Tag Archives: Facebook

Technology: Friend or Foe in Communication?

By Jacel Egan

In the new age of media communication, younger generations have become so technologically savvy that the preferred method of keeping in contact with friends is through the Internet as opposed to face to face contact.

Although this may seem like a step forward (and in an era where instantaneous communication is vital, it can be) in breaking the distance barrier, I feel as though the personal side of interaction is getting lost in the midst of “OMGs” and “ROFLs.”

Social networking sites have become a main way of communication for college-aged students. Photo from www.socialmediamarketingwatch.com.

Social networking sites have become a main way of communication for college-aged students. Photo from http://www.socialmediamarketingwatch.com.

According to a Fuser study in 2007, “84 percent of college-aged users spend seven or more hours per week on the Internet managing their personal communications.”  Also, 92 percent of college-aged users 18-21 years old also have two or more e-mail accounts while also maintaining at least one social networking account, such as Facebook.

This is a hefty amount of online chatting and interaction. Online communication, in my opinion, sacrifices authenticity and personality for convenience. It’s easy to chat online with several friends at once or with people that are far away, but more often than not, messages are misunderstood or misread, causing unnecessary drama.

Instant messages can easily be taken seriously even though they were meant to be sarcastic, or something entirely differently can be interpreted than what the original message had intended. From personal experience, I have fallen victim to sending the wrong message to someone that wasn’t supposed to see such content. I can reassure you that trying to fix online mix-ups is definitely not the most fun thing to do.

It's easy to send a message to the wrong person on AIM. Photo from www.wackyb.co.nz.

It's easy to send a message to the wrong person on AIM. Photo from http://www.wackyb.co.nz.

Online interaction also lacks the personal touch of communicating with someone face to face. The nonverbal cues are absent on Facebook chat and AIM (though this problem is irrelevant to Skype). Real-life conversations with others also allow for time to gather thoughts more sufficiently and choose words more wisely than chatting online.

Again, I nominate myself the worst online talker because I am that person that types whatever thought comes to mind, good or bad. My housemates are now my IM and text “editors” to keep me in check. Sometimes what someone would normally say to another in person and online can be completely different. The Internet, due to its instantaneous nature, can remove the filter for what someone would usually keep to himself or herself.

Online communication can be either a wonderful way to keep in touch with family and friends that are hundreds of miles away, yet can also be detrimental to relationships if messages are interpreted incorrectly. So just remember, think before you type.


Reaching the Masses: Politicized Facebook is No Longer Just For Kids

By Robin Miniter

The rallying cry of student political activism is no longer solely compromised of pickets and fliers on college campuses. Defined by our rampant use of technology, the methods of getting the word out starkly contrast that of our parent’s generation.

Where they had bulletin boards, we have wall posts. Where they had megaphones, we have status updates. Welcome to the Facebook.

Founded as a simple social-networking website at Harvard University 2004, it has spread like wildfire around the world. Now emerging as one of the leading facilitators of political communication in the world, Facebook is shaping the dissemination of communication.

Stepping up to the plate: Facebook acts as an interactive cyber vehicle for social change

Stepping up to the plate: Facebook acts as an interactive cyber vehicle for social change

With the ability to create groups, events, and fan pages for different causes, it brings politics to a personal level. Grass root organizations are able to blossom globally. Simultaneously, it was possible for anyone with computer access to become involved in the presidential campaign. It has been helping to foster political awareness and social activism. It makes it possible to bypass traditional forms of media and directly reach the viewer. It instills a sense of community online which hopefully will translate into reality.

Advocacy Associates Online a website that, “provides innovative solutions, training, and support for grassroots and government relations campaigns” reported that, “Most grassroots campaigns mostly ignore students and young professionals. That’s a mistake. A growing pool of data suggests these may be some of the most passionate advocates…”

Kristen Alldredge ’05 is now working as a Community Executive of Income Development for the American Cancer Society in Connecticut. She has noted a significant increase in fundraising through use of the internet. “We have just launched a Facebook application for the college Relay For Life events,” she said “…has already shown a remarkable benefit to not only raising funds, but raising awareness in online communities. ”

Jim Urso, a Marist College communication major with a concentration in public relations said, “For a lot of kids, if you see it on Facebook, it almost legitimizes an issue. It makes it real. For example, everyone knew the election was coming via newspaper, radio, and TV, but when they see event and group invites they feel more connected, more part of the action.”

