Saturday, December 14, 2013

Online Assignment 4-5_Cordero

The results I found after downloading my information from Facebook and from Google were far from surprising. Each source had a large series of keywords that were directly related to the types of interests I had. Based on the websites I have visited, Google cited Arts & Entertainment, Classical Music, Computers & Electronics, Crafts, Dictionaries & Encyclopedias, Education, File Sharing & Hosting, Games, Jazz, Metal (Music), Movies, Music & Audio, Music Streams & Downloads, Music Videos, News, Photos & Image Sharing, Rock Music, Standardized & Admissions Tests, TV & Video, TV Comedies, and Urban & Hip-Hop as my main categories. After reading through this list, it was apparent to me that Google accurately identified most of if not all of my main interests based on websites I've visited in the past. I'm a little bit surprised that politics and science were not included in this list, but I suppose that those can be included in "Dictionaries & Encyclopedias" and "News". Their focus on music was their most accurate observation considering that music is my primary interest/hobby. As fascinating as it seems that Google knows so much about my personal interests just by basing it off of my Internet history, this calls into question how Google or maybe even government organizations might be handling my information. I can't help but wonder if the government might try to use this information against me one day or use it somehow infringe upon my basic inalienable rights or invade my privacy. It might not seem like a profound issue right now, but I fear that there are many dire implications of this fact for when the future arrives in terms of privacy infringement. I was truly taken aback at how dense my Facebook information was/is. Virtually every action I've performed on Facebook was documented in that .zip file. Almost nothing was left out. It was actually pretty interesting being able to look at all of messages, wall posts, likes, friends (present and removed), pokes, etc. in what's essentially an archive of my Facebook activity. The most awe-inspiring list was that of the "Ads Topics" section, in which an exhaustive list of keywords including #Asphyx, #Wacken Open Air, #Looney Tunes, #Technical death metal, #Fried chicken, #Mass Effect 3, and #Jessica Alba were named. In contrast to Google, Facebook was much more specific about my interests by naming specific bands, people, games, and so forth. It was pretty fascinating to see such an exhaustive archive of all of my Facebook activity without actually having to go on Facebook, but a question similar to my previous one about Google was raised about how this information was being used. Someone could easily use this information to market specific products to me or even invade my personal life, but it reminded me about being smart about which types of information one should post on Facebook. It is imperative that no overly personal information should be made public for protection from identity theft or equally disastrous issues. Because technology  is becoming so integrated into people's lives and therefore making the world more globalized, the effects of technological determinism and the digital society are especially apparent in Facebook's existence (Wells, Week 14, Monday 2013). Modern technology operates more like a network as opposed to a broadcast. People across the globe are interconnected through common interests, beliefs, and ideas and are feeding each other information rather than a single hub acting as the main locus of communication. Facebook's information download feature suggests that social media is becoming more personalized and tailored to individual interests. Advertisers therefore have an advantage in targeting specific customers for their products and users of social media can easily find others with similar interests, beliefs, and ideas such as politics, music, television, books, religion, and sports.

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