The Power of Social Networks.
By Kathrine Wernerson
Image From: http://socialhowtomedia.com.au/the-power-of-social-networks/
Power can be understood in many ways such as a label or higher position role in modern society which can often show a type of leadership. However, power can have a kind of strength through different forces which can have an influence on people to do things that we wouldn’t normally, or be expected to do. “The meaning of power begins with that of a source of change: Power is free to the extent that it is the source of change in which it participates, and compelled to the extent that other power determines these changes.” (Berndtson, 1970)
The virtual networking site I decided to join for this assessment (Week 3-8) is Habbo Hotel. When I first joined this social network I felt very compelled and disempowered. However, when I was a younger child; I too had already been a member of this network space. The reason I have chosen to work with this networking space was not only to see how the site is socially interactive, but to be able to communicate and understand the type of things the virtual space has, since already being a member of Facebook. By being a part of this network I would be able to make sense of the kind of power the site has and how individual users of this network are being placed with the network power. Social networking sites are designed not only to be seen as a virtual escape from reality, they have also been known to gain and expand on different types of knowledge. Currently, social networking sites are changing, developing in various ways that now allow us to be able to access almost anything through devices that have now come in sizes as small as our hand. Two PhD students/ candidate and two professors at the University of Arizona over at academia.edu analyses that unlike the communication functions of other technologies, SMT (Social Media Technologies) in particular has provided a virtual landscape mirroring familiar elements of community as we understood and experienced it prior to the existence of such technologies.
Yet, as Turkle (1995) explains through Foucault’s work it isn’t that power is undermined as a easy link between electronic communication and freedom through a virtual environment, the power which networking space holds can become a space where you can, still be a part of but you have the ability to laminate how much of that networking space you require. Travelling throughout social networking sites can be never or less a world of total freedom but having the abilities to control your usage and daily contact can be of physical power that you may or may not be in control of.
Berndtson, A. (1970). The meaning of power. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 31(1), 73-84
Davis III H.F, Charles, et nal. Social Media in Higher Education, a Literature Review and Research Directions. Retrieved 14 August, 2013 from http://www.academia.edu/1220569/Social_Media_in_Higher_Education_A_Literature_Review_and_Research_Directions
Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the Screen: Identity in the age of the Internet. New York: Simon &Schuster
Panapticon (21.01.2013) The Power of Social Networks. Retrieved From: