Social Media “Experiment” Conclusions and Closing Statements

So, this has been an interesting experiment. I set out to explore the effects of social media identity on society, but I mainly ended up finding out more about my own social media identity through my Facebook “ten day ban” and own research. 

I noticed that heaps of people have quite negative opinions about why they use Facebook as a social media platform and how much they dislike it with the changing privacy issues and the over sharing of some of their FB friends, however nobody is really willing to take the leap and delete their page. I place this down to FOMO (fear of missing out), as the main reason for not cutting ties with Facebook, because most people use it as a calendar and to find out about events. 

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Even though I only deleted my Facebook for ten days, I personally found it quite liberating. Even now that I’m back on it, I noticed that I don’t check it as often as I used too. I feel like Facebook was a bit like that clingy annoying girlfriend that everyone knows – it is good to get some space. But like the overly attached girlfriend, Facebook kept wondering where I was, what am I doing, and aren’t I sad that I’m missing out on stuff!? (Answer: no, I don’t give a flip). 

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However, I do feel as though I am somewhat hypocritical … as even though I did have a Facebook break, I know personally that there is no way in hell that I’m going to bit the bullet and fully delete my Facebook account. I can kid myself and say “oh, maybe in a little while” or “maybe when the privacy settings get too weird” but I honestly don’t think it will ever really come to that. 

Like the overly attached girlfriend, I have come to rely on Facebook because she makes me feel good. 

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In relation to my previous post I also noticed that when I wasn’t on Facebook, I was spending more time on Twitter and Tumblr. Due to this, my followers on both those platforms have increased. I now feel like posting more on both of these websites because I don’t want to let down my new super awesome followers. 

 

In conclusion, Social Media has a horrible hold over all of us and there is no use resisting. However, it is fun to occasionally take a break and not log in for a while. Get some space, my friends. You’ll be happier for it. 

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All that twitters is not gold

This week for my blog, I interviewed two of my lovely friends Harry and Liam about their twitter usage, and then drew some conclusions regarding the number of followers and the frequency of posting.

 

Question One: Background please! What is your name, age and occupation:

Harry: Harry Cook. 22. Actor @HarryCook

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Liam: My name is Liam Davis, 24 years old and currently a Claims Manager for an Insurance Agency. @LiamDavis7

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Question Two: What is your preferred Social Media Platform? 

Harry: Twitter

Liam: A year ago I would have told you Facebook, but with the progressively negative updates people flood it with, I now prefer Twitter.

 

Question Three: How long have you been on Twitter for? 

Harry: 5 years I think.

Liam: About 3 years now.

 

Question Four: What made you sign up for Twitter? 

Harry: Initially I wanted to follow directors and producers etc

Liam: My partner had it. Convinced me it was the best … it was not the best, but it was a good way to stalk him since he didn’t use Facebook much (hahaha!)

 

Question Five: How many twitter followers do you have? How many people do you follow?

Harry: I follow around 95 people and have 100 000+ followers.

Liam: I have just over 300 followers and I follow about 90 people.

(Interestingly, in Rethinking Media Class, we learned that the average followers that most twitter users have is 90. It appears that both Liam and Harry follow the average, but both have above average followers). 

 

Question Six: How did you get that many followers? 

Harry: Usually when a film I’ve done is promoted my followers go up a lot. I also talk to everyone on it. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I think it has something to do with it.

Liam: After a year on Twitter and only gaining about 5 followers I decided to take matters into my own hands. At the risk of looking uncool by society, I followed about 500 randoms who followed me back. I quickly unfollowed them before they noticed anything.

 

Question Seven: How many of those followers do you actually know? How many would you say are randoms? 

Harry: The majority are randoms. I only have a few actual friends on twitter. And I follow them.

Liam: Sadly, out of the 300ish followers I probably know personally about 20. The rest are complete strangers.

 

Question Eight: What do you like about twitter? What don’t you like? 

Harry: I like that I can get my news, information and be social all at once. I like that it’s instant and I like that people can’t post diary-length status’ about what they ate for breakfast on there.

Liam: Twitter isn’t over complicated – it’s basically just status updates, and you’re limited to 140 characters so there is no long winded diary entries from people complaining about how the delayed train has ruined their month. I don’t really like people endorsing their own stuff on Twitter – it becomes like a advert central sometimes!

 

Question Nine: Have you ever been in a fight on twitter? What happened? 

