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.