Thursday, December 12, 2013

Online Assignment, Lauren Leffingwell

     So it really is true that there is no way to hide things that you've posted online.. This class assignment really made me think twice about everything that is put on social media sites by myself and others. I also found it quite scary to think that access to your whole presence on a site is just a click away. Before this, I never knew capability these sites have, it's truly eye opening. Not to mention, it was great procrastination to look at all my social media antics over the years!
   I began looking at my Facebook data that was collected over the past few years. It was actually very entertaining and scary to see there's a zip-file containing all this information, about me! I didn't expect the file to contain literally everything that's happened over the years on my page. It showed me all my old messages, from freshman year of High School! (Those were very interesting..) My previously relationships were there, all the pages I've liked and joined over the years, old videos I'd posted to friends walls, and many other things were part of the file. I found that my Facebook use has really changed over the years. Before, I would literally sit and post things for hours. Now there are so many other forms of social media that take up my time, such as Twitter and Instagram. I barely post anything onto Facebook now, unless I'm uploading pictures. I rarely use it to chat with people like I use too; now texting is just so much easier. One of the most interesting part of the zip-file was the Ad section; I never thought about them having much meaning before. The advertisements correlated with the pages I'd liked previously. they also showed ad's that I've clicked up, which were very few. Overall, looking at my Facebook data could possible be one of the funniest, interesting things I've done in awhile. 
    I then moved onto looking at my google data, which was also very eye-opening. I felt that this data collection wasn't as accurate to my real interests though. Many of interest that came up were from school research. For example, Bollywood and South Indian Film is not something that I would ever say is in my interests... However, I did take a class last year on religious studies and had to do some research on this information. Other interests that google claimed I had were finances, heavy shooting games, heavy machinery and agricultural business. I would definitely say those are incorrect! These were just a few of the interests that showed that I don't see as fitting. There were a majority of them that  did describe my interests well. Fashion, Celebrities and Entertainment, Home Decor, Wisconsin, Universities, Fitness and Health are all at the top of the list of things I would be looking up on google. This was also another very scary tool that shows how much can be inferred from what you're looking up on the internet.
    I found this online assignment very beneficial to open my eyes to the digital society we live in today. It isn't an exaggeration that everything being done on the internet is being monitored. These tools to look at data prove just that! Just by clicking a link, you're whole history on a site can be brought up... that is a really crazy thought. My opinion on the power these sites have isn't really bad though. I don't have anything to hide, other than personal embarrassing moments, that would do any harm to others. There are people in this world that would have things in their history that if caught, could prevent bad things from happening. Technology is a dangerous thing and as much as people monitoring everything is creepy, it's only keeping us safe. However, I'm not saying I won't think twice now before I post an embarrassing video to Facebook!

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