The Internet: A Tool for Procrastination

So as SWOTVAC has come and gone, and exams are starting to roll around, are we still all finding ourselves with an absolute heap of work to do?

I guarantee about 90% of you are saying yes. Why would that be? One word, procrastination. Defined as  the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time, it is the single greatest pastime of a University student.

Now a great tool for procrastination is undoubtedly the Internet. Before the Internet, who knows what people would procrastinate with. Maybe Newton was sitting under that tree putting off his next essay when the apple fell on his head. Yeah that’s not a bad way to procrastinate, but Youtube is a hell of a lot better. One video leads to another, and suddenly and hour has gone past, and then you have to check Facebook (because its Facebook), and you see a link for a video which looks good. And then an hour goes past, and you realise you haven’t checked Facebook for a while.

Let’s be honest, for all the great things that the Internet has brought us, it has brought us so many pointless crap that is just a complete time-waster. Facebook and Youtube are great in theory, but much of the time they aren’t used for good, but procrastination. As a University student, I rely heavily on my computer to do work, yet I find myself wasting time as hours go down the drain, while I stalk people’s Facebook and check the football scores for the 45th time.

Why must it come to this? Why can’t we focus on the task at hand? Why do I still have an essay to write and it’s due tomorrow?

Whilst it’s great to blame the Internet, and while that is partly true, I think that we as University students are the problem. The Internet is like peer pressure: It might be a bad influence, but in the end your the one doing it.

And finally, if you want some tools for procrastination, enjoy these videos and their related links:

 

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Facebook photos

I’ve got a bit of a pet hate on Facebook. Actually, I have a few of them. One of which is people who make too many status updates, and that bugs me to no end.

yet my biggest gripe is when people put wayy too many photos of an event on Facebook. Now everyone likes to look at photos, and have a bit of a stalk, but to put over 100 for one night seems a bit excessive. I’m not going to single anyone out, but one girl uploaded 82 photos of a group of them drinking before the actual event. They hadn’t even got to their destination, and they had taken 82 photos for a bout 5 of them. And this wasn’t a fancy formal or anything, just a standard party.

To me, this seems like she is putting on a show, instead of actually enjoying a good time. With all the effort of looking good for each photo she is detracting from actually enjoying herself in the moment. She has to make sure that all her fun is documented with photographic evidence.

Now I don’t want to sound sexist, but i think that a lot of girls are doing the same thing. Essentially they are living out their life through the Internet. With every single event of their life being put on Facebook, they are parading to all their friends that this is what they have been doing, and they were with these people. In a way i think it’s a way of putting on a popular exterior to the rest of the world, yet eventually it just seems to be a bit of over-exposure., as there are just way too many photos to keep track of.

Sometimes it feels that these photos are being taken just to put up on Facebook, to almost prove to people that you were there. Bit ridiculous I think.

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The Viral Video Star.

Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269)

With the arrival of youtube in the 21st Century, we’ve also seen the arrival of the self-made celebrity. People who have uploaded videos of themselves that have become massive hits. Sometimes these are viral videos, sometimes they are video blogs. Whatever they are, it is safe to say that they are considerably less talented than ‘regular’ celebrities.

Take this bloke here, for example:

No talent, no wit, not even funny, and yet this video has 52 million s views? ‘Fred’ is now a celebrity that is controlled through the Internet, namely through youtube. Instead of being a part of the real world, Fred is a product of the Internet, he is a result of a media technology. He is simply an ordinary person who has sped up a video too make his voice really high.

Fred is ‘controlled by mass media’ and is now captive to the Internet. Most people would agree that he is not really a ‘celebrity’ but more of a youtube sensation, a fad if you will. It is through his own creative efforts that he has become a celebrity, not through his talent as a performer, and this is why his fame is only know in the community of youtube. I would be extremely surprised if ‘Fred’ made any headlines out side of those relating to Youtube, and I would severely doubt he has any ‘celebrity status’ whatsoever.

Now, another video that should be considered is the viral video of the Star Wars Kid.

This is funny, but only because of his his own misfortune. Again, Star Wars Kid is an Internet icon, and is estimated to have been viewed 900 million times. This is an extraordinary number for an average person. Indeed, the Internet and youtube have a great knack of turning the ordinary into the celebrity, purely from exposure. Thus, because their fame has come about from youtube, their fame is entirely dependant on Youtube, making it ‘controlled’ by the mass media.

