Final Link

Flavors.me page! All of my other links are on that page as well. 🙂 Thanks for a great semester everyone!

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The Future of Social Interaction

“Just text me, I don’t answer my phone.” How many times have you heard that phrase? How many times have you said that phrase? Of course we all know of the days before texts and even the days before phones. It’s almost hard to imagine having to send a letter or to physically travel to someone in order to deliver a message. It’s becoming less uncommon to even pick up the phone to take or make a call; we’re too busy, or it’s less convenient, or it takes too much time. Whatever it is we have become a culture of instant gratification thanks to social media outlets and text messaging this is something that I see compounding rather than receding as technology grows. In some aspects it’s not a bad thing, apps like groupme are great for organizing plans with a group of people. Groupme is a chat application that allows a user to create a group of select users, then when you send messages in that chat it goes out to the group and keeps everything in order. But there is a lack of face-to-face communication that gets lost in translation when using any text-based media. Non-verbal communication, body language in this instance, is integral to communication as a whole. With a text you can make a sad face or a happy face, but so much of that can either be fake or slightly off. For example, if you were upset about a situation but you tried to smile anyway the person you were interacting with would likely pick up on the nonverbal cues that you are upset. However if you were to text something and insert a smiley face the receiver would likely not know that there was anything wrong. I do believe that it is pretty well understood that there is a loss of communication with text, but I don’t think that will slow anything down. I’m sure they said the same things when the telephone was introduced.

“So then I jumped out -” “Oh yeah, I read that on your facebook!” “Oh.” The biggest conversation killer is being cut off because the listener has already read your story on facebook. Now what do you talk about? Elaborate on the story? What if that’s already happened in the comments? The ability for us to tell our story and narrative to the world in a few keystrokes and a click of a button has both negative and positive implications. Self-expression and sharing can allow others an insight into your life and the distance of face-to-face communication can greatly increase a person’s self-disclosure. Sometimes that’s good and can allow feelings to be shared that may otherwise not have been shared. Other times we get a little too much self-disclosure and it’s not good. With the future of social interaction I feel that people may be able to open up more and more with each other online, but that maybe people will not know how to open up with someone face to face. I think overall its fine right now, but I do think that social skills are on the decline. And why wouldn’t they be? Practice makes perfect they say, and social interactions are learned behaviors overall. Sure all kids smile, but it’s only through learned behavior that we learn when it’s inappropriate to smile. Maybe I’m rambling now, but I do want to impart that I do not think that society is doomed, I’ll leave that to those older and grumpier than I. But I do think it’s important that we remember that face-to-face interaction is important and despite convenience it should be practiced and learned when possible.

Online Reputation Management

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How often do you google yourself? Do you google yourself? You probably know that googling is the act of using the online search engine Google.com to look up information, so googling yourself is the act of looking up information about yourself. Googling yourself is a great way to manage your online reputation. People can find out so much information about a person by simply googling your name or even your email. They may find anything from your facebook profile to any other profiles you may have on other websites. Googling your name may also come up with any mentions you’ve had in a newspaper or if your friends have mentioned you in their social media. These things are important to know about for several reasons and the one I would like to outline today is the effect that your online presence can have on what prospective and current employers may find. According to the Huffington post, “A survey commissioned by the online employment website CareerBuilder has found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants.” Especially when applying for jobs it’s important to know what information you have visible to potential employers. A company may have anywhere from a handful of applicants to 100 applicants; if your profile picture on facebook is a picture of you drinking, or your top comment is “I **** hate my job,” then you’ve just made yourself immediately dismissible by that employer.

Social media sites like facebook, twitter or personal blogs are a wealth of information distributed by ourselves about ourselves. There are some good things about these sites – they are a great way to show your interests and to give people a better view of what kind of person you are. However sometimes this information can be negative depending on what kind of content filters onto your pages. If you make your profile picture a professional headshot that is obviously going to look better to an employer than a photo of you smoking and drinking. If you frequently post about how you hate your job a potential employer, or currently employer, that would not reflect well on your work ethic. I used to work as a waitress at an Italian chain restaurant and one of my co-workers called out sick; the mistake that this co-worker made was that she posted on her facebook that she was going out with friends. Even though a supervisor did not have access to her facebook another colleague did and disclosed this information to our employer which led to a more serious discussion later and said employee lost a promotion opportunity.

When posting to social media it’s important to keep the long-term effects in mind as well as the immediate effects. Everything that is posted online is permanent, even if you “delete it.” Often the more embarrassing the photo or post the more likely it is to be saved or screen captured to be saved by someone who viewed it. Even if that’s an unlikely scenario the information you post is not necessarily deleted when you click the delete button. Information is often copied and kept by search engines so there is that chance that it is still somewhere out there. But all hope is not lost! For the most part you can mitigate damage done in the past and more importantly you can begin to manage your social media image more carefully now and in the future. Start by searching yourself and then deleting any unwanted content and unwanted accounts. Go through any images that you or your friends have tagged you in and untag any undesirable photos and ask friends to remove them. The information may still be out there, but this is about as far as an average user can go for now. For the future make sure to monitor your accounts more carefully; you can make your facebook account private but that can still be hazardous as you can see with my co-worker who had another co-worker show her account to a supervisor. Which brings me to this – be careful who you’re messaging, and remember it’s best to not announce on social media that you hate your boss or that you’re playing hooky. Just don’t say it at all because you don’t know how that information can get back around. It’s likely that we’ve all at some point had a boss that we didn’t like and that we’ve at some point played hooky at work, but if you post it online it’s permanent and in text where it can be found. Just don’t do it. So to wrap it all up, be careful about the things that you post online because it doesn’t go away and it can cost you a lot more than it’s worth. Make separate accounts if you need to, one for personal and one for professional. But make sure the professional accounts have content on them, a prospective employer still wants to get some kind of idea about you, it might like odd if you don’t have a social presence.

 

Step 1: Google yourself.

Step 2: Post smart.

Step 3: Get a job/keep a job.

Step 4: Profit.

Why do computer hackers always wear masks?

Why do computer hackers always wear masks?

I mean really, we can’t see them. Unless another hacker hacks their webcam? But I feel like a hacker that gets hacked is pretty unprofessional. But I digress. This week we talked about everything from password safety to freedom of information.

One thing I hadn’t ever thought about was the safety of the website to whom I was creating the password for. I just never really gave much thought to the fact that they might get hacked and my information could get stolen through their fault and not mine. We can’t really protect ourselves from that aside from creating 100 different passwords, one for each website. Or can we? Online gamers take identity theft VERY seriously and companies like Blizzard and Square Enix, amongst others, use devices called authenticators. It’s a little keychain device (or a phone app if preferred) that when a button is clicked it pops out a string of numbers. To access your account you have to enter that number with your username and password. This number changes every 30 seconds. It’s unrealistic for a person to have more than one or two authenticators, but I think it would be neat for some of our more important sites to use this additional layer of security or at least have it as an option.

As far as freedom of information goes I don’t think it’s realistic to expect all information to be free. If I were to ignore reality I would at least love to see all educational material be free and accessible to everybody. As a supposed participant in our government I also think that government information should be accessible as well, there are too many secrets. As far as media goes I think that prices should be more reasonable and that piracy would be a much smaller issue if that were the case.