HUIN206 Blog Post 3: Explore a social network
For this assignment, I chose to register at the popular social network Facebook, and explore the different possibilities this site can offer. Facebook is free, and seems to be quite popular among students for getting in touch with one another. You will be able to create your own profile, with a list of your interests and upload photographs to it. You can then get links to your friends profiles, and they will link to your profile, thus creating a network of friends.
A lot of problems currently exist regarding social networks. People often have friends within many varios social circles. We often change our behaviour according to what social situation we currently are in. You would for instance not talk and behave the same way amoung your parents that you do around your friends. To make a profile on a social network, will often mean that you will have to mix your different social roles together, or focus more on one role than the other. There could for example be different issues you would want to share with your drinking buddies, but that would not be appropriate for your co-workers at the office or your boss to find out about.
Some sites, like for instance Ecademy that is focusing on business relations, try to limit out the social context it is meant to be used within, thus solving this problem. However, many might find it too much of a workload to have to register to a different social network for each social context they might be involved in. Another solution to the context issue might be an option to make restrictions on your content, so that certain information can only be accessed by people within the specific context it is filed within.
Another problem would be that you are giving out too much information abouth yourself within the social network, and that people might abuse this information. Another person could for example claim to be you, based on the information that is available.
Advantages, on the other hand, and the main purpose of social networks for that matter, would be that it makes it much easier for people to get in touch with one another and thus expanding ones social network. You can find new friends based on common interests, or get in touch with people that are aprt of your friends social networks. One could call it: “Become friends with the friends of my friends.”