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SocialMediaareagroupofInternetbasedapplicationsthatbuildonthe

ideologicalandtechnologicalfoundationsofWeb2.0,whichallowsthecreation
and exchangeofusergeneratedcontent.AsofJune 2010,22%oftimespent
online(oroneineveryfourandahalfminutes)isspent usingsocialmediaandblog
sitesworldwide(SocialNetworks/BlogsNowAccount forOneinEveryFouranda
HalfMinutesOnline,2010).Theglobalaveragetime spentperpersononsocial
mediasitesisnownearlyfiveandahalfhourspermonth.Popularsocialmedia
includeFacebook,Twitter, LinkedIn,YouTube,Flickr,andTumblr.

Facebook
FacebookisasocialnetworkservicelaunchedinFebruary2004.Asof
January2011ithasmorethan600millionactiveusers. Accordingto
Mashable.com: Facebookisasocialutilitythathelpspeoplecommunicatemore
efficiently withtheirfriends,familyandcoworkers.Thecompanydevelops
technologiesthatfacilitatethesharingofinformationthroughthesocial graph,the
digitalmappingofpeople'srealworldsocialconnections.Anyone cansignupfor
Facebookandinteractwiththepeopletheyknowinatrusted environment.
Facebookisapartofmillionsofpeopleslivesandhalfofthe usersreturndaily
(retrieved2/26/2011).

Twitter
Twitter describesitselfasarealtimeinformationnetworkthatconnects
youtothelatestinformationaboutwhatyoufindinteresting.Amicroblogging
site,Twitterallowsuserstosendoutmessagesinshortspurtsofupto140
characterspertweet.Userscanfollowotherusersorcommunicateby

searching forhashtags,useridentifiedkeywordsthatcluereadersintowhat
othersthinkisimportant.TwitterisbasedinSanFrancisco,butit'susedbypeople
innearlyeverycountryintheworld,andisavailableinEnglish,French,German,
Italian,Japanese,andSpanish.AsofSeptember2010,thereare175million
registeredusersandanaverageof95milliontweetswritteneachday(retrieved
February25,2011). Twitterisanextremelypersonalmethodofcommunication.
Usersmust chosewhomtheyfollow,andthuscreateauniqueexperiencethatis
specificto them. Likeemailorthetelephone,Twitterisanonprescriptive
communication platform.Eachuserexperiences"Twitter"differentlydepending
onthetime ofdayandfrequencyshechecksherfeed,theotherpeopleshefollows,
and theinterface(s)sheusestoaccessthenetwork.Becauseofthisflexibility,
normsemerge,mutate,collide,andfadeawayamongTwitteruserswitha fluidity
thatmaynotbeeasilyapprehend abletoanonuser. Oneofthestrengthsof
Twitteristhatitcanbeaccessedusingcomputersor mobilephones,makingita
lightweightmethodofcommunicatingduringcrisis.

YouTube
AccordingtoMashable.com,YouTube,foundedinFebruary2005,isthe
leaderinonlinevideo,andthepremierdestinationtowatchandshareoriginal
videosworldwidethroughaWebexperience.YouTubeallowspeopletoeasily
uploadandsharevideoclipsonwww.YouTube.com andacrosstheInternet
through websites,mobiledevices,blogs,andemail(retrievedFebruary25,
2011).YouTube changedthewaypeoplesharevideosbecauseitcreatedasimple
waytoshare otherwisecumbersomeandlargevideofiles.BeforeYouTube,itwas
difficultto sharevideowithalargenumberofpeople.
TheInfluenceoftheMedia
Socialmediatoolshavebeenpraisedfortheabilitytoreachmanypeople,but
thetransitionfromreachtoactionisdebated.Infact,theargumentoverwhetheror
notthemediainfluencessocialchangeisnotnew.Intheir1948study,Lazarfeldand
Mertonarguedthatthemassmediacancauseaudiencestobecome
knowledgeable aboutasubject,buttakenoaction. Thus,they arguedthatmedia
createnosocialchange,butinsteadworkstoenforceexisting socialvalues.For
example,thoughtelevision,newspapers,andothermediareach massive
amountsofpeople,itisimpossibletotellthesocialandpsychological impactthat
thiscauses

