Google + AssignmentPosted: 18/09/2011
Another social medium
A few years ago I said goodbye to Hotmail and went on using Gmail. I became a fan of all the handy features Gmail offered me. Attaining my driving license, Google Maps stole my heart. While studying, Google Scholar is one of my favorites, so why would Google + not become the next brilliant invention of Google?
If I would use Google +, I would make 4 different circles and naming them: family, friends, sports and people I know from university: VU people. Within the circle of family, I would make a division between my closest family (father, mother and brothers) and my nephews, nieces, aunts an uncle’s. Within the circle of friends, I would make a division between my real friends and ‘sort of’ friends. Luckily, most of my friend list contains real friends with whom I share personal stuff and feel comfortable staying with. You could wonder why I am separating my real friends from ‘sort of’ friends. Isn’t that a little bit pathetic? I have to be completely honest to answer that question: I have this weird interest in people I ‘kind of’ know (people I used to go to elementary school with or people I once met at a party, friends of friends etcetera). Knowing what they are up to without having to speak to them in person is a great way of spying. I did some research and found out I am not the only one using social media to spy on people. Actually, my ‘spy-work’ is rather amateurish and innocent comparing to telephone companies for instance or even the government. Rachel King (2006) wrote in an article: “A number of companies are using public social networks to spy on employees.”
The use of social media like Google + can infringe your privacy. What information will I share with my circles and will all my circles get the same information? First of all, I do not frequently – like once a day – post messages and there is al lot of information I would never post on the internet. Secondly, if there is some important news about an exam for instance, I would only share it with the VU people and the circle of family would only have access to the pictures of a family reunion I posted. But there is an imperfection in the system: some VU people are also real friends and some real friends are also people I know from sports. Do I have to make separate circles for these special groups? I found that too much work.
I am not really enthusiastic about Google +. Mainly, because only a handful of people I know are using it and I am already using Facebook, a similar social medium. Why go to a party with only three friends around if there is a great party with almost all of your friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends, on the opposite side?
King, R. (2006). ‘Social Networks: Execs Use Them Too’, BusinessWeek Online, September 11.