In my personal, professional, and educational life I use various Social Networking Platforms (SNP). According to Wikipedia (Social Networking Service, 2014) SNP are a place to build networks or relationships, connecting people with similar interests or activities. These usually global platforms often have modules (or apps) that allows users control to join or form groups with common interests (Social Networking Service, 2014). SNP are the tools that allows virtual social interaction, what is generally thought of as social media, to happen (Wikipedia, 2014). There are a range of types of social media such as collaborative wikis, blogs, content-driven communities, networking sites, games, and virtual social worlds but the lines between these types are becoming increasingly blurred (Social Media, 2014).
I have used SNP personally for a number of years, Facebook and Instagram being the two primary ones. In my readings I discovered that social media through SNP are an extraordinary way to connect with people all over the world who share similar concerns. Indeed when I performed an analysis of where my friends were, I was surprised as there were more countries represented than I thought.
More recently I have started using SNP both in my professional and educational life. In my reading I discovered one aspect of social media and SNP that I had not previously considered. Groups are formed based on common interests and ideas which can thus limit exposure to other ideas and ways of being, a form of social isolation (Social Media, 2014). Policies of the SNP that choose what news stories are in a person’s news feed, such as is done by Facebook, only emphasize this limiting of exposure. Recently Facebook manipulated news-feed to affect the emotions of users (Kramer, Guillory & Hancock, 2014). As an educator, this idea emphasizes the need to use a variety of social media in class to ensure students are exposed to a variety of idea and thought.
Kramer, A., Guillory, J., & Hancock, J. (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111 (24), 8788-8790.
Social Media. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2014 from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media#Exclusiveness
Social Networking Service. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2014 from Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_networking_service