Thursday, December 19, 2013

Online Assignments 4 & 5_ Holt

Tim Holt
Online Assignment 4 & 5
To start this assignment, I was skeptical about how accurate Google’s and Facebook’s description of me would be. By the end of this experiment, I was extremely surprised to see just how accurate both of the sites description of me were just based off of what I posted to my social media platform and what I typed into my search engines in Google. Both sites were able to track information about me while Facebook had more of a personal feel to it, probably because I use it for more of my personal reasons, while Google was also able to give an almost perfect description of myself and demographic as well.

I have been using social media platforms since 2006 when I created my Myspace account in 6th grade, and have been an avid poster on the more current social media platforms since Myspace, mostly Facebook and Twitter. So when I looked at the fact that Facebook had been tracking the information about myself including every post, comment, picture, setting and profile change had been recorded down to every detail, I was almost a bit freaked out. But at the same time it was kind of surreal looking back at how much I had changed from when I was in middle school compared to my life in college now and how much different everything I post and like is now compared to when I first registered my Facebook account. I would say that Facebook grabbed my attention more so than Google just in the fact that if a random person was looking at both sites information listed about me, they would be able to tell more about me through Facebook’s tracked information. Overall, it was a very eye opening experience looking at all of Facebook’s database of information compiled from my uses on the social media platform.

Although Google may not have been as personal as Facebook was, it was still able to accurately describe some aspects about myself. One of these apsects was not age, as Google was wrong when guessing my age range as 25-34 years of age. There could be many reasons for this, such as my searches matching the criteria of people that fall into those age groups. This would leave me to believe that I search things that relate more to what older people search, but when Google listed my interests they included things such as superhero films and adventure games. Both of these are correct in regards to my interests, but it doesn’t seem like what people in the age range of 25-34 would normally search. However, some of my other interests that were incorrect included things such as parenting and software management. These are not interests of mine, but Google probably interpreted them as my interests due to the volume of searches that included these topics. The reason why these are skewed would probably have to do with my classes, as I have taken parenting and childhood classes in my past as well as chemistry and mathematics. As a whole, Google was able to give a well-rounded sum of my interests and demographics based upon what I searched on the website. This assignment has showed me that life in the digital society can directly relate to your life and it is easy to know a lot about people simply based upon what they search and post to social media websites.

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