Accordingtothestudy,inventionsthatenlargetheradiusofmovementand
actionliketheautomobilehaveagreatereffectonsocietythaninventionsthat
provideavenuesforideasideaswhichcanbeavoidedbywithdrawal,deflected
by resistance,andtransformedbyassimilationliketelevision,radio,or
computers. Thisisbecauseinventionsthatprovideavenuesforideascanlull
peopleintoa falsesenseofcomplacencytheycanmistaketheirbeinginformed
forbeing engaged,andconsequentlydonothing. Thisideamayeasilybeapplied
tosocialmediaonecanseehowtheoverabundanceofinformationstreamingon
aTwitterfeed,forexample,couldbringa personnottowardsaction,butover
stimulationorafalsesenseofunderstanding.
Forexample,apersonmightlearnaboutthemassiveearthquakerelief
effortson Twitter,butnotbecompelledtodonatebecauseofthefeelingthatthey
arealready involved. Withsomuchinformationavailableinaninstant,itisdifficult
toknowwhat topayattentiontointhefirstplace.KovasBoguta,acofounderof
Infoharmoni,a companythatanalyzesInternetdata,asks,HowdoesanInternet
junkie,news organization,orpoliticaloperativemonitorrapidlyevolvingreal
timeevents,from thecrucialdetailstothebiggerpicture?Moreimportantly,how
canadatastreambe turnedintorealtimeaction,reachingthepeoplewhoneedit,
whentheyneedit,and inaformtheycaneasilydigest. Inthisway,socialmediais
differentfromtelevision,newspapers,orradiobecauseaneditordoesnotfilterthe
informationstreamedonsocialmedia.Thisgivesavoicetothosewhomaynot
otherwisehaveone,butthosevoicesmaybeconsideredunreliable.
CulturalDifferencesinSocialMediaUse
SocialmediasiteslikeFacebookareusedbymanydifferentcountriesand
cultures,butnotnecessarilyinthesameway.Studieshaveshownthatcultural
differencesprofoundlyimpactthewaypeopleusesocialmedia. Onestudy
identifiedfiveareasinwhichculturaldifferencesaffected communication:
design,language,languagesubtleties,Internetperformance,and facesand
avatars.Thistellsusthatthoughpopularsiteslike FacebookandTwittermaybe
usedbymanydifferentcultures,theymaybeutilizing orunderstandingthe
featuresindifferentways. AnotherstudyusedtheGeertHofstedeframeworkto
examinesocialmedia useacrossdifferentcultures.Thisframework defines
nationalculturesusingfive dimensionsPowerDistance(PDI),Individualism
(IDV),Masculinity(MAS), UncertaintyAvoidance(UAI),andLongTerm
Orientation(LTO).Differentcultures havedifferentlevelsofthesedimensions.

LegitimacyofSocialMedia
Onereasonwhysocialmediacoverageofcrisisorrevolutionmaybesucha
popularsourceofinformationisthattheremaybelittleornootherwaytogetthe
informationthatisbroadcastusingsocialmedia.Forexample,AlJazeeraEnglish,
whichofferscoverageoftheMiddleEast,oftenwhennoothermediawillorcan,is
notcarriedbyanymajorAmericancableorsatellitecompanies,andcanonlybe
foundonafewsmallcablesystemsinWashington,D.C.,Ohio,andVermont. For
alltheattentionsocialmediahasgottenfromthemedia,government officialsmay
havebeenignoringit.AfterthecrisiseruptedinEgypttheCIAwas accusedofnot
givingPresidentObamaenoughwarningtimetoprepareforthe seriousnessof
thecrisis.SeniorU.S.lawmakersusedaSenatehearingtoaccusethe CIAofbeing
slowtograsptheopensourcerevolution(GregMiller,2011)Thismarksan
importantpartofthedebateovertheusefulnessofsocialmediainacrisis.Social
mediaisatransparentformofcommunicationthatischangingthewaypeople
receiveandinteractwithnewsandinformation,butone thatisonlynowbeingseen
aslegitimate. TheDigitalDivide Oneofthebiggestconcernswhenanalyzingthe
effectofsocialmediauseon socialchangeisthequestionofwhohasaccesstothe
Internet.Thedigitaldivide describesthepotentialforadividebetweenthose
connectedtotheInternetand thosenotconnected,sometimeswordedasthe
dividebetweentheinformation have'sandhave'snot.Anillustrationofthis
problemcanbeseen ina2010mapoftheworldasshownbyFacebookusers(see
AppendixA). Figure3showsInternetusersintheworlddistributedbyworld
regions.We canseethatAfricaaccountsforonly5.6%oftheworldsInternetusers
andthe MiddleEastonly3.2%. Figure3 showsInternetusers WorldInternet
UsageStatisticsNewsandWorldPopulationStats, 2010) Ifthemajorityofa
populationdoesnothaveaccesstotheInternet,thesuccessof socialmediause
forsocialchangeeffortswillclearlybelimited.

