Monday, January 3, 2011

Does Mark Zuckerberg Affect Your Life?

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26 year old recently named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, 2010, began Facebook from his dorm room seven years ago. Today, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country in the world, behind only China and India. Facebook is a network for over 500 million users who choose to connect with others that they care about and the world in general. In a recent interview, Zuckerberg stated that he believes Facebook broadens a person’s ability to stay connected with people even though they don’t have time to hang out together or meet for coffee. These are the friends that you have that you want to keep up with even though you don’t plan to give them a call.

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook has given people a voice so that each can share his/her personal viewpoint and opinion. In the Facebook network, there are many communities that come together in a transparent and open way and are linked in ways that make us wonder if there really are a total of 6 degrees of separation. When asked if Facebook was an invasion of privacy, Zuckerberg stated that privacy is in part determined by having control over how and with whom you share information, rather than being totally unexposed or off the grid. On the Facebook network a person can can share opinions and information and in so doing, each “friend” or “viewer” has the opportunity to make better, more informed choices. Zuckerberg believes that when you create something good that has a value for others, some of that value can come back to you. Zuckerberg recently gave $100M to the Newark Schools saying, if I have the resources now, I need to get started giving back to the community.

CNBC will broadcast “Facebook Obsession” beginning on January 6. This broadcast is supposedly the real story behind Facebooks’ rapid growth. According to the previews, with nearly a ½ billion users the affect of Facebook on the world is staggering. The broadcast will explore how Facebook is altering our way of life and perhaps even changing society in ways that we can’t yet understand. Check it out. Become more informed. Facebook or some social media like it, will be a fact of life for the youth you work with if it isn’t already.

To prepare for watching the broadcast, consider how you can help the youth in your program become familiar with Facebook, how they can stay connected with friends through social media, the logistics of Facebook (how to post, create a page, post photos and videos, link to your favorite music, learn about becoming part of a group or a fan, and creating a blog). Facebook is ever evolving and can link you and your students to a variety of other social media. (Think about Facebook pen pals) For some of you, social media may be a mystery, for others it is simply one of the way you communicate. Either way, social networks are the face of the future and it is incredibly important that you don’t let this train leave you in the station. Get on board. Watch the broadcast. Take a class if you need some help (there are a variety of online tutorials that you can go through). Learn the basics.

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