Happy Little Internet Points

Social media is a big part of our lives. According to the July 2016 compiled statistics courtesy of SocialMediaNews.com.au, there are at least 15,000,000 Facebook users in Australia. That’s a lot of people using the social media service, even if Dave won’t shut up about not being on it. We get it Dave, you want to be different.

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Annoyed by Dustin and Jennifer Stacey (CC BY 2.0)

 

Let’s talk more about Dave. Dave claims that he’s not on Facebook, because he doesn’t need to tell everyone what he’s doing at all times of the day. Dave likes his privacy. Dave has every right to his privacy, and he’s somewhat justified in his paranoia. In this past year alone, the number of hacks to big file sharing and social media sites just seem to be getting more, and more, and more frequent. Not even Myspace is safe!

Scary, right?

We share so much of ourselves on social media nowadays, that the thought that someone could potentially have access to any of the information that we have posted is quite confronting.

…..Yeah. Like that.

While the image of a hacker gathering all our personal information is rather creepy, and a little Dick-ish (by which I mean Phillip K.), at least it’s in the comfort of their parent’s basement and not in the real world. But think carefully now. How many private moments have you had in public? And now how many of those private moments do you think have ended up as someone else’s social media content?

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Anonymous Hacker by Brian Klug (CC BY-NC 2.0)

 

We use social media as a way to gain social capital, since they have as Hofer (2016) puts it, ‘the potential for users to not only maintain pre-existing relationships, but also to establish new networks with people they have never met before.’

I bring this up because we as humans have a tendency to make the most intimate moments into some sweet content in the pursuit of internet points. DJ Khaled has said that he wants to Snapchat his son’s birth, Robbie Williams tweeted his wife giving birth, and some guy even live-streamed his son being born on Facebook. From the sounds of it, these ladies are better off loving Angels instead. And that’s a major key.

I can point the finger all I like, but to tell the truth, I’m guilty of this myself. Let’s look at some old tweets.

Looking back on these tweets, I’ve realised that I’ve taken something that is incredibly intimate and used it for my own internet points. To those people, I’m really sorry. Pretty Dick-ish move on my part (not the Phillip K. kind).

The positive relationship between narcissism and updating status might be attributable to the fact that narcissistic individuals’ desire for admiration is often satisfied through self-presentation, frequently functions of status updates and posting comments. Both satisfy the narcissistic individuals’ desire to express a high sense of self-importance. (Wang, J 2012)

By positioning myself as the viewer on an intimate moment between two people, I was in essence self-presenting as higher status, and increasing my importance in the story. I didn’t need to be a part of the story at all, but I had created this story about me watching a private moment.

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that the pervasive nature of social media isn’t just between yourself and your screen. Other people have screens too, and there’s a chance you are now a background character in the story that is their lives.

Dave probably has a point.


 

Hofer, M 2016, ‘Perceived bridging and bonding social capital on Twitter: Differentiating between followers and followees, Computers in Human Behaviour, Vol. 29, No. 6 ,  2134-42, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.04.038

Wang, J 2012, ‘The relationships among the Big Five Personality factors, self-esteem, narcissism, and sensation-seeking to Chinese University students’ uses of social networking sites (SNSs)’, Computers in Human Behaviour, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 2313-19, doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.07.001

 

Statistics compiled by SocialMediaNews.com.au for July 2016.
Stats and research courtesy: Vivid Social. Figures correct as of 31/07/16

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6 thoughts on “Happy Little Internet Points

  1. What an awesome post Ben!



    Your conversational writing style made me chuckle about the relevance (and confronting truth) of online governance. It is quite scary to think about…
    In addition, I appreciate your reference to DJ Khaled – perhaps you could hyperlink this for anyone that doesn’t know of his artistic achievements?

    

For future posts, I recommend that you embed and source visuals that enhance your informative text. I was left slightly confused about how “Dave” and the photograph of the grumpy little girl were related.



    Other than that, great read!

    Like

  2. Really great post Ben! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    Social Media does play a major role in the lives of any people and their privacy is constantly at risk without them even knowing. I liked the anecdote you included in your post of you watching a couple on a date and the past tweets you embedded to back it up, it was quite humorous and well set out.

    Your choice of imagery was also well chosen as it referenced your post. However, I do believe your post could use maybe a podcast or YouTube video? I believe that would add more to your post.

    Overall, lovely post and quite humorous.

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  3. You have made some excellent points Ben. As someone who values the privacy of life’s personal moments, it has always intrigued me how people can live stream moments as significant as the births of their children, or their wedding proposals to the world. Your academic references work well to link this tendency to narcissism and the desire for self-importance.

    Your strong use of satire was very effective, although I had to Google the reference to Phillip K. Dick. One thing that could be improved is perhaps more effectively linking ‘Dave’ and the paranoia of social media to the second half – a behavioral study surrounding ‘internet points’ and self-love. Very interesting read. Thanks Ben!

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  4. Ben, this was great! I laughed quite a bit, which was amazing it’s a really great thing to be able to read an academic post and still have it feel light hearted, made for a really easy read. Making points that were relatable is a really modern thing and added to that humour, but yet you also didn’t lack scholarly research, was a perfect balance that I really enjoyed reading. Using the example of ‘Dave’ also brought a realistic vibe and once again that relatability back again. I really cant say I found anything in there that I disliked I thought it was great having the perfect balance between fun and serious.

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  5. Ben, what an enjoyable post to read, and a great area of media surveillance to discuss, one of which I think people today, tend to overlook. In saying that, the title, ‘Happy Little Internet Points’ immediately drew me in, as it boldly stood out from the other blogs listed. I especially liked the way you reflected on your own tweets, drawing from your own personal experiences in relation to life’s personal moments and the value of privacy. One thing I would recommend is that you hyperlink certain names you have used throughout the piece to ensure readers know and trust who you are referring to, which will then better support the insightful points you have made!

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  6. Hey Ben
    It is such an awesome blog post. By looking the blog post, I was enjoyed reading it dues to your style of writing which is easy to read. It is very useful that you provide the facts of what is going on with social media. I like the way that your blog post is logically written because you told the reason of why you decided to pick the topic. Moreover, it contains used of good media resources and reflation from your tweets which told your experience related to the topic

    Like

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