I was invited to speak on a Blog Talk Radio show on the impact of social media in our lives, how we have become addicted, the downfalls and much more. Listen to the recording or read up on the transcript from the show below
TRANSCRIPT: Blogtalk Radio interview: Are we addicted to social media and the impact of social media on our lives
FELIX: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to ‘Wrasslin With Life’ with your host here, Felix. Tonight the topic is actually a good one I chatted with a friend of mine on her show earlier tonight. I am so thrilled to have our special guest calling in, another friend of mine I have from Google+. We’ll get to her in just a moment. Sara, don’t go away. Here’s the thing we’re going to be talking about…are you a social media addict? It doesn’t necessarily have to reflect on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and for us old school people, we even had Myspace back in the day. We’re going to hit on a lot of topics. Sara’s calling in to share her ideas and some interesting stuff I read about on her profile. This girl has definitely got a lot to say and I’m so thrilled that she’s able to join me and talk about that. She had been waiting since I started the show to call in, so I’m going to go ahead and bring her on the air. Why wait? Let’s go ahead and bring her on. Hello Sara.
SARA: Hi Felix, how are you?
FELIX: I am so good. I am thrilled you were able to call in. Thank you so much for joining me.
SARA: It’s my pleasure.
FELIX: Alrighty, now we were talking about social media addicts. It caught my interest. That’s one of the reasons I added it to the show tonight, when I was reading over some of the material that you talked about on the blog. I lost my train of thought for a second, I apologize. I would actually like to see if you could share a little bit about that, your views on that, and we’ll talk about that a little bit as well, and a few opinions I’ve got from a few of my callers that are about to call in, more than one caller. I’m popular tonight.
SARA: Yay! It was a really interesting topic on how we’ve become addicted to social media. If we just look at the quick statistics, Facebook to date is at 750 million users, Twitter is at about 175 million, and Google+, even though it just rolled out about a month ago, is at 30 million users. So I think the answer is yes, we are definitely addicted to social media, looking at just a general snap shot today. Now I know that with this channel, you’ve got your own Google+, but social media is a lot bigger than just the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and sites such as these. Social media actually encompasses any tool or service that uses the internet to facilitate conversation. Social media has actually been available for the last 20 to 30 years, since the internet came out. The way it exists today with the platforms, I think that’s the new medium. That’s definitely what’s made us a lot more addicted, or a lot more engaged, so to speak.
FELIX: Very very true. Over the years, technology’s gotten so advanced that it’s not where you can walk down the street, say hi to the neighbor, even send them a letter. You can just communicate from home, you can even be looking right at them, talking to them, through your computer. It’s crazy.
SARA: Absolutely. I think one of the great things about social media that makes it so engaging, is you kind of develop this intuition about people that you follow, your friends, your family, without having to engage and talk to them. And I know people have this argument with “what happened to calling each other? What happened to people actually meeting each other and communicating that way?”
SARA: But I think what social media has done is that it’s actually opened that communication, where I now know what’s happening with my friends and family who live away from me, who live in different countries.
SARA: I don’t really need to talk to them, but when I do engage with them I know what’s been going on in the background anyway, so it has kind of binded us together more as a society in that sense.
FELIX: Actually, since you hit on that topic, I wanted to say for my listeners tonight, that Sara is calling in from Sydney, Austrailia.
SARA: Yes I am, and we connected through Google+. That was pretty cool.
FELIX: Yes yes, very awesome. That’s why I’m so thrilled you took the time to do this for me. You’ve got to love Skype. That’s another advantage right there with the technology we have, for you to be able to take part in this show right here. I’m in California, you’re in Austrailia.
SARA: Yes, absolutely. Just to get back on, I talked about how we’re addicted to social media, we’re addicted to finding out about friends, family, and people in our circles, but I think one of the things that makes us even more addicted to social media, is the fact that we have authors and celebrities on social media too. They make it more engaging. We have businesses, and they have brand personalities which are engaging. They make it even more addictive for us as well. One of the best examples I see, in terms of celebrities using social media very well, is probably Jason Mayhem Miller. He is an absolute genius at using social media. There is not a single post that he puts on Facebook that doesn’t generate hundreds of likes, and hundreds of comments, as soon as he releases it. He’s just so engaging and entertaining, that you can’t not watch him. I think another person who uses it really well is Gillian Michaels, and I know you’re a fan of her too because I saw that on your profile.
