The Flaws of Social Networks

I tend to disagree with Patricia Lange's article "Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube." It is my understanding that privacy is very easy to maintain on that particular social network. It seems pretty straightforward. You decide the content of your video and what personal information you will release. It is not like Facebook or Mypace where people can upload compromising pictures of one another without the individual's knowledge or permission. Besides that fact, I feel most people are using YouTube to promote themselves to a celebrity or iconic status, I guess people will do just about anything to get their fifteen minutes of fame. Any person keeping a personal diary on YouTube is looking for attention. Sure it is a great way to keep in touch with people abroad but there are other ways of keeping in touch. There is always e-mail or writing a hand written letter, or conducting one of those on-line video chats. Either way, there should be no complaint about the lack of privacy on YouTube.

As far as friend requests go, it seems as if these social networks are redefining our friendships, especially with things like Top Friends lists. Initially, Myspace did not even offer a way around this potentially awkward situation. You were stuck with the choice of either legitimately ranking your friends or adding a bunch of bands or celebrities to your friend's list. A top friend's list that includes family (brothers, sisters, and cousins) is usually accepted, but then there is the dreaded chore of deciding who else should be put on it. The process of going through a list of friends and deciding who would be hurt if you did not include them in your top 8 can be very stressful. High school is difficult enough with the constant barrage of stresses and pressures like trying to fit in let alone ranking your friends.

More interestingly is how social networks are used to connect a whole network of people with like interests. Whether it be enjoying the same clips of a comedian they found on YouTube or some Facebook application involving a sports team or favorite television show, social networks are doing their part to make the world a whole lot smaller. They are the great equalizer bringing together people from different races, economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, political ideals and other differences in one place to discuss openly various topics of interest. But in this electronic world where no rules seem to apply, is it safe? Everyone knows the Internet is the new frontier, the proverbial Wild West. Plenty of pedophiles join social networks for the same reason young teenagers do, to meet people/potential victims. Is it right then for the various social network systems to divulge so much personal information? Especially when it is so hard to take care of yourself and your privacy situations.

I agree with you the whole YouTube thing. My feeling is that Lange was just trying to write something interesting, because why would somebody use YouTube to network when so many other better options exist. I feel like when somebody is using Youtube for social networking, it seems more like advertising. And have you ever seen some of the video journals, they are terrible. I hope nobody watches them.