Tagarchief: social media

FOMO Addiction: The Fear of Missing Out

As serendipity often strikes randomly, I was reading an article in The New York Times by Jenna Wortham the other day at the same time I was reading the chapter in Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Together about people who fear they are missing out.

Teens and adults text while driving, because the possibility of a social connection is more important than their own lives (and the lives of others). They interrupt one call to take another, even when they don’t know who’s on the other line (but to be honest, we’ve been doing this for years before caller ID). They check their Twitter stream while on a date, because something more interesting or entertaining just might be happening.

It’s not “interruption,” it’s connection. But wait a minute… it’s not really “connection” either. It’s the potential for simply a differentconnection. It may be better, it may be worse — we just don’t know until we check.

We are so connected with one another through our Twitter streams and Foursquare check-ins, through our Facebook and LinkedIn updates, that we can’t just be alone anymore. The fear of missing out (FOMO) — on something more fun, on a social date that might just happen on the spur of the moment — is so intense, even when we’ve decided to disconnect, we still connect just once more, just to make sure.

Like the old-school Crackberry addict, we’re now all in the grip of “FOMO addiction” * — the fear of missing out on something or someone more interesting, exciting or better than what we’re currently doing.

Connected to this fear of missing out on something better that’s going on without you are these fake personas we promote on websites like Facebook. I say “fake” because we often present only the best side of our lives on social networking sites. After all, who wants to be “friends” with someone who’s always posting depressing status updates and who seems to be doing nothing interesting in their lives?

So they are indeed fake, because instead of us being completely real, many (most?) of us censor what we post to our social media profile these days. The people on Facebook are often simply their idealized selves — with a bit of misery thrown in from time to time to “keep it real.”

A friend who works in advertising told me that she felt fine about her life — until she opened Facebook. “Then I’m thinking, ‘I am 28, with three roommates, and oh, it looks like you have a precious baby and a mortgage,’ ” she said. “And then I wanna die.”

On those occasions, she said, her knee-jerk reaction is often to post an account of a cool thing she has done, or to upload a particularly fun picture from her weekend. This may make her feel better — but it can generate FOMO in another unsuspecting person.

Or as Sherry Turkle notes,

“Sometimes you don’t have time for your friends except if they’re online,” is a common complaint. […]

When is downtime, when is stillness? The text-driven world of rapid response does not make self-reflection impossible, but does little to cultivate it.

Turkle’s descriptions of some of the teens who’ve told her their story is downright scary. Teens who believe they need to be available 24/7 to their friends, because, you know, someone might get dumped or into an argument with their parents. They need instant gratification and solace. Nobody can wait anymore — not because they can’t — but because they don’t need to.

After all, if you could eat all the ice cream sundaes in the world without any serious repercussions (like weight gain or being sick), why wouldn’t you? That’s how many of us our nowadays ingesting social media and technology — taking in as much as we can, simply because we think we can.

But it’s a lie we’re telling ourselves. Humans weren’t built this way.

Turkle nails it on the head with this comment in the article:

“In a way, there’s an immaturity to our relationship with technology,” she said. “It’s still evolving.”

I think that succinctly summarizes the problem — our relationship with technology is still in its infancy, and we’re still feeling our ways around it. We don’t quite know how to interact well — mindfully, meaningfully — with it. Count how many times you check your email or smartphone for messages, texts, status updates, etc. in a day. 10? 100? 1,000 or more? You may be surprised.

Technology that we’re at one with and that promotes social balance and harmony wouldn’t require such obsessive checking behavior, would it? It would understand and complement natural human social behavior. It would differentiate for us what’s important and what’s not (the idea of “smart agents” from a decade ago still resonates).

Teens think they “get it” — that technology is a natural extension of their social lives. But they’re mistaken — they’re still crafting their lives around the technology and the social connections they entice us with, rather than the other way around. They stay up all night waiting for the next status update. They interrupt a face-to-face conversation to make sure whatever’s going on elsewhere isn’t better. I wonder how this is a good way to promote future, strong social connections?

I have my doubts.

I believe, much to their detriment, that the makers of social networking technologies have some rough idea — but not in any nuanced or scientific way — how the tools and products they create are changing human behavior. (If these companies really wanted to take their efforts to the next stage, they should consider hiring some psychologists!) It’s an impulse control problem — we cannot easily control our impulse to “check” the technology to ensure something “more important” isn’t waiting our immediate attention.

The reality is that there are few things so truly important in life, they can’t wait. Sure, I understand it if you’re the President of the United States — you have a legitimate reason to check your texts during dinner. But everyone else, not so much. We’re succumbing to our FOMO when we do so.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real feeling that’s starting to permeate through our social relationships. The question is — will we ever settle for what we have, rather than cling to the fear that we may be missing out on something better? Social media like Facebook and Twitter are making this increasingly more difficult.