SOCIAL MEDIA IN BUILDING AWARENESS OF RESPONSIBLE


CONSUMPTION
Shaping the attitudes of responsible consumption becomes more and
more important nowadays. In the face of worsening environmental
conditions of the world, and thus climate change, the problem of waste
disposal, increasing pollution, etc., but also the economic crisis is an
important issue. Development of environmental awareness, or more
broadly - promotion of the idea of sustainable development has become a
goal, or a policy of not only governments and NGOs. It is also more often
reflected in the activities of companies as corporate social responsibility, as
well as among themselves-consumer activists.
The authors adopted an approach that attitude of responsible
consumption is manifested in rational consumer purchases (meaning
reasonable satisfaction of consumption needs), reducing the amount of
waste, reuse of waste products, such as packaging (eg. by giving them a
new function) and choosing fair trade products. It is also important to
promote sharing and exchanging products between consumers. In short
words, these activities can be described as slogan: rethink, reuse, reduce,
recycle .
Nevertheless, the communication of responsible consumption
attitudes to the public encounters certain specific problems (Scholl 2010).
On one hand, it is still a significant lack of awareness, as well as on
environmental conviction proceedings, which is regarded as too time-

consuming and labor-intensive (to reach the eco products), or expensive.


Authors on the basis of available resources will try to extract and present
the spectrum of the problem.
In forming the above-mentioned behavior various tools can be used.
Until recently main roles played typical actions through the mass media.
Now we can see a trend, in which such communication uses more and
more non-standard forms of advertising, thus trying to draw attention to this
problem. The organizations used for example: an ambient marketing, buzz
marketing, and viral marketing concepts and tools. The authors propose to
use activities in social media for reaching mentioned goal. Such media in
the last few years has become very popular and permanently inscribed in
the daily reality of the consumer.
The authors assume that the actions in social media in shaping
responsible consumption are more effective than those run offline.
However, these actions (through subtle character) act more on the sub
consciousness, resulting with consumer behavior typical of the attitude of
responsible consumption while not identifying with it and without being
aware of it.
This paper present the results of qualitative research based on virtual
ethnography. The analysis will include such portals as: Facebook.com,
Pinterest.com and Youtube.com. These are the three main aggregators
considered by users to be interesting in terms of: content, photos and
video.
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA HAS CHANGED US
Mike Laurie, a digital and social media planner for Made By Many, a
London agency working with companies to build digital and social
presence, is also a contributing writer on Mashable.com. In his 2010 article,
How Social Media Has Changed Us, he argues that social media has
made a long-lasting and profound effect on society in general, but
particularly in six areas. These six areas are:
Child literacy. It argues that children who read and write more are
better at reading and writing; crafting blog posts, status updates, text
and instant messages all motivate children to read and write