This is obviously completely different for those celebrities not dependant on Youtube, or ‘real’ celebrities as I would like to put it, who haven’t just uploaded a video of them being stupid or getting hurt. Justin Bieber might be extremely popular on Youtube, but also has many other fields of Media in which he is seen as well.

I believe that because the Internet is so widespread and controlling over the world in the 21st Century, people are bound to become a product of it as they become a celebrity through their own creative efforts. However when this occurs, they instantaneously remain within the system, controlled by this mass media.

Oh and the Star Wars Kid was constantly bullied about that video, and sued the families of four boys at his school for the harassment and derision he received. It’s almost strange to think that the Star War Kid had a life outside of that video, don’t you think.

It’s like that video was his entirety, that youtube had completely controlled his whole life.

Finally, purely for your entertainment, I suggest you watch this South Park video. It basically is a spoof of all the popular youtube videos in one room, waiting to collect their money for their popularity. Absolutely classic South Park.

Be Happy

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Privacy on Facebook

So there was a lot of furore not long ago that Facebook was changing it’s privacy settings, meaning it was changing what it kept in its hard drive. Essentially, the rumour was going around that Facebook was keeping everything that you ever did, and was storing it. This would be used for advertising, or just in case a problem arose later on regarding the lawyers (i’m guessing on that one but it would make sense).

So reading Facebook’s privacy policy there were some interesting things that popped up. Take a look at the video that was posted in my blog two posts ago, and there is mention of how Facebook is ‘following’ us. That it is tracking every move we make.

This is an extract straight out of the privacy policy:

“We never share your personal information with our advertisers. Facebook’s advert targeting is done entirely anonymously. If advertisers select demographic targeting for their adverts, Facebook automatically matches those adverts to the appropriate audience. Advertisers only receive anonymous data reports.”

Now they say it might be done completely anonymously, but I’m sure this doesn’t change the fact that we have some form of ‘Facebook number’, so that the right advertising goes to the right people. Or possibly an IP address? Whatever it is, there must be some sort of tracking system so that the advertising goes to the right demographic, otherwise how else would they know where it would go?

Yet the fact that they are sending advertising that matches our personality seem like a breach of our personal space. I believe it does, as it is deliberately assumes that this is what we are interested in. Furthermore, it is slowly turning Facebook into a money-making machine instead of a site for people to connect with each other, as it was originally intended.

However, in saying this, I’m not worried about Facebook ‘tracking’ us, as it isn’t too hard to delete an ad. And really, i don’t think they are going to use the information against us in any way.

Till next time.

 

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Are blogs selfish??

Lovink (Reader, page 222) also argues that: “No matter how much talk there is of community and mobs, the fact remains that blogs are primarily used as a tool to manage the self”.

So this might seem a tad hypocritical, but blogs are essentially a tool for those who think they are overly important. It’s a chance for these people to announce to the world what they are doing, and how they think about certain topics. Then, if your lucky, you will have other people who think exactly like you and say how good the article was, or people will disagree and berate you for having the wrong opinion.

Some people treat their blog like a diary, going through what they have done on a certain day, or highlighting the details of one of their trips. In all fairness to these people, is it really necessary to let everyone on WordPress know how your trip away was!!! These are people you don’t even know, and to reveal personal information seems to be blowing your own trumpet in a way.

I mean, on some level i can understand that other people would be interested if they are considering having a holiday at the location, but other blogs are just completely ridiculous.

http://bekagphotography.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/you-must-have-been-a-beautiful-baby/

I definitely encourage you to read that one; it is nothing short of hilarious (and not very long). Now THAT is completely unnecessary. This blog would be more appropriate to put into a photo album, or maybe even a letter to Meg, especially those last few lines. “I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see you graduate and go take on the world! I’m 100% confident you are going to do wonderful things”

JUST TELL HER THIS YOURSELF!

No need to tell the entire world that you are proud of your….(not quite sure of the relationship). And yet, this blog has 92 likes and 103 comments, all saying how lovely the blog is! I must be missing something her….

 

Wait I got it!