Harry: Once or twice. I once had a fight with Perez Hilton on twitter who thought it would be funny to call me a “gay face” to which I responded with a comment about his face. It was all over pretty quickly and I’m not fusses about it really. I occasionally get in a tiff about a tweet I send with some die-hard Taylor Swift/Robert Pattinson fan but apart from that it’s few and far between.

Liam: Yes! Once I tweeted child star Mara Wilson who you will know better as ‘Matilda’ and asked her ‘what she was doing to earn a crust these days’. Clearly I hit a nerve when she surprisingly responded that she was a writer now and wasn’t happy I didn’t know about this. Eventually she blocked me. I regret nothing.

 

Question Ten: Have you ever experienced any trolls (anonymous hate) on twitter? 

Harry: Luckily no. I have friends who have though. I’ve dealt with a few creeps though. People who want to know where you are, what you’re doing and stuff.

Liam: No, never.

 

Question Eleven: Have you ever blocked anyone on Twitter? 

Harry: Yes. People who are either intentionally rude, or just people I don’t want anything to do with.

Liam: Yes, a few people from work, just incase I take a sickie and I’m down at the beach or shopping!

 

Question Twelve: How often would you say you Tweet? 

Harry: Regularly. 3-5 a day. Sometimes more.

Liam: I check twitter daily, however I tweet about 3 or 4 times a week.

 

Question Thirteen: If you could, what would you improve/change/get rid of about Twitter? 

Harry: I actually don’t think I’d change anything about it at the moment.

Liam: Less promotional tweets, other then that I find it all okay.

 

Question Fourteen: Final question, who is your favourite person to follow on Twitter? 

Harry: @Alice_Shelley, @Oprah and @LiamDavis7. Easily the best.

Liam: @amandabynes  100% #vagwatch2013 – she made twitter fun again.

 

 

So, drawing a slight conclusion to this lovely interview, I would tend to say that the more followers you have increases how often you post, as is proven by Harry’s 100 000 + followers and having tweeted over 12 000 times, versus Liam with his 300 followers and only 1200 tweets.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE YOU HAVE “FOLLOWING” OR “LISTENING” TO YOUR TWEETS/FACEBOOK POSTS MATTER? 

So you’ve decided to delete your Facebook …

On the back of my previous post, and on a comment from a friend, I decided to take up the challenge of deleting my Facebook for ten days, and to blog about the results. 

The Rules:

  1. No Facebook for 10 days (obviously).
  2. Allowed Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat etc.
  3. Must write one entry per day.

Purpose of this experiment:

To prove I can still have an active online presence and social media identity without Facebook. 

 

Day 1.

9.01

First things first. Made a shameless status update about how I’m going to “delete” Facebook for 10 days. Immediately after this, I attempted to log out of Facebook. Struggled to find where the log out button was for about two minutes. Not a great start.

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Deleted the app from my phone because it shows me alerts without my even logging in to Facebook. 

Allrighty. Lets do this. 

9.50

I wonder how many notifications I got from my status ….

 

Day 2.

 It was strange to wake up and not check Facebook. It is usually one of the first things I do when I wake up.  I had class all day today so I was pretty distracted. Being distracted was good, I feel.

 

Day 3.

Today I woke up and Facebook had send me an email telling me what I’d missed out on since not logging in!!! This is insane, as I know for sure that I have disabled all Facebook email notifications. It is slightly frightening that FB tracks when you log in etc.

It is a testament that even when I was travelling around Europe last year I never received one of these emails. Shows how much I would check Facebook. Or maybe it’s a new feature.

 

Day 4.

Another email from Facebook! It says exactly the same thing. Targets people that I interact with quite a bit and says “These people have posted stuff etc”.

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I’m actually finding it quite lovely to have a FB break. Although last night I dreamed that I went on Facebook. Which is odd. And a little bit pathetic. But oh well 😛

 

Day 5.

These emails appear to be daily. It’s a bit aggravating that there is nothing I can do about them without physically logging back on to Facebook. Grrr. Quite an aggressive strategy from them. 

 In positive news, I’m not really missing the ol’ FB. Halfway through and my biggest concern is that one of my lovely friends has posted something inappropriate on my wall … or the party that I went to on Saturday have some unflattering photos up … but really, that’s not a huge deal.

 

Day 6.

