Post #19: Response to “Growing Up Online”

#1 In what ways would you need to change your routine in order to disconnect yourself from all media (i.e. no TV, no Internet, etc.) What problems would you encounter if you unplugged for one day? One week? One month?

In order to disconnect myself from all media (i.e. no TV, no Internet, etc.), I would spend more time outside then at home or find a new hobby that is not related to the media because the only reason why I watch TV and use the Internet is because I get bored. Not only this, but I would read the newspaper and magazines more frequently so that I could get updated with current events while refraining from surfing the web. I would also have to make more phone calls so that I can make up for the instant messages and emails I used to send. 

I would not encounter many problems if I unplugged for a day or a week, but problems would occur if I unplug for a month. I would not be able to communicate with the school, colleges and friends through emails, I would have to handwrite my college applications, I would not be able to do homework like writing blogs and researching, I would have to use my phone much more than I already do, I would have trouble participating in group projects by not being able to instant message my friends, and so on. Unplugging is problematic. 

#2 How many hours per week do you estimate you spend on Facebook or similar personal networking sites? What are the benefits and disadvantages of using these sites?

I do not spend many hours per week on Facebook or similar personal networking sites. The most time I spend on these sites is about 30 minutes per week. I use networking sites like Facebook because these sites allow me to stay connected with friends that I don’t see everyday, kill time and entertain myself by playing games, socialize with friends, and meet new people from all over the world. The disadvantages of these sites are that they help me waste time and they publicize my life among my friends.

#3 To what extent are you aware of viral marketing, the use of “advertorials” (presenting advertisements as editorial content), or direct marketing on Facebook and other social networking sites?

I am not aware of viral marketing because I do not use social networking sites often. The most I do is play games and message my friends. I do not read advertisements or anything else on those sites. But I know how to distinguish advertorials from advertisements. 

#4 Personal response based on your individual viewing of “Growing Up Online”.

Although I am not an enthusiastic user of social networking sites, through “Growing Up Online,” I have realized the impact the media has on the lives of today’s teenagers. It was surprising that the Internet could control a teenager’s life, publicize his or her lives, and allow somebody to be another person and whatnot. “Growing Up Online” told me that the Internet could be a dangerous place. Although commonly used for research or communication, “Growing Up Online” showed the possible dangers of the Internet and especially social networking sites. 

“Growing Up Online” also showed how parents and teachers were working to stop the harmful things occurring on the web, but I believe that the things that occur online to today’s teenagers cannot be stopped like how crimes cannot be stopped. I think the Internet is just another world like the one we are living in that includes both violence and peace despite the fact that teenagers act differently online. I believe that the boy who committed suicide would have committed suicide even though he did not read about it online and that the black girls at the high school would have fought even though the fight did not start online. 

At our school, from what I know, the media does not affect students as much as it affects students in the states. My friends do not pick fights, talk to strangers, or read about suicide online. “Growing Up Online” showed me another side of the media that had not pertained to me. I think “Growing Up Online” was more focused on white and black teens who attend public schools in the U.S.

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