Monday, February 21, 2011

I Like That

            Facebook hacking happens. Last week, I accidently left my account logged in on my best friend’s computer. A few hours later, my status had been updated, my birthday was changed, and new people had been added. But what was the most embarrassing part of this whole hack? My friend liked every single photo of someone I barely know. Awkward…

            Despite the fact that this experience with “likes” wasn’t ideal, liking things on Facebook has been beneficial in many ways. People are always posting photos and statuses on Facebook and liking them is the simplest way to show you noticed. Your best friend posted a status about a good grade? Like. Your cousin posted a photo of them traveling? Like. Even if you don’t know a person very well, liking their photos and statuses can help to get you two to start actually talking to each other. They post a link to an article on College Humor? Like. Conversation can start right there. Liking is also a great way to show interest…without being completely creepy. Facebook is breeding grounds for weird creeper stalking. Even if you aren’t one of the creepers, sometimes commenting on things can be a little weird. An acquaintance posts a photo of them and their friends dancing? Like. It’s way less creepy than a “that’s cute” comment. And much simpler too!

            Liking is not only used to show interest on people’s activity on Facebook, but is frequently used to show what kinds of things people actually like. People go on Facebook and like their favorite movies, music, books, interests, activities, and so much more. All the things you like will show up on your profile for everyone to see. It’s instant personalization in the simplest way possible. Across the Universe? Like. The Downtown Fiction? Like. Project Runway? Like. Besides just personalizing your profile, liking things can personalize what shows up on your newsfeed and in your advertisements. Let’s say you just liked Harry Potter. You’re much more likely to have advertisements for Harry Potter fan clubs, movies, and book signings. Maybe you just liked Urban Outfitters. All the announcements they post on their fan page will start to show up on your news feed. Your sorority or fraternity? Like. Now you’ll get announcements about events on your news feed and you’ll be likely to get advertisements relating to Greek clothing and other similar commodities. It’s the perfect way for Facebook to show you exactly what you want. And yet again, so simple!

            So once again, Mark Zuckerberg got it right. Why should you have to put in so much effort as to come up with a clever comment for someone? All you have to do is like it. Go on Facebook and like someone’s picture, their status, some sort of fan page and admire the cleverness that is the like button. Just don’t log onto someone else’s account and like all of one of their friend’s photos. Take advantage of its simplicity instead. I Like That.

Link to the song that inspired this blog:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Addiction is Futile

            In the past week, I’ve had quite a crisis. My Blackberry Curve, which I’ve had for only about a year, has stopped working. The only thing I can still do on it is call people, but the rest of it is completely non-functioning. My texting, memo pad, Sudoku, Facebook and Twitter applications, and Internet can no longer be accessed. It seems as if I’ve been disconnected.

            These days, people are constantly connected to one another. Everyone is always at their computer Facebooking and chatting with each other, even if there really isn’t an important reason to be doing so. Whether it’s for necessary communication or just plain boredom, people have the need to be utilizing the different forms of social media at all times. It truly has become an addiction.

            Social media may have some useful purposes, but it has gotten to the point where it is taking over people’s lives. Is it really necessary to be instant messaging that person during lecture? Should you actually be on Facebook when you’re doing homework? Do you really need to tweet about what you had for lunch today? For the most part, you should be answering no to these questions. Does it mean that you haven’t done any of these things before? Not necessarily.

            Not only has social media been overused, but it can and has done worse things to people than just distracting them. Social networking may make it seem like you’re always being social, but many people reduce the amount of face-to-face time with the people they are talking with via social media. The hours of face-to-face time per day has significantly decreased since the rise of social media. Social networking sites also give rise to minimized security. Sure, Facebook stalking is completely harmless, but real-life stalkers can utilize all the information you share. I know, that’s crazy, right? The information on your various accounts can also be seen by all sorts of businesses, which could potentially threaten a work situation or the chances you have of getting into a school. Hackers also frequently access people’s information on social networking sites and use that information in terrible ways. Another little known fact about social media is that it can cause brain and personality disorders in children. Children who start using social networking too early have harder times having conversations in real life, have self-centered personalities, and can even develop ADHD. Social media is clearly a lot worse than people think.

            So why is it that so many people are addicted to social media? It is entertaining at times and it’s nice to be able to stay connected with people that are far away. Maintaining relationships is a clear benefit of social media. Sometimes it’s even a bit pleasant to broadcast what has been going on in your life. Other than that, there really isn’t very much reason as to why they are. And that is why the addiction is futile. In the mean time though, I still wouldn’t mind having a functional phone.

Some facts in this blog were found on 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Advertising on Facebook

            At the time of the birth of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was very much opposed to advertising. He knew that his company would eventually be making money, but he wanted the website to stay simple and clean of ads until it really picked up. Nowadays, advertising is a huge part of Facebook, whether you know it or not.

           The ads on the sidebar of every page are quite obvious advertisements, but how does Facebook fit them to your interests? Facebook matches your advertisements to your information, the groups you join, events you attend, and things you “like” so you are more likely to click on the ads on the sidebar. If you join fashion interest groups, you will probably get ads for clothing websites, whereas if you “like” a band, you might get advertisements for music stores. Any information from a page can be incorporated into the advertising. For example, the ads pictured on the side were all posted on my Facebook profile. I used to be a track and field runner, I like Project Runway, many of my interests have to do with fashion, and I’m a college student. I also get ads related to “Greek clothing” on a regular basis because my profile shows that I’m in a sorority. All the ads are perfectly tailored to my interests. 

            One of the greatest ways companies advertise on Facebook is not even by paid, targeted advertising, but by having other people choose to be advertised to. Many companies these days make “groups” on Facebook. Retail stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and American Apparel all have pages, as well as musical artists like Shakira, Justin Bieber, and the Summer Set. People will “like” the pages all on their own, so advertising can be done the easy way. The businesses can then post statuses, links, and photos about any new promotion or product they have on the market for all their followers to see. Quick and easy advertising? I think so.

            Companies can also advertise without having to do any work at all. When friends “like” their page, it shows up on their friends’ news feeds and sidebars so that they will “like” it too. Friends will also send links and pictures to their friends if they’re interested in a product or a website. Companies that make events on Facebook are also spread through networking. Friends will say they’re attending, invite other friends, and the event will appear on people’s event page. All of this advertising is done just through networking and businesses only have to put in minimal to no effort.

            Advertising can be done in many ways and Facebook has made it easy for so many companies. Ads don’t just have to be shown on sidebars of the page, but groups and networking can spread advertisements like wildfire. The less obvious and more relevant an ad is, the more likely a company can make money. Facebook has made this simple to do, and companies are benefitting from it every single day.