Urso referred to Facebook as, “hip, trendy, and cutting edge.” He said that Facebook makes becoming involved, “cool and appealing.”

At the same time, it is serious business.

Over 500 U.S. politicians have Facebook pages – along with hundreds of others from around the world – as well as thousands of independently run activism groups available to join at the click of a button.

Here at Marist College, sophomore class president Andrew Clinkman said via e-mail correspondence, “Facebook is… an excellent tool that allows people to reach a larger population that may be difficult to contact.”

He noted that it is not allowed to utilize Facebook in Student Government campaigns because of, “…the idea being that the more Facebook friends the larger the potential audience.” This rings true even on a national scale.

Throughout the 2008 Presidential election thousands of groups sprung up online in the effort to mobilize offline. The Washington Post cites Facebook as a true catalyst, crediting the, “gathering of several thousand students at George Mason University in Fairfax,” to a simple Facebook group. This event, “underscored the potential power of online communities in the 2008 campaign,” the newspaper said.

AllFacebook.com, the self-proclaimed, “unofficial guide” to Facebook, published a for-dummies, “Top 10 Strategies for Running a Political Campaign,” list.

Real Clear Politics, and online political news source, reported the true validity of this when they reported, “the Obama camp, harnessed social-networking sites such as Facebook to bring millions of new voters into the political process…It is impossible to ascribe a victory in presidential politics to one force…but it is also impossible to ignore this fact: Among voters aged 18 to 29, Obama defeated Sen. John McCain by the astonishing margin of two-to-one.”


“Facebook is a lucrative marketing tool,” said Julianne Homola, a business major at Marist, “Promoters are able to reach a very important age

Picking Favorites: As part of its many features which aim to get the younger generation involved, Facebook was heavily used by presidential candidates in the 2008 elections.

Picking Favorites: As part of its many features which aim to get the younger generation involved, Facebook was heavily used by presidential candidates in the 2008 elections.

demographic. About 52% of Facebook users fit into the 18-25 year old category.”


More cost effective and targeted than traditional advertising – from being free-of-charge to start-up your own cause to reportedly costing $500,000 for Obama’s campaign to place ads – Facebook reaches out to people who are just coming of age to vote.

According to CivicYouth.org, “an estimated 23 million young Americans under the age of 30 voted in the 2008 presidential election, an increase of 3.4 million compared with 2004.”

The correlation is undeniable. Urso said that Facebook is, “raising the consciousness in the up and coming generation at a phenomenal rate never seen before.”

Whether tapping into local politics on a local or international level, Facebook is becoming the tool of choice among those all around the world in order to bring the issues closer to home. No longer do recipients have to wait to have information given to them, they can now take the steps to truly interact at the click of a button.

Facebook Changes Back to Original Terms Of Service

By: Daniel Kopf

Facebook reverted back to its original terms of use Wednesday after facing thousands of complaints from its users.

Facebook’s term of service policy came under fire last week when the website The Consumerist pointed out the deletion of a line in Facebook’s Terms of Use. The line was replaced with the following “You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. … However, you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content.”

These terms state that Facebook has rights to all information on a users profile even after it is deleted.

Marist College Res Net employee Joey Carmello supports Facebook’s previous policy, “If people use Facebook than the website has the right to do what they want with their content.” The users of Facebook disagreed however, as 58% voted yes to a Facebook poll asking if a change in the terms of service was needed.

Along with the resounding poll results thousands of groups protesting the new terms sprouted demanding action and spreading petitions.

“It seemed fairly unconstitutional, Facebook as a system works why change it” said TCNJ Sophomore Dan Frieri.

markzuckerbergAccompanied by a media storm and pressure by its users, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an explanation on his blog Wednesday explaining the move back to the old terms of service. “Going forward, we’ve decided to take a new approach towards developing our terms. We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.”

“They had the right to distribute my information you put on Facebook as well as the right to sub-license it out to other companies. I’m glad they can no longer use my information for profitable gain,” said Marist College Sophomore Andrew Fritzer.

Zuckerberg has also invited Facebook users to input their opinion into the next terms of service.

“I’m glad to see Mark Zuckerberg put his best foot forward and offer a chance for facebook uses to have an input in the website,” said Marist Sophomore Nick Seinfeld. It was a foolish business decision not to take into account the ramification of holding on to people’s personal information forever.”