Read the full article: How Social Media Can Induce Feelings of ‘Missing Out’

* – I use the word “addiction” here firmly tongue in cheek, to emphasize how extreme some of these behaviors can be. I do not believe in FOMO addiction any more than I believe in Internet addiction.

Advertenties
Getagged , ,

The social in ‘social media’

I found this article in The University of Utrecht’s New Media Studies group pages, right here and decided to share it with you.

 by: Mirko Tobias Schäfer

Abstract:

The so-called Web 2.0 and social media are enthusiastically embraced as enabling technologies turning alienated couch potatoes into active producers of media content. But what is actually so social about ‘social media’?

A plethora of publications frames web applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and others as ‘social media’ to describe the dynamic interaction and massive participation of large audiences. However, ‘social’ receives here an overly positive connotation, something like ‘nice people are collaborating nicely with each other in order to create nice things.’

Three aspects are remarkable about the popular framing of ‘social media’:

a) Claiming that users belong to a community. Drawn from the notion of collective intelligence and peer-based production, the ‘social’ in ‘social media’ receives a positive connotation as a community experience. It is perceived as a social phenomenon rather than a commercial one.
b) Claiming mediated communication equals publishing. The simple use of technology that mediates communication and facilitates interaction is presented the replacement of established media production with user generated content.
c) Claiming that these practices are specific features of the Web 2.0 and distinctive from earlier media practices online.

The commentary on Web 2.0 constitutes a ‘rhetoric of community’, emphasizing aspects of togetherness, equality, collective production and democratic decision making. Turning users into media producers is only one part of the promise the ‘social web’ bears, the other is changing the world for the better through collective efforts facilitated by ‘social media’ (e.g. Leadbeater 2008, Shirky 2010). Social progress is considered as collective effort achieved by simply using advanced technologies properly.

In his programmatic text We think. The power of mass-creativity, Charles Leadbeater dreams of a way to amplify the collective intelligence of the plurality of users who then, in a joint effort, provided technology is used ‘wisely’, could “spread democracy, promote freedom, alleviate inequality and allow us to be creative together, en mass” (2008:6). Through this repetitive positive connotation of ‘social, the ‘social media’ acquired’ a public understanding that goes beyond the original denotation of social interaction and organisation. Actual events of using Web 2.0 applications, such as during the Obama Campaign in 2008 or in response to the Iran elections of 2009 constituted a strong belief in the revolutionary potential of media technology. However, this image is mostly shaped by not telling the entire story and therefore creating media myths.

Web 2.0 platforms or ‘social media’ established themselves successfully as community driven platforms committed to public weal. And while the enthusiastic promoters celebrate their potential to empower passive consumers, entrepreneurs have long realized that the ‘social media’ users are not only yet another audience for advertising, but also a crowd of helping hands in distributing the commercial messages. A plethora of marketing oriented books promises to provide strategies on how to employ social networks for commercial success and how to boost a company’s image by appearing friendlier and more committed to customers communicating through ‘social media’.

Recently some critical voices are pointing out problematic aspects about Web 2.0 platforms (e.g. Lanier 2006 and 2010; Zimmer 2008, Scholz 2008; Petersen 2008; Mueller 2009; Schaefer 2009). Critical perspectives can be divided into three accounts. The free ‘labour account’ draws from post-marxist critique of labour in media consumption (Andrejevic 2002; Terranova 2004; Virno 2004).

The critique aims at the  the unacknowledged implementation of user generated content for commercial ends (e.g. Scholz 2007a, 2007b, 2008; Petersen 2008). A joint effort in revisiting participatory culture as unpaid labour for corporate companies has been initiated by Trebor Scholz on the mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity and a conference with the programmatic title ‘The Internet as Playground and Factory’ (Scholz 2009).

Another branch of critique emphasizes the violation of privacy in online services (e.g. Zimmer 2007, 2008; Fuchs 2009) and the power structures facilitating means of control and regulation (e.g. Galloway 2004; Chen 2006; Deibert et al. 2008; Zittrain 2008).

A third thread of criticism considers Web 2.0 platforms as emerging public spheres (Münker 2009; Schaefer 2010) and the new socio-political quality of user-producer relations in governing software applications and their users (Uricchio 2004; Kow and Nardi 2010). This is exceedingly important to consider since ‘social media’ platforms are indeed becoming something similar to traditional “third places” where conversations take place as much on private issues as on socio-political concerns.

