Race, ethnicity and class play a major role in our society today, as well as in the past. It has especially affected technology through social networks. Some social networks like Facebook and MySpace have greatly influenced the types of people that belong to these social networks. I always wonder why I joined these social websites in the first place.
I know that I joined these sites because of the type of people that were on them. My friends and family were all using these networks to keep in touch with each other. MySpace was first introduced to me in 2004 I believe and I have seen the change in people it has since. It was mainly directed towards the younger generation of teenagers before, and as we grew older, we grew out of MySpace and went to the more mature network, Facebook.
“Real-life” is reflected and also changes in online social networks for many reasons. Because of the heavy usage form the general public, companies started doing their advertising on these networks. Schools, students, and even parents use these websites to connect to what the most recent updates are.
Now I know I didn’t not join these sites just because of class, race, or gender, but only because I did it to keep in touch with the updates in my social groups. This is how social networks can affect real life. It’s easy to start conversations on these social networks that actually mean something. Many people have made awareness groups and more to get things noticed because the web is viewed WORLDWIDE. Basically you have the freedom of speech for everyone to hear and respond to on these networks.
Some questions that came up to me in the readings were why do these types of networks exist? Who joins them? What types of people do their networks attract?
I guess the simple answers to these questions are that the social networks exist for the sole purpose of entertainment, spread of information and socialization among all types of people.
Many of these social networks attract mainly white people, or so it seems, but with my own encounter in the social websites, I generally stick with my own ethnic group. I notice that there is a lot of differences between my ethnic group, Mexican, and other ethnicities that are portrayed in the networks. I believe that a lot has to do wit influences within the culture. This can lead to social divisions and even negative conduct among social networks.
Although that race, class and ethnicity are independently functional, the dependence on one another is greatly impacted between them all. The social networks help these influences bring people together virtually rather than in “real-life”. I think that the certain standards among these ethnicities and races are greatly impacted by the networks and they happen to lessen the divide among people. This opens up doors to new diversity and opportunities in the web based life.
The power of the social networks is unquestionable because they help unite groups together that would not normally be able to socialize in real life. social networks are definitely transforming the ways in which we socialize, and have made face to face interaction less uncomfortable to a certain level.
I found an interesting link on facebook vs. myspace that might show how the demographics from one influence the other, or don’t.