image reference: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/15-strategies-educators-can-use-to-stop-cyberbullying/
This week’s topic on sharing information and identity in cyberspace is something that I found to have important information that everyone should know. I will start by relating it to myself and then how it ties in with bullying in social networking sites.
To start off, I have many social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and recently LinkedIn. While doing assignments (such as this one) I find myself opening many“windows” (Turkle, 1999) and cycling through virtual environments (p. 644) such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. I find myself procrastinating on homework and other school related activities while trying to focus on social networks at the same time. I feel the need to multi-task because I don’t always have time to keep up with old friends. This has not only taken a toll on my grades, but also on my social life. This is in close regards to what Turkle states as the “Goldilocks effects” (2012). It is an addicting nuisance that I feel obligated to check because it is easy to communicate and see what’s happening in others lives. This helps me with communicating with them and putting minimal effort in order to keep in touch with them.
I was always a big fan of Facebook but always managed to control personal information that went up from when I first started using Facebook when it came out. I managed to control posts, pictures, by tweaking privacy settings or I would only post what would be acceptable in terms of my families’ standard, as they would be part of this social network that we shared. I would “un-tag” myself from pictures that I thought would be inappropriate so others on my Facebook wouldn’t be able to see it but I still could. Being under constant surveillance taught me to be cautious of what I posted online because they did have consequences especially in my life in terms of what my parents knew or didn’t. This was applicable to them and the outside world of who would be able to access my information, I was always wary and would falsify some of it or have it so that the information was broad (nickname instead of full name).
In relation to bullying, social networking sites are a common location in which communication through cyberspace can result in bullying. Youth are at risk of not knowing the dangers that lurk on the web. If a child is being cyber bullied, it can consume their life with endless hours spent on online social networks talking to strangers they call friends. That is because the religiously using online social networking is empowering (Albrechtslund, 2008) and this power can be taken away if someone posts things about the child that hurt them or controls them (blackmailing) because they have all their information, which can affect their mental health. As parents, many have not taught their children to be cautious while surfing the net or that they don’t realize what online social networks their children are using. However, every child needs to be trained to understand what lurks on the internet may hurt them and to not give out personal information or passwords that could be vital for their safety and health (Albrechtslund, 2008).
The moral of this story is while communicating on online social networks, everyone should take precaution to what they reveal about themselves. Any lurkers, predators can find you based off your personal information so limit yourself when filling out those “about me” sections. Also, make time to socialize with people in real life without communicating on social networking sites all the time, because I know I should!
Cyberspace and Identity Sherry Turkle Contemporary Sociology Vol. 28, No. 6 (Nov., 1999), pp. 643-648
Sherry Turkle. The Flight From Conversation. New York Times Sunday Review. April 21, 2012
Places we don’t want to go: Sherry Turkle at TED2012
Albrechtslund, A. (2008) “Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance.” First Monday. 13,3.