FELIX: Oh yeah.
SARA: She’s just a powerhouse in general, but she just has the capability to leverage social media really well for her personal brand and business. When we take a look at social media in that sense, where we’ve got these businesses and personalities all sucking us, engaging us to interact with this platform, of course we’re going to be addicted to it.
FELIX: Absolutely. I can definitely vouch for the fact that I follow Bob Harper and Gillian Michaels, many other fitness gurus, as well as many celebrities. That’s the good thing about Twitter, is you don’t necessarily have to talk to them, but you can just see what they’re doing, if they’re just spending time with family, they even post pictures. There’s just many advantages to having that, but there’s also a downfall to that. That’s another topic that I was talking about on another friend of mine’s show. I’m not sure if you heard about this, you remember having Myspace, is that correct?
SARA: Yes, I do.
FELIX: A few years ago, there had been instances where people were portraying themselves to be somebody they weren’t just to meet people on there, and it got a little out of hand. I don’t know the exact details on the story, but an older gentleman was portraying himself to be a young man who had been talking to this young lady, and they were going to schedule a meeting, and it turns out this was a setup. At this point, this gentleman had been harassing a lot of other people on Myspace, and it set up this thing that caught him, because he wasn’t who he said he was and he was going to meet with her. It led to something that could have been very dangerous, luckily, it wasn’t. So as far as that, there’s good and bad with it, but the technology is continually advancing, so you’re definitely getting more protected on certain issues as you were five years ago. It’s definitely much more advanced, as it continues to advance over the years.
SARA: Absolutely. I think social media has a lot of positives we’ve spoken about, but there are absolutely problems with hosts that social media attributes to and they are definitely negative. I think the way we address that is definitely an education issue. So the case that you spoke of, in terms of having false identities and misleading other people, that happens not only online but in real life as well. Unfortunately, social media just gave us another platform for that to happen. I think what it comes down to at the end of the day is it’s an education issue. In terms of whose responsibility? I’m not sure of the answer to that, but I definitely think that schools and parents need to get onto that to protect our kids, educating them about the internet and the risks of the internet as well. That’s one case. It’s interesting you bring up the risk of identity, privacy issues, and stuff like that because I recall an interview that I saw with Mark zuckerberg at the Web 2.0 Summitt where he was talking about how, the more people that use social media over time, the more that they will start to reveal about themselves, the more they will share their information and content. I think as we progress as a society and move forward with social media, we’ll definitely see people starting to share more. I know that when I first started on social media, I made a lot more of my photo albums private than I did now. Now, I don’t really care because there’s not anything on there I would be embarrassed about. As I said, as we progress we tend to share more information and content. At the same time, we also need to take responsibility. We have celebrities crying that people take advantage and stalk them. At the same time, you know you have a social media profile, and then you cry poor when people publish these photos that have appeared on your Facebook? What do you think is going to happen?
SARA: Take responsibility for the content that you post. Yeah, I think it’s easy to blame the social media platform for these things, but as people we need to take responsibility, and as a society we need to take measures to protect each other from it as well.
FELIX: Very very true. That actually leads to another thing that’s been going on as well, not necessarily just on the internet but on television as well, that it’s allowing the parents to actually have parental control over certain issues, where like on the television they’re able to lock certain channels that the children aren’t able to watch. I know with certain websites, if I’m not mistaken, even through the whole system itself, that the parents are able to not allow them to view certain websites. Does that make sense?
SARA: Yes. That’s an interesting one because I think when it comes to kids and the internet, it’s kind of a touchy subject because when you’re a minor and you live in the same house as your parents, the ability to use the internet and watch TV, that’s a privieledge. You do it under their supervision in their house until you’re an adult and you can accept the responsibilities and the consequence of your actions. I think parents definitely have the right to monitor what their kids watch and what their kids do on the internet, because as you said, there are risks to these things. When you’re a child, you don’t necessarily see the consequences and these risks.
FELIX: On that note, I’m going to take a quick break. Hang out with me for just a second and we’ll be back in about 50 seconds, okay?
SARA: No worries.
