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The purpose of this paper is to examine my personal behavior regarding the use of social media networks. This analysis is critical since more people are currently using different social media platforms than ever before. The essay starts by describing my most important online habits and behaviors. The paper will go further to present a detailed analysis and critique of my online behavior using the concepts, terms, and theories described in class. This description will outline the best practices that should characterize the use of social media (Montopoli, 2013). The discussion will go further to outline specific changes that can be used to improve my online behavior. New recommendations will be presented to protect peoples’ interests and information whenever using online platforms.
Description of Behavior
Modern technological changes have transformed the manner in which people share information. Social media networks are currently making it possible for more people to interact with their friends, relatives, and even strangers (Shirky, 2008). Personally, I have been on the frontline to use different social networks to achieve my goals. I use social media platforms such as YouTube, television channels, and Facebook to follow football updates. Such platforms make it easier for me to watch football live. I have always used Facebook to share football news with my friends across the globe.
Instagram and Facebook help makes it easier for me to follow my favorite soccer players. These online media platforms equip me with current information about the targeted players. This practice has continued to support my personal hobbies and goals. The use of online media informs me about the achievements of my favorite athletes and football clubs across the globe (Bosker, 2013). Different online-based platforms such as YouTube supports to support the needs of many people across the globe. I have been using such websites to watch new and old movies. I use the media platforms to offer my views and responses after watching different films. Similarly, I can use different online media to listen to recorded music. I also listen to MP3 songs and podcasts via different platforms.
I always visit websites such as Facebook and Twitter to acquire new information about the corporate world. These websites present timely news focusing on the goals, strategies, and initiatives associated with different companies. This practice equips me with useful concepts that can support my goals as a businessperson (Jones & Nisbett, 2012). Social media also makes it easier for me to connect with more people and friends in different regions such as Europe.
From this analysis, it is notable that I have been using different social media platforms to pursue my personal goals. This practice makes it easier for me to get current news about different players and organizational initiatives (Shirky, 2008). For example, I have been using social media to learn more about the new products associated with companies such as Apple Incorporation and Samsung Group. This practice makes it easier for me to identify the best smartphones in the market. The use of social media also forces me to interact with thousands of people from different corners of the world. This issue explains why conflicts are unavoidable. It is agreeable that social media brings together more people with diverse expectations and cultural values (Bosker, 2013). This development explains why there are numerous challenges and differences associated with peoples’ online behaviors.
Analysis and Critique
The term social norms refer to a set of behaviors or rules that are accepted in a specific community (Bosker, 2013). Individuals who fail to follow such norms will definitely be ignored or avoided by the other members of society. This concept can be used to describe the use of social media and online platforms. For instance, I always use polite comments and responses whenever using Facebook. Similarly, more people embrace similar ideas in an attempt to promote the existing social norms (Jones & Nisbett, 2012). Individuals who fail to act ethically whenever using different social media platforms will be shunned by their online friends. As a fan of football, I always focus on the most acceptable norms in order to portray desirable online behaviors.
As a user of social media, I have observed that conflicts are evident whenever two or more people disagree over specific issues. For example, cases of prejudice and discrimination might emerge especially when individuals from different racial backgrounds disagree. Consequently, the issue of online shaming becomes evidence. Thaler and Sunstein (2008) define online shamming as a form of “online-based vigilantism whereby the targeted individuals are disgraced whenever using various social media networks” (p. 27).
The other outstanding observation is that human beings who use online networks act in accordance with the cognitive dissonance theory. The theory indicates that human beings will always seek consistency among their opinions and beliefs (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). When the level of inconsistency between the behaviors increases, new changes emerge in an attempt to eliminate the existing dissonance. This theory, therefore, explains why my online behaviors promote the most desirable beliefs and opinions.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The class readings have equipped me with new competencies that have the potential to improve my online behavior. After taking the class, I have understood the importance of acting ethically and focusing on the expectations of the other members of society. For example, I have been ignoring specific comments that can cause tension or result in online shaming. Individuals using social networks should act maturely and in accordance with the existing social norms (Solove, 2007). The consideration of these existing social norms will maximize the benefits associated with the use of different online-based platforms. It is agreeable that many consumers of online-based information encounter a wide range of challenges such as discrimination and prejudice. That being the case, users should be vigilant in order to identify specific comments that can cause animosity.
The formation of online communities should be embraced in order to bring more people together. Members of a specific online community tend to have similar views and expectations. The practice can maximize the benefits of online interactions (Jones & Nisbett, 2012). Users should embrace specific values such as integrity and respect whenever using social media networks. Companies providing such services should collaborate with the users in order to identify new strategies that can maximize the benefits of such social media platforms. For instance, companies such as Facebook should develop a powerful code of conduct to dictate the behaviors of different users. Governments should implement powerful policies to monitor the use of social networks (Montopoli, 2013). Individuals who use social networks to support specific malpractices such as discrimination should be punished. These measures will play a critical role in reshaping the behaviors of many internet users across the globe.
Bosker, B. (2013). Doesn’t this make you so mad? (Now go ‘like’ it). The Huffington Post. Web.
Jones, E., & Nisbett, R. (2012). The actor and the observer: Divergent perceptions of the causes of behavior. Web.
Montopoli, B. (2013). Should there be a ‘right to be forgotten’ online? CBS News. Web.
Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
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Solove, D. (2007). The future of reputation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Thaler, R., & Sunstein, C. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.