Final paper

June 4, 2010

With the advent of the internet, new way of forming relationship has become part of our daily life. Also, we may get benefits through using relationships from internet, and these benefits may be identical with benefits we get from the real life. Internet has been known as informative tool and providing us to save time because of its quick and easy to access. People engage in the social network sites more and more, such as Facebook, Twitter, or other internet based social activities. Thus, the important question has been arising because of increased use of the social network sites. Does the internet bring people closer or further apart?

In my opinion, people seem to be further apart in some sense because internet has disconnected people from engaging physically. We can form a new relationship or maintain pre-existed relationship through social network sites such as Facebook or Twitter, but if the majority of relationship is done via the internet activity, it will lead to people losing a sense of reality. Also, some people argued that internet helps people who are shy to talk or interact with people in real life. They may successfully form a relationship through the internet, but that relationship is limited to the life in the internet, which is not real. In the article, “Identity Construction and Self-Presentation on Personal Homepage”, the author claimed that the personal homepage is valuable for those with difficulty presenting themselves in face-to-face interaction (Cheung, 2003). People have difficulty interacting with others in real life because they want to hide some aspects of their self. It can be any weakness such as disabilities or personality problems. However, in my opinion, although internet will make those with difficulty presenting themselves in face-to-face interaction to interact with people through internet activity, internet will not cause to overcome their weaknesses. In order to overcome their weaknesses, they should accommodate with those negative aspects of the self in their everyday life first. Because they live in their everyday life, not in the internet, face-to-face interaction is the only way to overcome weaknesses and acquire the confidence about their real self. In addition, internet provides a place to create another self that we can never be in the real life. I can be any kind of person I want to be, but it is easy to recognize that the self we created in the internet is just from our imagination. As the experiment #3 (i.e. create a false online persona and chatting with someone for 15 minutes) we did, it was really easy to fake our identity through internet activity. I can be woman although I am a man in real life, or I can be White although I am an Asian in real life. Thus, easiness to fake the identity makes us to be further apart to the sense of who we really are in the real life, and it results in being further apart to the relationship we have made in the real life. If the relationship is limited to the life in the internet, the real self cannot be developed, and by the result of that, the physical relationship in real life will be further apart.

In contrast to being further apart from using internet, people also seem to be closer in a broad sense. As we discussed in the class, on-line social networking can be very informative. For example, in the case of Seery’s Twitter, “Brave New world of Digital Intimacy”, I could see that Seery solved a lot of problems and got a lot of benefits by just posting her problems on Twitter. This kind of assistance from the internet can make us feel the sense of closeness each other. Because when I did the experiment #6 (i.e. posting three questions on Facebook and looking for the responds), I felt closer to people from internet relationship more than I did before I did the experiment. Also, I use to think that people in the internet try to provide fake the facts because of anonymous characteristic, but after that experiment, I could trust people more than I did. The term social capitals, which can be any resources we gain from our social relationship, can now be used for the information we get from the internet. This information is beneficial and provides sense of closeness and familiarity for the relationship in the internet. In addition to providing closeness, internet provides a place to live exactly like we live in real life. The reading, “Living in Virtual Community”, provides an example of Cyber-city, which is the place for people to live at online community (Carter, 2005). Cyber-city provides a more broad relationship basis. We tend to have a relationship with people who have similar ages, gender, or cultures in the real life, but we can have relationship with people from various regions, ages, and cultures. Like the Cyber-city in the reading, internet has provided many relationships with those who have different background.

In conclusion, does the internet bring people closer of further apart? It does both. Through the internet activity, people can be closer sometimes because internet provides us place to experience various kind of relationships that is not limited as our relationships in real life. Also, internet based relationship can be also very informative, and it provides feeling of closeness and familiarity. However, people can be further apart because people tend to be disconnected from the real life, which is based on the physical engagement to interact with others. The internet based relationship contributes to our lives positively and negatively. The only matter is how we appropriately manage the use of internet relationship. It might be the problem if our relationship is only limited to the internet based, but it is not if we appropriately manage the internet based relationship.


weekly assignment #8

May 28, 2010

For the online happiness, I just simply visited the youtube, which is one of parts of my daily life. I go to youtube regularly because to watch sports highlights. I watched Lakers game highlights of the western final, which they lost the game… Kobe Bryany was awesome though.! Also, I watched some soccer highlights, Korea vs. Japan and the Drogba’s special video. It took about an hour to watch sports highlights. For the offline happiness, I just met up with friends. I went to Korean bar. It is always fun to me meeting friends and drinking with them.