Ambient intimacy. Modes of communication have saturated our


lives so completely, that information becomes easily accessed and
ambient around us.
Knowledge. Distribution of and access to information is made nearly
effortless and instantaneous in the digital age that argues that
knowledge and information is truly available for anyone who wishes
to access it.
The reinvention of politics. It suggests that Twitters recent impact
on the Iran elections and Barack Obamas election is due to young
peoples interest in social media (para. 9). Both social media and
politics are fast-paced, which links the two fundamentally.
Marketing flux. The marketing and advertising industries are shifting
their focus to engagement and conversation through social media,
which in turn, gives consumers more power and choice
News as cultural currency. Social media has forced the audience to
become active participants in the news gathering process. It argues
that consumers now create information networks that tell others what
were interested in and what's important to us
Most pertinent to this thesis, Laurie talks about the recent
democratization of knowledge and a shift in media culture. He states these
days, Wikipedia and Google have democratized information to the point
where anyone is able to acquire the knowledge 4 they may want.
Importantly, he also addresses the distribution of news as a profound effect
of social media culture: Were no longer lazy consumers of passive
messages. Instead were active participants. We now get news through the
network weve created, and the news we pass to one another says
something about us
Overall, Laurie concludes that social media only makes consumers more
social, saying that We are more engaged with friends, we are more
literate, more connected, more open to creating new relationships, and
generally more interested in the world around us Inadvertently, social
media has a profound effect on the role of traditional journalism, as well. In
his article, From TV to Twitter: How Ambient News Became Ambient
Journalism, Alfred Hermida (2010) writes that non-linear, many-tomany
digital communication technologies have transferred the means of media
production and dissemination into the hands of the public, and are rewriting

the relationship between the audience and journalists. Hermida suggests


that professional and citizen journalists may, in fact, share jurisdiction over
the news selection, distribution and interpretation processes .
Many public places display 24-hours news channels continuously,
making news readily accessible, and therefore ambient, allowing people to
remain aware as they continue their daily routines. In a shift towards
ambient journalism, with Twitter as a catalyst, Hermida states Twitter
becomes part of an ambient media system where users receive a flow of
information from both established media and from each other. He
suggests also that the role of the traditional journalist changes in an
ambient journalism environment: the thousands of acts of journalism
taking place on Twitter every day make it impossible for an individual
journalist to identify the collective sum of knowledge contained in the micro5 fragments, and bring meaning to data. Rather gathering,
understanding and disseminating the news becomes a social and collective
experience instead of a one-tomany form of communication.

DOS AND DONTS

Social Networking sites and application are an increasingly entwined


part of our everyday lives. We use them to communicate with friends and
family all over the globe, to chat with friends down the hall to decide where
to eat, to network for jobs, and to connect with others with similar interests.
However, much like any other part of the internet, social networks can
be frought with serious security risks, both for your person, and your data.
Many social networks will tell you that the more you put into them
(your information), the more you get out of them (connections,
recommendations, etc.). However, despite the aura of privacy they try to
engender, one must keep in mind that social network takes place in
essentially public space, with only the barest of mechanisms providing any
semblance of privacy. Even seemingly innocuous data shared with the
world can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

The best attitude to take in order to enjoy the benefits of social


networking, while minimizing the inherent risks, is to
remain SKEPTICAL and CAUTIOUS.
DO

Use a strong password.


Use privacy settings. Insist your friends use theirs too.
o
NEVER leave anything but the bare minimum as publically
available. Make sure only your accepted friends or followers can see what
you put up.
o
Even then leaks, hacks, and privacy policy revisions are not
unheard of. Don't assume what you do post IS secure, despite the settings.

Use HTTPS to connect to your social networking sites whenever


possible, especially when connecting from a public hotspot. Be wary if your
social networking service only uses HTTP for login credentials only.

Whenever possible, organize contacts into "categories".


o
Most of us do this between friends and family anyway, but from
a security standpoint it might also make sense to separate "best friends"
from "person I met yesterday afternoon"

Verify friend/follower requests.


o
Don't accept just anyone. Most scams start by someone bluffing
their way onto your friends list. KNOW who you're sharing your information
with.

Verify links, attachments, downloads, emails, anything sent to you.


o
Even your trusted friends could've had their accounts hacked.
Don't wire that "emergency money" until you can voice-verify.

Investigate exactly what information any third-party add-ons, games,


extensions, etc. will be privy to.
o
Does that poker game REALLY need access to your contacts
list?

Read up on the security tips and instructions provided by the Social


Network itself, as well as what trusted security professionals and sources
have to say.

