Blog #5- Partner Surveillance

For this blog assignment, Dr. Billinson asked the class to research information about a classmate.  She paired me up with student Kyle Neumann. Searching his name on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn led me in discovering who is Kyle Neumann.  I came to learn about his social network of friends on Facebook, his vine videos on Twitter, and his job history and academic achievements on LinkedIn.  Simply typing his name on Google in learning his social media presence made the process easy for anyone can type a person’s name in a search engine and unlock his or her social media accounts (unless they have blocked their accounts from prying eyes).  One surprising feature I learned on Facebook was the ability to copy and paste photos onto another document. Wow! I didn’t know that was possible.  This implies that anyone can use photos negatively in an attempt to diminish someone’s self-worth and reputation.
Kyle wrote an assessment on my social media presence and he learned more about me as much as I learned about him.  He mentions my educational journey starting from Bethel High School until my current junior status at Christopher Newport University.  He states it was difficult for him to locate personal information about me for I limit what I post on the web (I don’t post pictures of myself on social networking sites, though a few appear because my friends have posted them). He was able to find my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts though, but they were the only two profiles he was able to find; although I do have a Facebook account.  What surprised me was his statement about me being a self-driven and motivated individual-didn’t expect him to say that about me.  His assessment about me is accurate and fully represents me for I believe he did a thorough search.
Social Media, as a whole, can allow anyone can peek into someone’s profile and gain knowledge of that individual.  It can be beneficial and detrimental simultaenously for it gives us the freedom to post whatever we please and invite others into our on-line community, but also offers them the ability to use our personal information, photos and videos to tarnish our reputation.  As we have observed watching the movie Terms and Conditions May Apply, we learn about the obligation-and burden-of complying with user agreement forms and how these documents use our information to not only (supposedly) improve their goods and services to us, but to add a layer of protection.  Sometimes, our carelessness and inattention to the fine print can cost us our privacy and sense of security.  Are you willing to surrender your personal information to social media sites for them to advertise their goods and services to you on any site you visit? What are you willing to submit? These are two important questions we need to ask ourselves.

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