The reading for this week was about happiness and internet. I agreed with some quotes in the article (but opposite of the author’s point). One quote says, internet has made our children lonely because they spend more times on playing computer. Also, internet has interrupted children to socialize. This is what I thought about the internet. I always hanging out with friends and it was the only pleasure during my childhood. I used to play soccer with friends. I had a computer when I was young, but I rarely used it. I agree with some points that author made. The advent of internet has made children to socialize through online activity. If all my friends communicate with others through Facebook, I should have Facebook to be part of the relationship. However, only few of my friends use Social Network Sites (SNS) to communicate, so this kind of activity is not neccessary to maintain the relationship. Internet will become more complicated and the technology will make us to spend more time on playing computer. However, even though my future children become lonely because of not doing any internet activity, I will make them to play outside, not sitting on the computer. Whatever forms of socialization occur through the internet activity, I believe that it will be more valuable to socialize through face-to-face interaction in the real life.

weekly assignment #7

May 21, 2010

This week’s experiment is to search for profile for online dating at… I tried to find any Asian girls who are 25 to 31 years old. I got many results that were matched what I just typed in my preference for searching. However, I didn’t believe that any0ne’s profile can be quite true because it is easy to fake their profile. I actually made my profile, and there was nothing to check-up the information I just put in (I made profile as a student at USC!!!). We don’t have to prove that I am a student, I work at somewhere, but there are no way that I can see the information is true or not. Photos were not looked their real face.. This experiment was awkward to run, but it was noticed me that there are a lot of people who are looking for dating via online., which is sad for them..!!

From the reading for this week, searching for romantic partner via internet daitng sites has become a visble and common method to select their partner. However, I cannot agree why people use internet data base for searchimg their partner. When I thought about the reason, I could only think only one reason. It may be because People try to hide some information about the self and make different profile of what they want to be. Also, through this week’s experiment, I have noticed that only strengthes were listed in the profile. If we see the people face to face, we can easily find both positive and negative aspect of others, but internet data base can never allow recognizing negative aspect of others. I actually met someone who have known from internet chatting room, and it didn’t take long time to recognize her different outlook compared to her photos on the profile. The actual faces and photos were completely different than I thought. Easy to fake..!

(Sorry for submitting this after 12 o’clock…)

weekly assignment #6

May 14, 2010

Stephanie Choengkarn is a student at UCLA, and she expects to graduate in 2012. Her birthday is April 4. She has a boy friend whose name is Daniel I guess. She likes traveling. She went to Yay(I don’t know where it is..), and also, she went to Disneyland during winter break. For music, she likes Barrio Del Este and Agapi Mou. She also likes hanging out and fun stuff. She is a member of UCLA PI Beta Phi. For the food, she likes yogurt and the cheese cake factory. She had 440 friends on her facebook account, and many of them are students at UCLA. She live on campus. She went to the date party during spring 2009. Based on some photos in her facebook, I can guess she is kind of friendly, active, and funny. Her favorite quotation is “Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out”!

weekly assignment #5

May 7, 2010

This week’s experiment is to post three questions on facebook and look for their responds. I have never done this before on facebook, and I worried about no response on my questions because I don’t log-in facebook regularly. However, I got some responses from my questions. Firstly, I asked who knows where I can buy cheaper soccer shoes? and I got some responses that provide specific locations and address, and also my friend linked to a website that sells soccer shoes. Second questions, I asked when is iron man 2 coming out? For this questions, I definitely got responses which are 5/7!! The last question I asked was who wants to go to the sociology class on Friday at 1 instead of me? Unfortunately, I have two participants who live in Korea, not in LA. Through this experiment, I notice that facebook is also useful to get some information I need. This was great experience to do this experiment!