DON'T

Give away your password or use the same password for any other
services.
o
If a leak at Facebook causes your password to become public,
you don't want a hacker being able to use that same password to log into
your Gmail or Courseworks.

Put in any more information than you absolutely have to.


o
You should never put in more information about yourself than
absolutely necessary. Hackers, scammers, stalkers all use that information
to do anything from guess answers to your security-questions, to
impersonating you when trying to scam another user.
o
On that same note, be careful how much live information you're
putting out there. Don't advertise when you're going on vacation, when your
possessions might be left unattended, that super expensive thing you just
left the store with, etc.
o
Also be aware of auto-geotagging. Some services will
automatically tag your status updates with GPS information. If you don't
want everyone to know where you are, make sure your social networking
service doesn't turn on this "feature" for your "convinience" automatically.

Upload anything you wouldn't want everyone to see.


o
Assume that anything you put up will be revealed to the internet
at large at some point, whether through hack, leak, or privacy policy
change.
o
Nothing is ever really gone from the internet. Even if you delete
a picture from your account, it's still sitting on Facebook's server
somewhere.
o
In a professional setting, be mindful of inadvertently letting slip
sensitive information that could harm your company or get you fired (new
security software, procedures, etc).
OTHER DOS AND DONTS TO HAVE A POSITIVE SOCIAL MEDIA
EXPERIENCE
The Donts:
Dont be fake.
Yeah, we know. Social media is basically a smoke screen for people to
hide behind. But youve got to admit, its exhausting to try to keep up

appearances. Be yourself. Your friends sent requests based on


the real you. Thats who they want to see online.
Dont share sadness.
Be real, yes, but keep the depressing posts to a minimum. Having all
of your friends and family in one place means making general
announcements or requesting prayer is easy. Thats a great use of
social mediajust dont let it become your dumping ground.
Dont believe everything you read.
If Facebook is your primary source of news, its time to branch out.
Consider the author of each post, article or blog you readand read it
carefullybefore accepting information as truth and stamping your
approval on the content.
Dont avoid other tasks.
Hopping on Instagram for a few minutes is fun. Scrolling for an hour is
a waste of time. Make sure your social media use isnt simply a
diversion from other more important things like chores and
relationships. We have to maintain balance.
Dont be a know-it-all.
If you really want to make the most of your online presence, this tip is
key. The distance between one computer and the next gives us a level
of confidence that could easily morph into arrogance. Resist the urge
to be a know-it-all in your posts, comments and messages.
The Dos:
Do be selective.
You dont have to accept every friend request that comes your way. Its
okay to restrict your Facebook friends list to people you actually know
and only follow Instagram accounts with pictures you actually want to

see. Hey, your Twitter account can even be educational if youll just
get choosy.
Do model good behavior.
Our online activity may feel private, but we all know it leaves a
permanent mark. Thats why we should consider our social media
accounts as a future lesson for our kids. If theyre not watching now,
they will be soon enough. Always model good online behavior.
Do promote your work.
Social media offers many ways to grow the reach of your business.
Were all for taking advantage of these benefits as long as you do it
the right way. Instead of harassing family and friends through your
personal account, create a new account for your business and allow
the traffic to grow organically. Then youll know that all of your
followers are genuinely interested.
Do practice positivity.
If you like a post, like it! Got an encouraging word to say? Go ahead
and comment. Post a story, video or picture thats bound to make
people smile. If youre going to act impulsively on social media, let this
be the way you do it.
Do move toward face-to-face interaction.
For some relationships, the occasional online conversation is enough.
For others, social media should just be the starting point. Use your
online connections to schedule group outings or lunch with a friend.
Relationships grow best when they happen face to face.
If all else fails, remember to ask yourself when posting, commenting or
sending a message: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

REFERENCES
http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/12976/Auxier_umd_0117N_
13197.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
http://www.toknowpress.net/ISBN/978-961-6914-02-4/papers/ML13-330.pdf
http://mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1243&context=etd
http://www.stewardship.com/articles/10-dos-and-don-ts-for-a-positivesocial-media-experience
https://cuit.columbia.edu/cuit/it-security-resources/social-networking-dosdonts