Critiques of Social Media

The Anti-Social Network… BBC 3 

On Monday 19th March at 9pm, There is a programme on BBC3 talking about the effects of social networking and the impact it hold on society. It informs about how bullying over social networking can produce devistating effects.  An example is a boy aged 13 called Tom became bullied on Facebook. His parents came home one evening to find his son was missing. His parents called the police and searched the county for him. He was found in his shed at the back of his garden dead as he hung himself from the abuse on facebook. Is this was not enough for the family, a RIP Tom flooded the facebook upsetting all familys. This form of written emotion turned into more bully and sexual abuse to the family about their son. People became nastier and one particualr person wrote servere abuse that upset the family further. It goes to explain how the identity of the individual was secret as only a twitter name and facebook name is available. Therefore a person hidden within the social network world. The only way to contact the bully was to search the email account which matches both facebook and twitter news feed. Through this the police reveal the details of the unidentified human being. The language used reflects a child but the culpret is infact a 43 year old male. This is evident of how identity becomes lost within the social networking. This story within the programme reflects how people are effected by social networking and how common this cyber bullying has become since facebook and twitter has become a world wide form of communication.

By Christie Asplin.


BBC,(2012) ( Accessed: 12/03/2012) is the link for Christy’s post :) I’m going to watch it later – might be worth considering as a key influence – also could be an interesting topic for one of the rooms? as cyber bullying is a massive issue in today’s society? what do people think?. – comment by Becca.



“The more information you have on your profile the easier it is for identity thieves to verify themselves as being you.”

(We used a character to represent a famous word on face book “Frape” which is a description of someone temporary having access to someone’s profile account without the person being away. The only difference is the character will get raped in the VIP toilets to address how serious that matter was).    

“Users of social network systems to be aware of the value of the data they are making available online and of the ways that is can potentially be used”

(We called the room I was placed in the span room and I was dressed in black with cables round me indicating my character being the system. I controlled the room with lightings and over powered the scene to show that I was in control)

‘Check ins’ Helps robbers find you location and if the know you are not at home they can come to your house and rob you. If you let the social network know you are having a party, what make you think you can protect yourself from dangerous people? They could be people who are out to do harm to either you or your house.

(We would check everyone in as they got into the Tokyo builds and also we would log them out after the performance)

A web site called “Please rob me” has made awareness to anyone who makes public statements on social networks.

(We would make the Tokyo Building a web browsing space and every room would be a different website)


Cyber bullying

“Whilst cyber bullying is not physical it’s emotional and psychological effects are devastating for the victim and can often lead to suicide and depression (Hinduja & Patchin, 2010). Additionally another well know case of cyber bulling”

(We would use a character to represent a girl being bullied by other characters and then raped (frapped in the toilet).

“13 year old Megan began receiving nasty messages from a boy after a few weeks of an online flirtation with him, via her MySpace account, ending with one that suggested ‘the world would be a better place’ without her. Megan, believing she had been rejected by “Josh,” committed suicide in her home.”

(We were going to use more characters that were victims of an incidence but we thought every character would be a main dominating character that represented identity.)  


The weakening of strong ties & isolation

The term ‘social networking’ misleads people into believing they are being social

“1 in 7 say that social networking sites increase feelings of isolation” (Katonda News Network, 2010)  As well as “Nearly 70% report reading posts from someone close to them that seemed like a cry for emotional help, and while most students would offer support in some way, fewer than half would make a personal visit”

“We had the same character crying at the opening of the scene to Symbolize struggle and the call for help”


Workplace interference  

They create distraction, decrease productivity, cost companies money, can jeopardise a company’s reputation and legal liability and for those users who don’t have their profiles set to private can often result in unemployment.

“If every employee in a 50-strong workforce spent 30 minutes on a social networking site every day, that would work out to a loss of 6,500 hours of productivity in one year!” (Kelleher, 2009).

