So in my Social Media for Public Relations class that I am currently taking at St. Edward’s University, we discussed some of the down sides to social media and having everything at your finger tips with smart phones. My professor presented us with a lot of ideas about social media over a two day period. We discussed apps like four square, which can be used to “check in” to places like restaurants or movie theaters. In doing so, you are gaining points on a system and typically will receive something like a free chips and salsa for checking in at Chilli’s. A few of my friends use the app and I have to say I have never complained because hey, who doesn’t like free chips and salsa? My professor brought to light the reality that checking in somewhere lets everyone know that you are not home, which in some cases led to robberies around the nation. Although the idea of someone knowing where you are at all times is scary, do young people really care? Is this nonchalant feeling a generational thing? Also on this topic we discussed gps devices that are embedded into our phones. They help us get to place we would have had to scale a map for or even just knowing the weather in your area. But did you ever stop to think that all of this information is being logged somewhere at Apple? I mentioned in class that unless I was doing something I shouldn’t be then I really wouldn’t care. Why would an Apple employee be so interested in tracing me anyhow? Most other students agreed with this notion.
We discussed the issue further now talking about how search engines like Google and Bing keep every search you have ever made on file. Now that is a little scary. We use search engines like priests at confession, we tell them everything, things that we wouldn’t tell our closes friends. So are we comfortable with that? Most of the other students in the class, including myself did express some concern about this but then again, what the heck are we supposed to do about it? These corporations have us on the hook, after years of living on Google and search engines no one is willing to go back to the old way of going to the public library and searching through hundreds of encyclopedias just to answer one question our of forty-five on an assignment. It really feels like we have no other choice. One girl in the glass brought up the fact that it is really sad that we have to conform and sacrifice to their wants instead of this giant thriving corporation actually trying to benefit its consumers.
I know I am leaving you with a lot of questions here, but that is because I am still full of all these questions myself. I would have to say that since we (20 somethings) have really been the first generation to grow up with this technology it is simply the way we live. My mother always tells me not to “check in” on Facebook or make statuses about where I am, but who really cares where I am and what I am doing? This may sound a little ignorant and it would be extremely ironic if I had someone stalking me through my Facebook statuses, but there was a general consensus with in the class that we all generally don’t mind being tracked. Should we care?
XOXO PR Girl