FELIX: Thank you so much. Thank you for being so patient with me everybody. Welcome back. I have Sara calling in and we’re talking about social media, are you addicted to it? and some of the downfalls to it. It’s definitely been a great show so far and I’m so blessed to have her on it with me tonight. Let’s go ahead and get her back on. Welcome back, Sara. Are you there?
SARA: Yes I am.
FELIX: Alright, we just had a quick break there. I was just explaining what we’ve been talking about and so forth. I’m not sure about Skype, I’ve never really used it, can you actually hear me talking while you’re waiting?
SARA: Yes I can.
FELIX: Okay good. I wanted to make sure so you didn’t think I had lost you or anything like that. I know that looking over the information, you were also telling me that not only do you have great opinions about social media, but you also trained in different types of fighting as well, is that correct?
SARA: Yes, that’s right. I’m a mixed martial artist as well. I train in boxing and may thai, and I’m also an instructor.
FELIX: Awesome. Have you actually ever been to the States?
SARA: I was actually in the States a couple of weeks ago. I was there for a month, in California and Chicago. I have family and friends there, and was actually on holiday. It was my second time in the States. I’m a big fan of the States, it was a lot of fun.
FELIX: Very cool. I’m glad you were able to come over, have a little bit of fun, and take a break.
FELIX: As we were saying, there are benefits to the social media. There are so many different aspects now of communication than there were 15 years ago, and it’s come such a long way. Like we were discussing before I went to break, the security aspect of it is coming to certain websites. It’s true that when they’re still living with your parents they still have that control, but when you’re not necessarily living with your parents, you kind of have to use some common sense. If it seems peculiar, don’t push it. Would you agree with that? Does that make sense?
SARA: Absolutely. The internet is this massive space. People tend to get angry when you say things that offend them, and they tend to get angry when they see things that are not necessarily what they expect, but at the same time, you do have a lot of control over it. If you don’t like something, you don’t have view it. If you don’t like someone’s comments, you don’t have to follow them, or you don’t have to like them on the platforms that you’re associating with them. I think it is a matter of common sense as well.
FELIX: Absolutely, I couldn’t have said it better myself. You said it perfectly right there. With the way things are now, with the freedom of speech and so forth, people have their own opinions, and it’s just a matter of them not having the same opinions as you on certain views in this world, especially with social media. Now, it goes with the television aspect as well, where if you don’t want to watch it, change the channel. If you don’t want to listen to it, turn the station. In this case, as far as the media goes, if you don’t want your children on the internet, don’t have access and make sure they’re not on it. Be a parent as opposed to complaining about it. Does that make sense?
SARA: Absolutely. I think we talk about controlling that sense, but at the same time, the internet has given us a lot of privileges and assets for people who haven’t necessarily been able to voice their opinions and be heard. Groups, businesses, and the likes of that now have the chance to be seen and heard on this platform. It’s given the likes of you and myself a chance to talk on this radio platform, which twenty years ago we may not have had access to. We have a lot more priveledges, we have a lot more advances that give us a lot more information, and at the same time we have a responsibility of controlling how we take in this information and what information we take in.
FELIX: Very true. On that same subject, some of the issues I’ve seen over the last couple of months, even in a couple of weeks now, is the issue of privacy. What I mean by that is certain things like you were talking about…pictures, some of the things you were saying about maybe showing telephone numbers, or maybe where your location is to where you’re living. How do you feel about that? Because I know some of them can be blocked off, but apparently Facebook still has access to allow that information to be visible at some point, whereas Google+ or maybe even Twitter may not. That can lead to dangerous situations as well if someone was wanting to track you down, or try to find your number to harass you. I mean, the privacy aspect doesn’t always work. Now, does a person just decide to stay away from it altogether or do they take that risk? Nowadays, people just don’t care anymore, you know?
SARA: Yeah. It’s a funny one because I know what you’re talking about with the privacy issue. I know that Facebook has, at several times, against people’s wills, published phone numbers, locations, and the likes of that. I think it’s definitely a grey area. But on the other side, they also give you the options of changing those privacy settings, so although they default to assume that we want everyone to know our cell phone numbers and personal home numbers, at the end of the day, we still have the option of changing that. We still have control in that. Once again, I think it’s the responsibility thing. We need to be on top of that and take responsibility for broadcasting and putting our numbers up there as well. People talk about the issue of stalking online, yet they post every movement they have on Foursquare. Where does this line end? We now have an identity, not only in our normal lives, but we also have this internet footprint, where the places we go, the places that we visit, the profiles that we deal with on the internet are there for a while. They’re going to stick around until something happens to their servers. Once again, I think the onus is on us as users, to take responsibility for this. On the users side, and I am on the users side, Facebook does push out these updates and broadcast these things without us knowing. But at the same time, we need to be on top of this stuff. We know that we put our information in there and that is a risk we have.