(We made 4 characters works of the system and each one of the characters was placed up stairs on the building while the audience was being introduced. The dialogue used to indicate they were working was from Jamie saying “GET BACK TO WORK”)

I believed this was necessary because 45 percent of employers questioned are using social networks to screen job candidates” (Wortham, 2009). Therefore it is undeniably true that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and the like do in fact cause more harm than good.



It is finally starting to make sense what our project is going to be about. The long relentless research has definitely helped me understand the loss of identity through social networks. This morning I read articles about losing identify and connected them to how the social media sites can affects someone’s identity.

I have also discovered from the research that once people loose identity they become variable. This opens several personal problems that cause controversy with people’s environment. This basically means identity could cause distraction in an individual’s real world.

I feel some of this research might help our group develop performance material and ideas of some of the topics we could use to represent the loss of identity in performance.

I think it is a disturbing thought to think that

“There are more than 500 million active users on face book and users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on this social networking site (Facebook, 2011).”

People use the social media to display their lives in the public eye. The social media websites allow people to create a profile upload pictures and connect with other people who are then called your ‘friends’. The process on these social networking sites like face book have been made as simplistic as possible to everyone, so it is easy to use and encourages people on face book to interact and activate their profile.

Adding a friend or someone you don’t know on face is acceptable but the reality is people on face book are actually asking you to have permission to have a look at your life. The disadvantage is by letting these people who face book calls friends visit your profile automatically means you are letting people into your everyday life. The question will want to ask our audience in our project is basically, would you accept anyone to be part of your social life in reality just like you accept them to be your friend on face book?. Have a think about it…


A lot of people spend so much time broadcasting statuses ( and tweeting ( to possible strangers because it works out that almost everyone on face book has someone on their profile that they don’t know. We have people in society that consider a lot of people on their profile as a competition for popularity but the more people a face book profile has, the less safety they are from maintaining their identity.

Social media has so many disadvantages and on this blog I will elaborate some of these from the research I captured on the Internet. Social networks can bring a negative influence on children, teenagers and adults, increase the ease and prominence of cyber bullying, increase personal insecurities and feed addictions and weaken strong personal ties. Cyber bullying has become so popular through social networking because sites like face book allows people to have a different Identity. We have things like face profiles, face book allow people to lie and become someone else. These profiles are used to stalk individuals and also steal someone else’s identity.

Unfortunately I was actually once a victim of this case, someone decided to make a fake profile of my and the person that did this managed to steal photos and personal details which were then used on the fake profile. My identity was stolen to the point where the person on this profile updated my change of relationship status from being in a relation to being single. It took Facebook over 2 year to identify the problem but what was more worrying is the person made my profile must have been connected to my profile. It made me more aware of who to accept as a friend on face book but it was too late my identity was stolen and abused by someone else. Face book increases the ease of identity theft and bring to light other privacy issues as well as lead to an overall decrease in our face-to-face social skills and confidence.

Face book will allow people to bully others because it is even easier you be abusive online that it is in reality. In reality people can choose to hear things, they can also run and escape certain abusive situations. Online abuse can be made public my making groups like “I hate Justin Beiber” bearing in mind just Bieber was only a young 16 year old teenage who had found fame out of having a talent. Unfortunately over 2million people like the page and agree with this very unnecessary dispute.

Here is the link:!/pages/I-Hate-Justin-Bieber/327192846

It has also come to my attention that a total of “806,000 Australians aged 15 years and over were victims of at least one incident of personal fraud in or identity theft  in 2008” (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008)

By Dumi Siwo.


 Is the cyber-world dominating the real-world? Explorations for our performance.

