This was a very interesting assignment. It showed me how detailed my online profile was. It was also interesting to see how much information I contributed to my own profile, and how much was decided for me. Google decided who I was based on what I do on the Internet. They were also pretty accurate, for the most part. While I am not a fan of Beauty Pageants, Google got most of my other interests spot on. Facebook was also accurate in delivering ads to my screen. I had no idea that these websites knew so much about me. All of this shows us that we are only in the beginning of the digital age. In the future public profiles will continue to get more detailed, and the more personalized our ads will become. The big question facing the future deals with how they are using that information. Ever since the NSA-Snowden blowup, everyone has been increasingly concerned with online privacy. As of right now, it seems that nothing is private. Google can find out anything about you because they are with you everywhere you browse. They also tailor your web experience based on things you have done in the past.
There is also a change in media’s place in society. In the past, media was more passive. Citizens could choose when they wanted media in their lives or out. We could choose if we wanted to read the newspaper or turn on the news. Nowadays, media is becoming more a part of society. Media is starting to become the way for us to interact in the social realm. I cannot remember the last time I found out about a new relationship other than through Facebook. Events are spread over Facebook because it is easier than word of mouth. People love social media because they can carefully craft what everyone else can see. Public profiles carry a lot of risks too. When posting for an audience of 600 friends (and all of their friends), it is important to post things that you want other people to see. Your posts and online activity becomes who you are. Google and Facebook have caused us to carry out online profiles into the real world.
The personalization aspects of Facebook and a Google have many positives. Google allows me to see relevant advertisements to things I am interested in. Facebook allows me to share exactly what I want to share. In those regards, social media is great. Privacy is where this type of media fails. It magnifies everything that we do. If I were to describe Facebook to someone who lived in the 1970s, I would describe it as if a video camera where to follow you around all day. Every single move is captured and recorded essentially for everyone to see. This is what makes social media dangerous for everyone in my generation. Future bosses can search the histories of Facebook or Twitter and see everything that we have done. Facebook and Twitter have more information on us than we know, and some information we don’t want other people to know.