So, whilst these may band together as a ‘community’ and support each other, people still create blogs to fulfil their own satisfaction of letting other people know what they are doing, and what is happening in their lives. Even though a lot of the time these people will be strangers, they will still enjoy the blog, to continue the masquerade of a community. And all the while everyone continues to update their blog as a diary, in order to manage their own self  and to keep tabs of their own lives, making themselves feel better. Blogs are slowly transforming into a personal diary, or even a photo album; not a way of informing people on certain topics.

A blog is essentially a diary that is online, but wait, a diary is private, but a blog is overwhelmingly public. Something is wrong here. So why bother doing a blog if it is a public diary? I believe that it is purely for self satisfaction.

What really annoys me is that because this blog doesn’t have bright pink dresses and lots of pictures, it won’t get 103 likes. Oh well, that’s the way it should be I guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Analyse critically the following statement by Mark Zuckerberg while comparing it to privacy issues raised by online social networking collaborative practices:

http://www.tubechop.com/watch/146252

Privacy is undoubtedly a huge factor controlling our lives in such a digital age. Recent events involving the Brocial Network is a perfect example of how fickle privacy can be in the 21st Century. In this video, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, tells us that people are more inclined to share when they have control over what they are sharing, a specific reference to the changed privacy settings where you can control what information is on your wall.

Well, this is all good in theory, but doesn’t the Brocial Network completely put to shame this idea? The girls are still comfortable with what they are sharing, yet there are always those couple of people who are able to spread onto a group where thousands of people can look.

Very funny video regarding facebook privacy:

I myself have had a run in with a privacy issue recently. One day i was ‘fraped’ (facebook raped, where someone gains access to your account and posts embarrasing/ funny things posing to be you), and this girl made an embarrassing status. Not long after, my mum (who I am not friends with on Facebook) saw it. She told my Dad, and that night he sent me a text advising to take it down.

Well, needless to say, I made my Facebook much more private. Not specifically because of that status, but because of the idea that my mum is constantly stalking me, watching my every move. After this move, to be fair to Zuckerberg, I feel much more comfortable with what I can and can’t put on my Facebook. So from personal experience, I believe he is somewhat right in this regard.

OK, so suppose that people do have control with what they are sharing, and we disregard that small population of people who take advantage of people’s private information and photos by opening them up publicly. Zuckerberg still states that in a ‘more open world, many of the biggest problems we face together will become easier to solve.’

Hang on… it will become a more open WORLD? The problems we face TOGETHER? It seems like he is claiming that the entire facebook population is striving to overcome difficulties as a unit. As he is talking to the entire facebook population, all 600 million, he is essentially putting us all into on group as we strive to overcome these hypothetical ‘problems’.

So then, why would we bother keeping anything private? If a more open world will be the answer to our ‘biggest problems’ (I’m assuming this covers disease, hunger, terrorism, the environment) then surely we let everyone see all our information. I’m assuming that if we all did this, then all these big problems would disappear.

To be honest, I believe Zuckerberg has missed a crucial step in his logic. He is saying that being more private individually will make us more public globally, which is a flawed conclusion.

More to come on Facebook privacy, namely how they store and retrieve your information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Brocial Network: A Network for Bro’s

May 29, 2011 1 comment

Now a lot of negative things have been said about the Brocial Network over the past few weeks, including a couple of blogs on WordPress such as this:

http://susannahguthrie.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/facebook-cops-it-again/

As well as this one:

http://lizzymntaylor.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/the-brocial-network-how-it-has-turned-the-clock-back-60-years/

I will first start by saying that I agree with both of these points, and that girls shouldn’t be degraded to sexual comments while thousands of men ogle her on a computer screen.

However, was I part of the first brocial network? Yes

Was I part of the second brocial network? Yes

Would I accept if I was offerred to join the third brocial network? Yes

Would I look at the pictures? Yes.

 

And I know I’m not the only one out there. Plenty of blokes across Australia, when they’re bored, will peruse the brocial network at the good-looking girls. I realise it’s not fair on the girls, but I don’t know these girls, and I’m not putting up pictures of these girls either. What is stopping me occasionally looking at the pictures then?

Let’s flip the tables around. If a group was made with lots of random good looking blokes with their shirts off, and a girl was added, would she go out of her way to take herself off that group? She isn’t hurting anyone in looking at these photos, and it would just be pointless to deprive yourself of these photos when they’re readily available.

So don’t have a go at the members, but the ‘Brocial King’, for setting it up.

 

Come at me, Lizzy

 

 

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