Twitter, Facebook and email is ‘taking over family life’

As follows is a section from an article from The Daily Mail 6th July 2011 by Simon Neville;

‘Family life is being disrupted because parents and children are overwhelmed by the huge volumes of emails and social messaging updates they are handling each day, according to a new study. As a result one in three of us are now desperate to cut down our use of Twitter and Facebook as well as emails. Surprisingly the study, by Cambridge University, found children as well as adults preferred to communicate face to face. More than half of all families said a ‘technology-free’ time is important and a third of parents said technology had disrupted family life. The findings led family groups to warn that if parents end up spending more time checking emails and social networks than with their children it could have a detrimental effect on the home’.(Neville 2011)

This element of desperation is what we wanted to portray in our performance, the idea that there is no escape from the cyber. The fact that there is a need for ‘technology free time’ shows that the time spent online is dominating normal time.


Neville, Simon, Twitter, Facebook and email is ‘taking over family life’, Online: (Accessed: May 2012)

By Emma Rogers.


TalHotBlond: (2009)

As aforementioned in the presentation, the documentary TalHotBlond: (2009), directed by Barbara Schroeder, played a big part when discussing ideas for our piece. TalHotBlond: typifies the influence and social relevance that not only social networking but technology itself has on modern culture.

‘When upstate NY married factory worker Thomas Montgomery started playing games online, he got a lot more than he signed up for. A beautiful teenager, screen name talhotblond, texted him hello, and he was hooked. But in order to keep her attention, he lied and pretended to be a buff, brave 18 year old soldier, screen name marinesniper. The online romance was epic, but the fantasy blew up when the teenager found out who Montgomery really was. For revenge, she starts up an online affair with one of Montgomery’s co-workers, who’s 22 and telling the truth about who he is. The teenage vixen pits both men against each other, plays wicked mind games with them, and raises the levels of desire and deceit until the games escalate into real life murder.’ (IMDB, 2009)

The story epitomises the dark world of the internet and raises the questions of identity and ‘are you really who you say you are?’.

It’s the trust and naivety, and of course the dark sinister undertone that will become more apparent as the piece progresses, that are going to be conveyed and manipulated within our own performance.


TalHotBlond: (2009). Imdb [Online] Available from: (Accessed 24th April)

By Jamie Downes.


Social Networking Privacy…..?

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) states that ‘40% of 8-18 year olds visit a social networking site at least once a day’(online: With this statistic it is likely to think that social networking sites will play a part of people’s life at some point.  Although parents may restrict their children from accessing this form of social media, access may still be gained outside the household. Therefore parents may begin to reflect how safe social networking is within society. Within most schools social networking sites were banned but as the NSW Education department reviews its internet filtering policy, they believe that schools may begin to relax from this ban. Schools have been asked to fill out a student survey in order to discover whether social networking sites play a big role in students life’s outside of education. Digital Education Revolution Program reveal from the survey that the council were aware that students spent hours on social networking sites and therefore providing the involvement within a school would maintain a safe environment of access. They believed that students would access the social media on mobile phones through the school hours anyway, so if it was provided within the education timetable supervision would be given to keep it safe. Rachael Sowden, said ‘parents would welcome supervision of students accessing social networking sites at school. We’d much rather have policies in place that support its safe usage.'(online:

Although this seems like a positive turn to the usage of social networking sites, Social networking can also cause drama, job loss and a personal breach of security. This is why all councils and experts on social networking demands the usage stays safe. It is often highlighted how everything people do online is kept forever and seen by anyone. The information used on the social networking sights can be over informative, especially Facebook which allows anybody to see user’s information i.e where people live or where children go to school. Although people reflect how their own pages can be set to private, how ‘private’ are these?

Facebook have put in devices to change settings on peoples account so old post and photos can be deleted from the social network for future employees and friends to avoid seeing. Although this is effective, specialists say people should be aware from the beginning how viral social networking sites are. Therefore Profiles should be clean from personal information in the first place.

With this in mind, is social networking safe? Should we recreate profiles for the future being aware of what we publish? And should children have social networking banned until they realise the consequences?


Who knows? You decide?!



LeClerc Greer, Katie, (2011) ( Accessed: 13/04/2012)

Arlington, Kim (2012) (Accessed: 13/04/2012)

By Christie Asplin.

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