Home » Uncategorized » Personal Connections in the Digital Age by Nancy Byam

Personal Connections in the Digital Age by Nancy Byam

Social media has become a dominant group of web applications and services we use to communicate to each other online. Whether it is for professional, academic, or social purposes, online interactions are common in our society. Face to face communication still exists but is not preferred as much anymore, particularly by technically inclined teenagers and young adults. This book discusses the different technologies used and why we pursue relationships online and how this affects. Many studies are used as examples to further Byam’s point.

Baym discusses the purpose behind us creating personal identities and the dangers behind them. The advantages and disadvantages of online relationships are stated; I thought it was interesting when she mentioned that people are mostly truthful online. Although, you may encounter a bunch if lies through fake profiles, i.e. catfish. However, she believes that this is the wave of the future, even though this may happen to you, other networks and communities are available to you.

Individuals create their own norms and behaviors in their networks or communities by governing themselves. Furthermore, the difference between SNSs’ and online communities are discussed. It was particularly intriguing when Baym raised the question of definition of a community. Many people have different meanings they associate with online communities and there are several factors that are used to define it.

Also, Baym discusses how we have transformed social media and other technologies to serve our interests and personal use. As a society we have been able to overcome a bunch of adversity and adapt to new media and communication ideas. The mirroring of non-verbal cues and how to read someone online is extremely difficult. Baym says that things like emoticons have helped us especially clips of audio and video.

Last, Baym questions the loss of face to face communication, it is definitely happening and more people are okay with isolation. The positives and negatives arguably can be seen equally benefiting or not. Individuals lose their communication skills by rarely participating in face to face interaction however, online interactions increase a more public and diverse chance of meeting someone you would not normally meet physically.

To conclude, technology and communication is always changing. Further down the line these might change and we may have to adapt to a new set of online interactions. However, the current social media technologies being used are common and this is where we pursue many relationships regardless of social aspects. Our norms have changed but it does not take away from the fact that mediated communication is here to stay. Individuals must be cautious when using social media and looking for connections. And as humans we must continue to evaluate and analyze the reasons why we choose digital age communication.

Check these you tube clips out… We thought they were useful and helped briefly explain some points:

by Joslenne Pena and Rondasia Headley


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