Response to L&K – Week5, Chapter 6: Everyday practices of online social networking

new Literacies

New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, is divided into 3 parts;

  • Part 1: New Literacies: Concepts and Theory
  • Part 2: New Literacies: Some Everyday Practices
  • Part 3: New Literacies and Social Learning

Below is my response to Chapter 6, which falls under Part 2.

This week we were given the choice to respond to either chapter 5: Blog and wikis or Chapter 6: Everyday practices of online social networking. I obviously chose chapter 6. Just wanted to clarify why you are not seeing week 5, chapter 5.

Prior to this semester and this course, my online footprint was rather small. Social media sites confused me and with my limited understanding I stayed away from the majority of sites to keep from looking like a complete dummy. I originally joined myspace to stay connected with my group of friends from college. These people knew me and it didn’t matter if I failed at using the site, because they all had probably seen me do far worse. Again, they were COLLEGE friends, doing stupid things together was practically a must. So, when myspace transitioned out and facebook came to the forefront we all switched over. I was comfortable using the site, it met my needs and my little social world was happy. Then I go an decide I want to pursue a master’s and due to the content of this degree my safe little social world had to grow. I had to leave the safety of the people that knew me and venture out into a vast, terrifying, confusing, overwhelming world and not only manage to stay afloat but also not be seen as the dummy I was so afraid of becoming. Well the verdict is still out on whether or not I’m looking stupid in my posts, but I’ve opened the doors and I have left the confinement of my safe little space and I’m exploring this big bad world. This is why I chose to respond to this chapter. Everyday practices of online social networking vary from person to person and also vary based on a specific point in time in a specific persons life. My everyday practices 5 years ago differ a great deal from them today.

This chapter break downs the differences between groups, networks, ‘networked individualism’ and social networking services in everyday life. ‘Groups’ usually are defined as a closely connected people that have many face-to-face interactions with each other and the majority of the people within the group all know each other. A group of people would normally be located in close proximity to the other members of the group. ‘Networks’ are similar but are no longer confined by proximity or time. The members of a network do not necessarily know each other but are still connected in some way. ‘Networked Individualism’ is where a person is involved within a network, but has no real ties to the other members in those networks, nor is proximity or time really a factor. People only get out, what they give in as a network individualism member. There is no support from the other members, the person must actively network to be successful within the network. ‘Online social networking services’ are spaces that are profile driven. To be a member of the service, a person must complete the necessary questionnaire or whatever, sharing information about themselves so other members within the service can learn about the person. A person could be a member of any number of these and their everyday practices within each that they are a member of, will probably vary between them. Just depends on the person and their needs and wants.

As a now active, ok barely active, member of twitter, I feel that I am a member in the Network individualism network. I have to actively follow specific people/groups that interest me in order to get information that is relevant to my interests. As my focal theme for this course is my vegan journey, I have come across many vegan/plant based diet pages, groups, and people. Others within this course have also shared articles and pages with me that have also helped guide this journey. The information, recipes, articles, etc. are now available to me as I have connected with them, but I still need to be active in reading them, commenting on them, liking them, etc. to truly be a member of the conversations. I’m trying, but it really is a lot of work to stay connected and informed.

One question asked of the readers for discussion is: Are dating sites social networking services? On what reasons do you base your decision?

My response is that yes, I feel like dating sites are social networking services. People join them to meet people. To me this is a social service. Members create a profile introducing themselves to the members they are trying to meet, presenting tidbits of themselves hoping to attract someone that has similar interests, goals, desires, etc. I guess a bar on a Friday night could also be a social networking service of sorts, minus the transparent upfront profile but still a means to connect one person with another. The act of being together in a common place/space is practically the definition of social activities, so regardless of the source dating sites, facebook, linkedin, they still belong to a social networking service. People join them to connect in some way with other members of that service.

5 thoughts on “Response to L&K – Week5, Chapter 6: Everyday practices of online social networking

  1. Hi Amelia,

    I think you’re doing great with the Social Media required for this course! It’s always easy to find your tweets and posts and you have organized them well! I agree with your assessment of social networks but I also want to add that I feel like social networks are becoming less about “networking” and more about creating a strong profile (well I guess these two might go together). Take for example LinkedIn, I often get messages that people are “endorsing” me for things I have no skills in (or at least I perceive I don’t have skills in). For example, two people in my network have endorsed me for Public Speaking. To my knowledge I haven’t really done any true “public speaking” in the last few years. I have done some Faculty Development, but no “speeches”. I also have requests in my queue on LinkedIn from family and friends that I have never worked with. I have a hard time accepting them as they don’t really know me in a professional manner. Are people starting to treat all social networks like Facebook? Maybe, or maybe they’re just bored.

    I agree with your response to the question regarding dating sites. I would probably consider most traditional dating sites ( or as a “controlled” social network. I say controlled, because you have to pay to access any of the real features. Would you consider dating apps like Tinder a social network? I’m not sure, you’re not really socially interacting with anyone until you find a person you want to meet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, there are was one things you mention in this blog I want to address:
      “I had to leave the safety of the people that knew me and venture out into a vast, terrifying, confusing, overwhelming world and not only manage to stay afloat but also not be seen as the dummy I was so afraid of becoming.”
      You don’t look like a dummy! Your creations and posts have been great!
      Anyway, the internet is a scary place full of mean people who use it as a means to hurt feelings. So, I relate to your fear of putting yourself out there. Speaking of “putting yourself out there,” I agree that dating websites are a social network. And like social networks, they are becoming more popular. They did have a certain stigma, like they were used by losers who couldn’t find someone in real life. But as the internet becomes more integrated and regular in our lives, I think they are becoming more accepted. They save time. A dating profile can “play the field” while you’re away. You can also pin-point who you want to meet too. I think Tinder could be considered a social network. It doesn’t have all the features as more prominent ones, but you still are able to correspond with people.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lisa for your comment. It is so nice to know that my blog posts are easily found by others. I have a LinkedIn account, but it like many others confuses me. I originally thought it was a place to promote oneself when looking for a job, but I’m finding out that is just a tiny little piece. I have connected with a few friends and family, yes I think some people are using any site as a ‘Facebook’. I probably should use LinkedIn more for professional networking, but I’m just not that comfortable with it yet. It’s one thing to come across silly when posting on Facebook, but I may need to look for another job in the future and I don’t want to say something wrong and have it bite me in the ass when I do need to use it for job posting promoting.

      I’m not familiar with Tinder, so I can’t really respond to your question, but if it eventually leads to making a social connection with someone, then maybe it is still a social networking site at lease for the end result.

      Thanks again for your support, I appreciate it. 🙂


  2. […] Chapter 6, helped me realize that even as a occasional member on social media, I am still a participant in this digital story telling world. I am sharing information about me to whoever whats to know. Mostly this is just shared with my friends, but friends of friends can see it and learn a little bit about me. I am sharing my passions and vegan journey with the ds106 community. I’m tweeting on a weekly basis, well sort of, though I’m sure it is more of a daily or better yet almost hourly platform, but I’m still testing the waters.  I have been a member on online dating sites, though the verdict is still out on whether ot not that was a good idea for me. My everyday practices with social networking was much more than I originally thought and chapter 6 showed me this. L&K – Chapter 6 […]


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