Social Media

Hello, oops sorry! I mean Ello

Global internet by renjith krishnanI can tell you, Social Media is changing our lives no doubt about that. When we finally get it, yes we have thousand of followers on Twitter, we have many friends on Facebook, we have a blog, a website then, something new is coming up. So the only rule seem no rules, the message that Social Media and Tech Company are giving us is like: Hey! Don’t waste your time any longer in this, because we are going to change it. One perfect example of this is Facebook, how many times do they change the terms and policies of private or whatever they decide? Do not talk about how do they sell our private information…to talk about that I should write another article.

Now if you are opening a Facebook Page and you want to promote it yourself, you just waste your time, not followers at all will appear. Everything is made for you to spend money in Facebook advertisement, it seems the only way, but is it fair?

Some people think is fair, because is a company, a business and they have to find ways to get more money. Facebook is now working on a new version for 2015 “Facebook at Work”. This is going to help employee to work together in projects, have chats in real-time. For the beginning they will not charge you for advertisement, you know to catch new clients and followers, but if you have a business and you want to go there, you should go through a registration process. It supposes going to be complete independent from the Facebook Family & Friends. With this announcement LinkedIn should be scare! Maybe, but we will see what happen.

But, the thing is out there still a group of people who do not like Facebook at all, do not have profile and they think Facebook abuse us with all these advertisement campaigns. This people like “Ello” better know as The Anti-Facebook, What do they claim? “Your Social Network is owned by advertisement. Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold (…) you are not a product” Ello Manifesto

We should take a break and think more about what we share, who is taking our data and why. We should be a Social Community that uses their power to put boundaries even to Facebook. I love Social Media, I think they are great, but I just want to share with you my reflection about to consider others ways to balance our lives and finally to really have the control of theirs, because at the end is our live, no Facebook, Twitter o someone else live.

Photo By Renjith krishnan, Courtesy of Free Digital Photos 

Copyright © 2014 María Eugenia Fanti. All rights reserved. 

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Generation Z: children and young adults in a virtual world

For our children, it is very strange to hear stories about black-and-white television; for them it is difficult to understand that before, if you missed your favorite program you could not return to watch it. They belong to what is now known as “Generation Z” which includes a group of children that were born from 1995 to the present. They are characterized by their reliance on technology and living in a virtual world.


Internet by Stuart MilesBy María Eugenia Fanti

New technologies changed the way in which generation Z communicates and the manner in which they understand the world. One of these changes is what Fernando Núñez Noda, a specialist in Digital Journalism and New Technologies, call the Google effect: it is to forget the information and even to stop learning, because such knowledge can be found on the Internet. “We are faced with an educational problem. Our children do not set the knowledge, they are losing their memory and the knowledge becomes trivial”, says the Venezuelan expert.

For our children to be able to develop a critical judgment, analytical ability and discernment is necessary to go through a formation of knowledge that many times Internet becomes superficial: “Internet generates an atomization of content, all should be short and timely. For this reason, our children will be bored if they have to read something very long, they just want the summary; they cannot concentrate in acquiring knowledge density. We can say that we are facing a big social problem, an epidemic of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),” says the professor of the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela.

With regard to the effects of new technologies in the development of children, Laura Tobi, specialist in Education from the University of Belgrade, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, also says: “There is a useful technology and an intrusive technology. The manner in which we take advantage of the technology is what will define whether or not it is useful. The excess of technology is destroying the space for creativity. There are guys obsessed with video games and they just talk about that, then all the other areas of expression are invaded by the video games. This is an example of how the technology ends up being intrusive, instead of being a support for the growth of the family and the child”.

It is true that as parents, we must maintain a critical judgment on the effect of new technologies over our children, but it is also true that they offer great benefits. The study: “Toddlers and Touch Screens: Potential for Early Learning?” made by professor Heather Kirkorian, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Tiffany A. Pempek, Hollins University, in the United States, demonstrated that young children can learn a lot with touch screens. According to this study, the interaction of babies with tablets and smart phones made it evident that thanks to them, the children had a greater development of speech, they learned faster and committed fewer errors.

Technological boundaries

In this digital world, parents ask themselves a big question: how to put limits between children and new technologies? To answer this question, professor Fernando Núñez Noda said some aspects parents should take into account are “from a technological point of view it is always good to make use of the parental controls. For example, on TV, you can schedule a code or key to control who sees adults programs in the house. On the computer you can use software such as Net Nanny and KidsWatch. These programs have a database of Internet sites that are not suitable for children and block chat rooms and places where they can participate with sexual predators”.

However, the CEO of 3Kats Corp. also suggests that the answer to this question is not only technological, but it also has to do with family values. “Everything depends on the relationship of trust and communication that you establish with your children. It is important to explain to them that there are dangers on the Web, that there are people who change their identities.”

On the other hand, professor and CEO of “The Art Shack”, Laura Tobi said: “It all depends on the example that we as parents give to our children. If permanently we are playing with the cellular, with the Ipad and we do not pay attention to our children, we are teaching them that this is the correct way to do it. Also, we are blocking the communication with our son. It is essential to establish a link with our children, create a moment in which we can chat, play games, listen to them, we have to establish a space that is not mediated by technology”.

Cyber Trends

What the future holds is unpredictable, but without a doubt large corporations that handle the technological world have a basic premise, to study the market and not just anyone, but young adults. Analyzing what they want, what they are doing and how they communicate. Teenagers set the tone for the new releases and products in the digital era. This is evidenced by the success of twitter. According to the agency Piper Jaffray twitter became the most important social network for young adults, replacing Facebook. Not in vain, Twitter is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

“There are strong trends. Young adults enjoy watching television on-demand, they are not interested in a particular channel, but a specific program, something very precise, and that’s why TV by Internet is what they are looking for: Apple TV, YouTube, Netflix. Contents too long are often very boring for them. With video games this does not happen, because they are changing and they are interacting. They are interested in technologies that make them the main actors”, says Nunez Noda.  Young adults are interesting also in others cyber trends: applications, especially those that offer anonymity such as Snapchat, smart phones for communications, text messages, selfie (photos taken by themselves) and social networks are among the preferred.

But, if we are talking about innovations, we have to mention Stephen Wolfram, recognized by his scientific work in particle physics, cellular automata and computational algebra, which is currently working on a project called Wolfram Alpha. This is an Internet search engine capable of responding directly to the questions the user, instead of referring to links. At the last post of his blog: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com he wrote: “Something Very Big Is Coming: Our Most Important Technology Project Yet (…) At some level it’s a vast unified web of technology that builds on what we’ve created over the past quarter century. At some level it’s an intellectual structure that actualizes a new computational view of the world. And at some level it’s a practical system and framework that’s going to be a fount of incredibly useful new services and products.”

Without a doubt, in the near future our children will live the phrase of Arthur Clarke “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

 Copyright © 2013 María Eugenia Fanti. All rights reserved

 Must of the interviews use in this article were original in Spanish, all translations were made by María Eugenia Fanti. We give special thanks to Jamel Pérez who also helps with this translation.

Photo by Stuart Miles/ Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos

This article was published at Doral Kids Ideas 

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