Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Facebook isn't Technological Determinism

In basic terms, technological determinism is defined based on the premises that societies are forced to adapt to technologies. Technological determinism does not have a definite outcome or solution. Rather, the social change aspect is driven by means of goals of rationality and efficiency. To further illustrate this point, I found an article on the News Scientist website which basically gives the assumption that Facebook will take over the world in the means of socialization. The article describes that Facebook will be the medium to the largest means of communication, thus, society will be forced to use Facebook to gather information rather it be news, advertisements, social networking, etc.

A few counter arguments I am going to illuminate are: people’s desire for lots of friends, mass production of advertising, and the benefits of a fast paced environment. To start with, back in the day before Facebook became popular I use to be a Myspace account. I would notice that many people would have competitions to see who could get the most friends. Some of the reasons people would do this I because the media and society preach that it is important to have as many friends as possible for networking purposes and for relationships. This means that Facebook isn’t changing the way we make friends, but it is a means to creating a mass amount of “them”, even if they are just Internet friends. Technology (in reference to Facebook) isn’t causing forcing society to adapt; rather it is society adopting it.

Secondly, another example would be that Facebook allows for a mass production to mass audiences. For instance, if someone were throwing a birthday party, they wouldn’t have to buy cards, stamps, invites, envelopes, and take the time to put all them together to be mailed to the recipients. Since Facebook allows someone to create a group or advertising which will be shown to many, it eliminates a plethora of financial difficulties and time consumption. In this case, Facebook is not causing the “taking over of the world”, but it is society that chooses to utilize the functions of Facebook. Facebook isn’t changing social norms, but once again, society is choosing to adopt the technology, not society being forced to adapt to it.

My final counter example is going to have a pivot point around society and it fast paced, day-to-day, jam packed schedules. When walking through many the streets of the city’s downtown, you may see many people in business suits and talking on their Blackberry. Whenever you ask them a question, they act as if they have no time for you. Well, society in general revolves around a fast paced environment so then we must compensate by having tools that can help us keep up with the pace. This is where society uses Facebook as a means of instant communication. A couple of the features of Facebook include an instant messenger, private messages, wall-to-wall posting, and tagging which all provide people/businesses with instant access their audiences. This drastically diminishes face-to-face communication but it is not Facebook that is causing it. It solely lies on the people choosing to make Facebook their means of communication.

Facebook isn’t changing the world; people have not been forced to adapt to it, but rather society has adopted it for means of creating new friends, advertising to a mass audience, and also to help with the fast paced environment.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blackberry 8520 vs. Droid 2 vs. iPhone

Well, many of you already know that I am a cell phone enthusiastic. Over the past years I have had probably 30+ phones and do not plan on stopping anytime soon. While my cell phone fetish so to speak changes just about every month, but if I truly like the phone, every other month. I am a person who likes to see new technology evolve and I want the newest gadget.

I have had just about all the major top selling phones on the market including the iPhone for AT&T, Motorola i1 for Boost Mobile (I hate that it runs off the Sprint network because it has a lot of potential), Blackberry 8520 for T-mobile, and my favorite thus far, the Droid 2 from Verizon Wireless. I have had many carries and many different types of smartphones so I have an omni-directional scope of the pros and cons of both.

One of the greatest perks of the iPhone is the fact that it is very intuitive and was the first to hit the market. Apple forced all other cellular companies to bow at their feet until they were able to come up with a phone that would start to match their technology in the iPhone. I would say that when the iPhone first came out, I thought it was amazing due to the fact that it was referred to as the "Jesus Phone" and other names along those lines. In retrospect, it sort of was. It could do just about anything and everything but it had a major flaw, it was so proprietorial so that it was very difficult to get apps loaded into the market and it is even worse today.

When I had the iPhone which was twice (the 2G & the 3G), I really enjoy how the on screen typing was so streamlined and amazingly fast with suburb accuracy. When I had the Motorola i1 on the other hand, it was absolutely horrible trying to use the on screen keyboard. It was very inconsistent and it would add words that were not even remotely in the dictionary. This was a major flaw but it did have a feature that I had never seen in a phone before that I wish all phones had, Portal. Well, what is "Portal"? It basically provides you with access to text messaging and gallery via the Web. All you have to do is be on a Wifi network and start the Portal. It gives you a local IP address where you can log into and be able to text and see all your pictures instantaneously.

Even though I loved this feature enough to keep it for about 3 months, the negatives of the phone and Boost Mobile outweighed the positives. One of the flaws were that anytime I had sent a text message, it went though as urgent and there was no way to remove it. I had called customer service and they didn't know why it was happening and provided no solution. No matter when I had called them, I usually received horrible customer service. What the major flaw was though was that the reception was absolutely horrible. I had the Motorola i1 for a week while I also had the Blackberry 8520 with T-mobile. When I had put the phones side by side at almost any location, there would be 2-4 more bars on the Blackberry.

Now on to my favorite, the Droid dos. This phone is by far the coolest, fastest phone I have ever had. As soon as I opened it and had it running, I was able to open up 10 applications without any notice of it slowing down. I would switch between the free Navigation application which offers turn by turn directions for free, to other apps like Facebook, Droid Market, Youtube and several others. The 1 GHz processor is absolutely perfect for this phone. The QWERTY is phenomenal because each key is slightly raised and very nicely spaced apart even for my big fingers. Another amazing feature is that it is so heavily integrated with Google. I am able to use my Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Voice, Google Calendar, Google Web History and so many others. One thing I cannot leave out is the 3G on the phone. It is without a doubt amazingly faster than the Blackberry or any other phone I have ever had.

I would highly recommend someone having the Droid 2 over any other phone on the market right now. What will come next in the revolution of smartphones? Not many know but I am excited to find out.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

People Can.... I Mean Are Sicking!

I consider myself to be a pretty nice guy. When someone needs help, I will go above and beyond to make sure I do my part in helping them with whatever they need. Whenever someone has called me and has a problem, I take the time to listen to them and offer advice straight from my heart with 100% honesty.

I have done lots of things for people including: physical labor, computer training, personal problems, loaning money, running random errands, taking drunk friends home so they don't get arrested, free tutoring, and so much more. I do not do these things for any type of recognition whatsoever but rather as a personal favor to myself.

When I help someone out doing whatever the chore maybe, I feel satisfied and I feel like I have done a good deed. More than not, people are grateful and they come back later for additional help and advice which assures me that I am doing a good job and hopefully being the best friend that I can be.

Slightly shifting subjects, what bothers me the most is that no matter how good you can be to a person, or how much you can do for someone, or how good of a friend you are to a person, you can still be taken advantage for all your worth. I know people work very hard for their belongings, and to have them stolen from you can be a horrible experience.

I recently had my motorcycle stolen and it has put so many things into perspective for me now. It affirms me that you really cannot trust anyone whatsoever in this world. I mean I trust my family with my life, but I know many sons and daughters who have told me that they would not trust their parents with a single thing. Either because they are always infringing upon their personal space or have shared information with others that they should have kept within the family.

Since my motorcycle has been stolen from me, I have taken many actions to make sure I can help prevent this from happening again. In my opinion, it is sad that I have taken so many actions just to prevent my property from being stolen. I recommend people taking the same actions that I have done.

Since I am in a college town, I really never thought someone would steal my motorcycle just 6" from my door when I was not home. The horrible thing is that I had asked for Comprehensive insurance which would have covered the theft but they neglected to add it to my insurance. So to help this from ever happening again, I have taken many steps to help prevent this from happening again. If you would like to know to to make sure your property and vehicles are well protected, let me know and I will inform you on some methods to take.