The Daily Gamecock

Technology enables invasion of privacy

Social media presents benefits, dangers

Asking your crush out on a date used to be done by starting small talk in class, grabbing a coffee on break and moving into hourlong phone calls fading into the night. Now, Generation Y goes about this by maybe adding someone on Facebook, liking an Instagram picture and even tweeting at them if they want to make it public.

Technology has altered our way of life in many different aspects.

Bella, a kitchen appliance brand, has begun to target younger audiences by making affordable cooking appliances focusing on consumers 20-30 years old. According to The New York Times, the latest marketing campaigns involve a woman in her 20s with her significant other snapping selfies at the kitchen table, immediately uploading them to Instagram. Closing out, the commercial only reads, “#myBELLAlife.” The overall goal of the 30-second advertisement is for consumers to further promote Bella’s products though social media outlets.

Combinations of smartphones, applications and advertising are creating innovative ways to publicize products. It’s the start of a new trend in advertising.

Social media gains more consumers by the day as technology spreads to younger and older generations, along with people who could not afford such technology before but now can.
In the past decade, life has transformed from paper to digital, utilizing applications and the latest technology to get by. We use social media for everything — communication, entertainment, education, business, organization, news, dating — and it’s only in the beginning stage.

Social media has been exceedingly effective across the world. Demonstrators for the Arab Spring were able to organize and strike with protests because of the speed and accessibility Twitter allowed them. When Hurricane Sandy struck and the Boston bombing occurred, communities took to social media to post about lost loved ones as well as places people could find water, donate blood and even charge their phones.

Social media allows free-of-charge promotion and recognition of products, businesses and services for individuals everywhere.

Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds act as an autobiography for some users, giving followers a play-by-play of what individuals do with their lives.

Generation Y is obsessed with documenting their lives. This behavior is popularized by society and encouraged by major corporations who want you to tag their products, tweet at them for discounts and actively use their sites. This audience participation helps them target users with specific ads based on their typical search on the Web.

All of the information you write on your profile, tweet or post on Instagram is a collective database of knowledge for companies to use and turn into revenue by product placement on your very own social media accounts.

Companies are able to follow our every move with this information. Where you use the site, what Internet provider you use and what other sites you visit are all traceable with use of social media sites.

Privacy is a top controversial issue in the U.S. right now particularly because we are dealing with new media forms. In the U.S., some schools are attempting to gain permission to monitor students’ Facebook profiles to deter cyberbullying. Certain companies review your social media to see if your Internet profile matches the one you hand in. According to CNN, “The National Security Agency uses Facebook and other social media profiles to create maps of social connections.”

The incorporation of technology continues to improve many different qualities of our daily life. The disadvantage? Developing into a society revolving around social media may cost us our privacy if our voices are not as active as our newsfeeds.