I felt that reading for this week was relatively longer than previous readings, but the content was interesting because it was about researching people on facebook. Reading started by talking about social capitals which mean that we gain something from social relationships we have, so people on facebook are definitely forming some kind of relationship with me, and as I did experiment for this week, I noticed this kind of relationship can also be useful to get new information. Some people on facebook are closer than others, and I thought closer relationships would provide me more relevant and useful information when I need it, but it was a wrong idea, and I recognized that relavance and usefulness of the information we get from people do not rely on how close we are to them. My response can be more useful for you because I know some information better than you, and your response can be more useful for some people because you know very well about the information you provide. I found that the information I need can get from facebook quicker than I thought, so I’m going to keep asking if I need something!

weekly assignment #4

April 30, 2010

I decided to do this week’s experiment on Sunday because it is only day that I usually spend time in the home. I woke up 7 am because I had to go to play soccer. When I got home after playing, it was 12 o’clock. I thought that it is not going to be really hard not to use Internet for whole day long. However, I realized that it was hard. I didn’t notice that I have used a lot of time doing Internet before I did this experiment. I use Internet for so many reasons such as searching for restaurants or specific location, watching news, or playing game. Through this experiment, I noticed that Internet has become a part of my daily life without realizing it. Because of the advanced technology, we have many options to make our life efficient, and in my opinion, Internet is one of those options.

This week’s reading is about how television dominate our lives. The author thinks a television dominates our lives in most parts of our life. I understand what he tried to say because when he wrote his book the telelvision was one of the advanced technologies that were domintely used, just like Internet we use today. I know what he tried to say, but I don’t think that television (or Internet) dominates and hurts our lives. It is more like a tool we use for some reasons, and it is not the thing that we must use it to live. Some people are really addicted doing Internet like on-line game, and for those kind of people, Internet is a thing that they must use to live. However, only small portion of  population are addicted for those kind of cyber-addiction. For most of us in the world, we use Internet as kind of tool, so it might not be appropriate to think that television or internet are our lives. It is better to think it is a tool that makes our life more efficiently.

weekly assignment #3

April 22, 2010

Experiment for this week is kind of easier than before we did. I registered on soccerforum because I love playing and watching soccer. This was really great to talk about common interests with other people online. I replied on some discussions. I wrote about my favorite player, Didier Drogba. He recently got a groin injury, which is really sad for me like a fan of the team, Chelsea (which is rare for Koreans to like Chelsea). I’m going to look for replies on my thread tonight, and i’m really excited to discuss my bad news with other people. This soccer forum site is really well-organized for new users, and I enjoyed doing this experiment.

Reading for this week was interesting to read. It is about cybercity, which is the place for people to live at online community. The author mainly talked about online friendship and offline friendship. When I read the beginning part of this article, I thought this is really rare for me because I have never made online friends before. However, when I read whole article, I thought it can be happened. Some interviews from actual users of cybercity helped me a lot to avoid a stereotype. People in the cybercity can be thought as a lonely people in real-life and might have low self-esteem, but friendship through cybercity has a really good strength than real life friendship. I remembered that one of the users of cybercity has said that appearance, gender, ages, and cultural differences are excluded when they make a friend from their special city. Because external features are totally excluded, they start their friendship through only internal features like their thoughts or interests. I agree with this idea because we tend to have friends who have similar ages, gender, or cultures. Through cybercity, we can have friends from various regions, ages, or cultures.  Before I read this article, I cannot understand how people make a friend if they don’t ever meet face to face, but I can understand through reading why people live in cybercity and make a friend there. However, I personally prefer having  friends from real life.

soccer forum

April 22, 2010

this is my link for topic at soccerforum!

weekly assignment 2

April 16, 2010

You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

Stranger: hi

Stranger: stranger

You: hi

You: ^^

Stranger: whereare u froım?

You: i’m from united states

You: about u?

Stranger: turkey

You: wow

Stranger: do u know turkey

Stranger: ?

You: yeap

Stranger: really?

Stranger: what do u think about turkey

You: yeap my brother love watching soccer.

You: i don’t really know about the country well

You: but i heard their soccer pretty good

Stranger: yeap

Stranger: right

Stranger: f or m?

You: female u?

Stranger: m

Stranger: how old are u?

You: i’m 22 yrs old!

You: about u?

Stranger: me too

You: wow awesome.!

Stranger: what is your job?

You: ^__^

Stranger: student?

You: i’m a college student

You: yeap

Stranger: me too

Stranger: major?

You: econ!

Stranger: statistics

You: woo.. i hate kind of math..

Stranger: 🙂

Stranger: i like so much

You: oh yeah? its cool but i can’t do very well

Stranger: i interesting with financial risks

You: nice

Stranger: do u know financial risks at econ

Stranger: ?

You: not yet, cuz this is my first yr college life

You: i’m totally new!!

Stranger: ok

Stranger: i like economi same math

You: what yr are you in?

Stranger: at collage?

You: yeap

Stranger: 3

You: cool

Stranger: apart from english education

Stranger: first i teached english languages

Stranger: one year

You: in turkey?

