cs492 - Spring 2017

Societal Implications with Computer Science

rpe06 -- The Social Self and the Sociable Self


In an astonishingly short time social networks (SNs) have become an unavoidable feature of the social landscape for "connected" individuals everywhere. They act as an enabler of and substitute for face-to-face interaction. Like television, for which they seem to substitute, they have good and bad effects on their users. For their sponsors, however, it's all gravy: they sell advertising without having to provide costly content.

Team A. The Social Self.

You use social networks in class and on the bus. When you open your laptop you check your Facebook wall. Social networking makes you feel connected. You track everything you do. You think that if NSA can whats to know something about you, that's perfectly fine because you are not doing anything bad. You think that socializing online is better than in person because it allows to build and maintain a positive self-image. SNS help people look more the people they want to be and bring happiness. You can even explain why have you "Liked" your regular supermarket and your landlord.

Team B. The Sociable Self.

You tried using social networks but weren't drawn in. You feel that things that are most interesting about other people take much bandwidth and can only be exchanged in person: their mannerisms, their involvement, the smell of their houses. You like to party, to volunteer and to participate in clubs. You are simply too busy for something like Facebook. You like observing people and making friends. You like puzzles to be deep. You are unconventional. You think Facebook users are missing out on an opportunity to develop their people and research skills, which could lead to fulfilling friendships and careers. With practice you can have a richer self-image, although a less controlled one, by choosing to socialize in real-time.

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