It’s a fairly freeing feeling. I’m still on twitter quite a bit, and instagram and I recently got snapchat … so I feel like I’m not missing out on seeing what my friends are up to. And I’m not having a total social media blackout, as I think that would be significantly more difficult.

 

Day 7.

Daily Facebook email – check.

Actually less procrastination during assignment – check!

Not having that distraction there is wonderful for those of us who tend to procrastinate while doing assignments.

 

Day 8.

Sort of looking forward to a Facebook check now. Especially as it is my primary contact with some of my good friends who live overseas. But a few more days can’t hurt. It’s not like I’m really missing it, although I am concerned that I’ve missed wishing some people a happy birthday, as I have a shocking memory and I like to wish people happy birthday.

 

Day 9. 

One more day. The time’s gone rather quickly and I’ve honestly enjoyed this break from Facebook. It’s true that I have more time on my hands, my phone’s battery has been lasting longer because I haven’t been constantly on it checking Facebook. Everybody wins 🙂 

 

Day 10.

 Woohoo! Made it. Surprisingly not that hard. I would actually encourage everyone to take a week or so break from FB, because honestly it’s not that difficult and it is really nice to take a step back from an aspect of our lives that is so full on. 

I think that by doing this, I have proven that you can have a social media presence without Facebook, and that it’s nice once in awhile to take a break.  

So, why don’t you just delete your facebook?

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An article by the New Yorker on Wednesday said that the more a person uses Facebook in a day, the less happy they become.

After a random Google using the keywords “Facebook” and “makes people feel worse” I stumbled upon a whole bunch of articles. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a Google of “Facebook” and “makes people feel happy” showed up the same articles about negativity. 

As a last-ditch attempt, I looked up “Facebook” and “cheerful” and it came up with this delightfully psychotic Facebook group.

So, why do we keep using Facebook if all it does is make us miserable? I asked a few people this question, and the main reason was that they don’t want to feel like they’re missing out.

 

Missing out on what, exactly?

 

Answers ranged from events to photos to potential friends. But is missing a sub-par gathering once in a while a very cheap price to pay for our happiness?

Facebook is a massive contributor to our social identity, however there are nowhere near the number of articles about twitter, tumblr or instagram making people sad. Hypothetically, could you delete your Facebook and still have a strong online presence? 

 

QUESTION: WHY DON’T YOU DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK? 

Intro: Social Media Identity and Alice’s Hatred of Car Profile Pics

Picture this: you are catching up with some friends over coffee and they mention a person who you don’t know or a guy they are going out on a first date with. Immediately they whip out their smartphone and show you (a complete stranger) the person in question’s Facebook page. Upon seeing this precursory glance of a (sometimes) flattering, yet telling profile picture you begin to make assumptions about this random person you don’t know based on the singular picture I have seen of them (“Of course he didn’t pay for dinner, his profile picture is of a car”). 

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Going out on a limb, but I feel like this scenario is familiar to you. It is absolutely familiar to me, because from then on I refer to this stranger as whatever I can remember them from their profile picture (“Are you seriously still seeing car guy?”)

(You may have noticed my particular irritation with people who put pictures of their cars as their profile picture. I mean, come on dude, surely you can find at least one picture of you that isn’t your fully sick pimped out Mazda*.)

I am sure we have all encountered a social situation or a conversation that revolves totally around what someone has done or said on Facebook. Think about this, however. It is more than likely that one of your friends has done the same thing with your own Facebook profile picture. (“You know Kate! She’s friends with Sam. Here, I’ll show you her profile.”)

We are under the illusion that only our friends see our Facebook information, but we are so wrong. Potential employers, potential dates, potential friends, distant family members, distant schoolmates, old teachers, strangers, friends – all of these people have a particular opinion on you due to how you chose to present yourself online. This presentation of self is your social media identity, and will be what I explore during this blog.

My ultimate goal will be to see what each individual’s social media identity says about himself or herself, and the long-term effects of becoming more online, and less personal. Also the dangers and positives of social media. 

DO YOU THINK ABOUT HOW YOU PRESENT YOURSELF ONLINE? DO YOU WORRY ABOUT STRANGERS SEEING YOUR FACEBOOK PROFILE?  

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A SOCIAL MEDIA SCARE STORY? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

 

 

*I apologise if I offended anyone who has a profile picture of a car. But seriously, you should probably think long and hard about changing it. Just a suggestion.  

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