’s modify our idea of a friendship? (p. 29). Giving examples from your FB usage, do you agree (or not) with Barry Wellman’s idea that “Computer-supported social networks sustain strong, intermediate, and weak ties that provide information and social support in both specialized and broad-based relationships…Computer mediated communication accelerates the ways in which people operate at the center of partial, personal communities, switching rapidly and frequently between groups of ties.” How so?
- The article finds FB (and perhaps, like our class example today, Tinder and Match.com) may be “changing the way that people create new relationships” (p. 32). Give an example supporting or refuting this from your SNS experience.
- Reflect on the article’s assertion that “FB allows an alternative contact medium which facilitates maintaining contacts with seemingly more people than before, such as old school and university friends who would have previously been lost as they move to different parts of the country, abroad, or take on new jobs.” (p. 35). What are your thoughts on the nature of such links and relationships and how these are different from old-times face-to-face village square relationships.
- (P. 35, last para) The authors say, “A ‘diary’ has two meanings–the first reflects the capability to store one’s contacts…The other provides a reflection of the individual’s life, e.g., a record of what they have been doing today, who with and why.” Comment on the dormant nature of our FB contacts and how it influences FB as a relational technology as “these contacts can be monitored and potentially reactivated” (p. 36). How is FB an archive of our lives?