In expanding the traditional private and public spaces and increasing the possibilities for socio-political organization and debate the actual social quality of online media is revealed. The function and role online platforms occupy in daily social life are still subject to negotiations between the various stakeholders ranging from common users over corporate producers and public administrations. These debates result from the technological qualities of the new media as well as from the media practices that are eventually transforming social interaction, markets and politics. Drawn from a deep-rooted idealism for participatory societies, democratic decision processes and freedom of expression expectations are formulated for potential use and regulation of the new technologies. Currently social media platforms constitute an area of conflict where platform providers and users negotiate possibilities and limits of corporate governance. While users attempt to make a difference through petitions requesting consumer rights, the platform providers seek ways of communication and negotiation in setting up policy blogs. The social in social media is recognizable in how these platforms increasingly constitute semi-public spaces and how they turn users into something similar to mini-societies while their corporate providers find themselves in the roles of governors.

Mirko Tobias Schaefer is assistant professor for new media and digital culture at Utrecht University. He is co-editor of the recently published volume Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everyday Life (2009 Amsterdam University Press) and author of Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Industries (forthcoming at Amsterdam University Press, December 2010).

Literature
Andrejevic, Mark. 2002. The work of being watched. Interactive media and the exploitation of self-disclosure. Critical Studies in Communication, Vol. 19, No. 2:230-248.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. 2006. Control and freedom. Power and paranoia in the age of fiber optics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Deibert, Ronald, John Palfrey, Rafael Rohozinski and Jonathan Zittrain (eds). 2008. Access denied. The practice and policy of global Internet filtering. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Galloway, Alex. 2004. Protocol: How control exists after decentralization. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Kow, Yong Ming  and Bonnie Nardi (eds). 2010. User creativity, governance, and the new media. First Monday, Vol. 15, No. 5.

Lanier, Jaron. 2010. You are not a gadget. Alfred A. Knopf: New York.

Leadbeater, Charles and Paul Miller. 2004. The pro-Am revolution. Demos: London.

Leadbeater, Charles. 2008. We think. Mass innovation, not mass production. Profile Books: London

Müller, Eggo. 2009. Formatted spaces of participation. In Digital material: Tracing new media in everyday life and technology, eds. Marianne van den Boomen et al., 49-64. Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam.

Münker, Stefan. 2009. Emergenz digitaler Öffentlichkeiten. Die Sozialen Medien im Web 2.0. Suhrkamp: Frankfurt a.M.

Petersen, Søren, Mørk. 2008. Loser generated content. From participation to exploitation. In First Monday, Vol. 13, No. 3, <http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2141/1948&gt;

Schäfer, Mirko Tobias. 2009. Participation inside? User Activities between Design and Appropriation. In Marianne van den Boomen, Sybille Lammes, Ann-Sophie Lehmann, Joost Raessens, Mirko Tobias Schaefer: Digital Material. Tracing New Media in Everday Life and Technology, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009, pp. 147-158.

Scholz, Trebor. 2007a. A history of the social web. Collectivate.net, <http://www.collectivate.net/journalisms/2007/9/26/a-history-of-the-social-web.html&gt;.
— —. 2007b. What the MySpace generation should know about working for free. Collectivate.net,  <http://www.collectivate.net/journalisms/2007/4/3/what-the-myspace-generation-should-know-about-working-for-free.html&gt;
— —. 2008. Market ideology and the myths of Web 2.0. First Monday, Vol 13. No 3 <http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2138/1945&gt;.

Shirky, Clay. 2008. Here comes everybody. The power of organizing without organizations. Penguin Press: London, New York.

Shirky, Clay. 2010. Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. Penguin Press: London, New York.

Terranova, Tiziana. 2004. Network culture. Politics for the information age, Pluto Press: London, Ann Arbor.

Uricchio, William. 2004. Cultural Citizenship in the Age of P2P Networks. In European Culture and the Media, eds. Ib Bondebjerg, and Peter Golding, 139-164. Bristol. Intellect Books.

Virno, Paolo. 2004. A Grammar of the multitude. Semiotexte. Los Angeles

Zimmer, Michael. 2008. The externalities of search 2.0: The emerging privacy threats when the drive for the perfect search engine meets Web 2.0. First Monady, Vol 13, No. 3, <http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2136/1944&gt;.

Zittrain, Jonathan. 2008. The future of the Internet, and how to stop it. Yale University Press: New Haven, London.

 

Gevonden door Kees

Getagged , , , , , ,

Reclame review: Hi messaging

Jongeren zijn eigenlijk altijd met elkaar verbonden. Dankzij Facebook, Hyves, Twitter, Foursquare en WhatsApp is onbereikbaar zijn not done. In de commercial zien we twee vrienden die in paniek met een noodvaart door een stad rennen. Over muren en auto’s. Op weg naar het huis van een vriend waar vermoedelijk iets verschrikkelijks mee is gebeurd. Want waarom zou hij anders al 12 seconden niet reageren op tweets, sms-jes, Facebook en WhatsApp berichten?

 

Lees meer over de doelstelling, de uitwerking en last but not least het oordeel over deze reclame spot hier.

Bron: marketingfacts.nl

Getagged , , , ,
Advertenties