Stranger: yeah

You: cool

Stranger: to talk with u:))

You: you are so sweet

Stranger: thanks

You: where you learn English

Stranger: at collage

You: you r so good

Stranger: a little:)

Stranger: and then i passed my major

You: nice

Stranger: it will be finished next year

You: that’s great..

You: i hav so maaaaaany yrs left..TT

You: what time is it now over there?

Stranger: 04:07

You: pm?

Stranger: yeah

Stranger: what do you know turkey?

You: what do i know about turkey?

Stranger: yeah:)

You: soccer!

Stranger: 🙂

Stranger: another

Stranger: actual

You: sorry.. but can you introduce me about your country?

Stranger: ok

You: nice thx

Stranger: what is your hobbies

Stranger: ?

Stranger: what do you lıke

You: eating, chiling, movie stuff like that?

Stranger: nice

Stranger: what is your name?

You: susan

You: about u?

Stranger: arda

You: nice to meet u!! arda!

Stranger: nice to meet u

Stranger: have u facebook?

You: no.. i don’t like on-line stuff!

You: do u hav?

Stranger: yeah

Stranger: i like on-line stuff:))

You: that’s great

You: i like hanging out u know..

You: hate just sitting and playing computer or something like that..

Stranger: i have to on-line stuff

Stranger: in fact i dont like so much computer

Stranger: same u:))

You: oooh.. nice!

You: hey arda can i have your e-mail address?

You: cuz my roommate have to use computer right now..


You: thx

You: it was great to talk to you

You: and

Stranger: thanks

You: my e-mail is

Stranger: same with u

You: nice to meet u hav a great day arda!^^

You: see you later

Stranger: you too

You: bbye

Stranger: take care

Stranger: byee

When I tried to do my experiment, it didn’t take long to figure out it was so hard to talk with someone for 15 minutes long. Because we should pretend to be another person, I decided to be an American girl whose name was Susan. I tried to chat with someone for several times because there were a lot of men to try to talk with me via web cam since they figured out I was a female. When I noticed them that I don’t have a web cam, they just left. Also, I met someone, and he was trying to find his mom…. I don’t know why!! However, I finally met a male whose name is Arda from Turkey. We just talked about ourselves such as age, occupation, major, or interest. He looked like happy when I said that I know his country. He tried to ask me about how well I know about his country, but unfortunately, I don’t know well about Turkey. We talked for more than 15 minutes because he kept talking, so I told him I should left because my roommate has to use computer (lying). This guy was gentle, and I apologize him for giving him false e-mail address.

The application of the personal homepage from the reading allows us to create more concrete self-identity. Like I did on the experiment, this is not that hard to be someone else (false on-line persona). Through on-line activity such as personal homepage or chatting, we can be someone we want to be. We can express self more than we can via face to face interaction because our self is clearer when we use face to face interaction. Therefore, we can create any identities through on-line activity, but I’m pretty sure that we can’t actually be those identities in real life. It is only true in on-line life.

weekly assignment 1

April 9, 2010

For the experiment, I have to update my status every 2 hour in Facebook. I rarely do Facebook or other online activity, so it was really hard to think of updating my status every 2 hour. I often forgot to update it, so i made an alarm to notice myself to update. I updated kind of emotional status, subject that I have learned in the class, and what I ate. I didn’t think many people do not care my every hour updating, but I got some funny comments from my friends. Because I rarely do the Facebook, some of my friends commented that they now know that I exist. Because I have many friends in Korea, we rarely keep in touch via phone, so on-line communicating is the most useful way of knowing how I have been. Thus, this week’s experiment reminded me on-line communicating is useful for long distance relationship.

I read the article, “Brave New world of Digital Intimacy”, and it was about good and bad aspects of on-line activity such as Facebook and Twitter. Lack of privacy was the main problem for these on-line social networking. When I was doing the experiment, many other people who has “weak-tie” relationship with me could see my updating status via News Feed. Although they didn’t care what I’ve updated, they could see what I was feeling, what I just ate or what class I took. These are not the really important personal information, but it can be uncomfortable that someone who I don’t know watch my everyday life. However, according to the case of Seery’s Twitter in the article, there’s good aspect of on-line social networking. When she posted her problems on Twitter, her on-line audience has provided her better lawyer and accountant. She said that she can solve any problem on Twitter in six minutes. Likewise, on-line social networking can be very informative, or it can be too open space that other can observe my life. However, I felt really good when my friends got comment on my recent updates of status on Facebook.