FELIX: Now, it also goes into the aspect of another topic that I was discussing with a friend of mine the other day, is when it comes to playing certain games on Facebook. I freely admit I’m addicted to games like FarmVille and Family Feud. When it comes to putting your personal information, and obviously your credit card information, another issue that comes up there as well, it goes back to the other issues we were talking about with common sense. If you’re willing to play the game and risk putting your information on, you really have nobody to blame but yourself.
SARA: Exactly. Once again, it’s that a responsibility part. As you said before, you give these people your credit card information to play the games, but it’s no different than you handing it over at a retail store where they swipe your card, or in a taxi cab where they swipe your credit card there, so we’re always going to be open to these privacy issues, but it’s now escalated because it’s on these online platforms now.
FELIX: Now, what I was going to say was, if people wanted to get in contact with you just to read some of the blogs that you posted. I had Jason on last week. We had a mutual friend on Google, Jason DeCosta? He was posting some information on health issues that caught my eye, so I brought him on last week. And as I mentioned, as you were posting some information, I just decided to take a look at your profile, and I came across your website and the information, as far as what you like to talk about and so forth. That’s why another issue that I’ve definitely wanted to bring you on to talk about and share your opinions about, because you know your stuff. You’ve definitely studied this and you know what you’re talking about. If a person wanted to get in contact with you, as far as through your website to read up on some of the blogs you posted, or to send you an email or anything on there, is there a way that they can reach you? For those that have Google+, obviously they can reach you on Google+, but how can people get a hold of you if they want to reach you?
FELIX: Yep, I’m following you on all of those, and if you had a Twitter I’d be following you on there too.
SARA: I am on Twitter too at Rocketeer_Chick.
FELIX: Well, what do you know? I ask and I shall receive, and I definitely found out. I didn’t know you were on Twitter. I’m actually on Twitter myself.
SARA: That’s the beauty of social media, that we can be connected on all these platforms.
FELIX: There you go. Well, you know what, Sara? I’m going to go ahead and wind down the show here. I want to thank you, thank you, thank you so much for coming on and joining me to talk about this. I definitely would love to have you come back sometime in the near future. There are other topics we could talk about and we’ll decide that at another time, but thank you for sharing and spending some time with me talking about these issues, an issue that is going to continue on, as well as our technology in the world right now is going to continue to advance. So we may even have you come back on and talk about that, if that’s okay with you.
SARA: Yep, sounds fantastic. Thank you for having me on. It’s been fantastic.
FELIX: Alright, I’m glad it was comfortable for you. I’ll definitely try to keep it a comfortable environment. I’m not sure, is it daytime over there or is it nighttime?
SARA: It’s afternoon now.
FELIX: Because it’s like 9:30PM over here, so yeah, we’re in the evening time. None the less, enjoy your day and thank you again for calling. I’ll be in contact with you. Maybe I’ll leave you a message from time to time and we’ll see about maybe scheduling something for the future.
SARA: Thank you. Bye.
FELIX: Thank you so much. Bye bye. Alright guys, that was Sara Nguyen calling in. She is such a nice person, and I’ve got to say, I love her accent. I was just talking to a friend of mine on Facebook about that, her accent is awesome. We’ve got a thing for people that have different types of accents, and she had a lot of information to say. You know what? I am so thankful she was able to do this. You’ve got to love technology nowadays. People are able to connect through many different aspects, and Skype happens to be another one. For her to be contacting me in Australia, all the way here in California, I’m loving it, I’m loving it, I’m loving it. With that, I’m going to go ahead and start to wind down because I’m going to keep it short tonight. Thank you all for listening that were listening tonight. Such a great show, I feel like we ended on such a great note and I’m so thrilled about that. Thank you all for listening because I wouldn’t be here without you guys as always, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. Goodnight, everybody.