About nikostoen

Communication theory student unsure of what to do with the future. Lover of technology, football, dogs, food and my fiancé, but not necessarily in that order. I believe that family is the most important thing in life and that the world would be a better place if people could just laugh at themselves once in a while.

Social Networks

I watched the movie, “The Social Network” recently and started to think about how big of a role social networking has become in our daily lives. It’s sad, but I can’t think of a day that has gone by that I have not checked my Facebook at least once since I got it. It can be a useful tool to keep in touch with long lost friends or a way to plan social gatherings but let’s be honest here, 90% of people just scroll through their friends’ status updates for about an hour before they realize how long they’ve been sitting there.

I think that social networking sites can contribute to the overall quality of communication between people, but only if we are careful about how we are using it. A relationship should always be based on strong communication and most of the time; this should be done face to face. There are times when this isn’t possible and I do understand that, but nothing can ever take the place of two people sitting down for a cup of coffee together and catching up on each other’s lives. We run into problems when we start focusing more on the quantity of our friends rather than the quality of those relationships.

I do use a few different social networking applications, but I try not to overdo it. For example, I have had a Twitter account for a little over a year now and I think I have tweeted about 20 times. I can’t remember the last time that I posted a status on Facebook and I’ve only earned about 3 badges on Foursquare. Sometimes these different applications can be useful and I tend to use them more when they can benefit me. Sometimes there are contests to enter on Twitter or Facebook, or the chance to get a free appetizer from checking in somewhere on Foursquare – these are the ways that I tend to use social networking. I do not use my different apps to tell people how I am feeling about my day, or about the weather, or to complain about other people, or to post pictures of sunsets.

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Aside

Recently I’ve been thinking about how important computer networks are and how different my day would be without them. I’m going to outline my day and focus on the different times that I use computers or networks to show you how important computers have become in my life. 

7:00am: I wake up in the morning to my smartphone telling me the time and the news headlines for the day.

7:30am: Use the Bible app on my phone to read the word before I get ready for work.

8:30am: Check the weather on my phone to see what I should wear for the day.

9:00am: Clock in at work and begin using my work computer for the day.

11:00am: Take notes on my laptop for my next fews class. (Of course I’ll be checking Facebook different tech websites while I’m in class as well).

1:00pm: Back to work and back to using my work computer. (During this time I use the printers that are on the same network as my work computer). 

6:00pm: Get off of work and check my to-do list on my phone that syncs with my computer to see what homework I have to do. 

7:00pm-9:00pm: Do homework and surf the internet using my laptop.

9:00pm-11:00pm: Stream Netflix movies on my laptop until I go to bed. 

So, as we see here, I am literally using a computer and network all day. Almost all of my day to day tasks involve me using a computer in some way. It’s kind of scary to think how important computers are in my life. 

MVW (Most Valuable Website)

And the prize goes to……..  forum.xda-developers.com

Over the past couple of weeks, this website has been invaluable to me. I recently bought a new-to-me nexus phone on e-bay that came pre-rooted (For those of you that don’t know, rooting an android phone is comparable to jailbreaking an iphone but with more privileges). I had previously known nothing about the world of rooted android phones and the XDA-Developers forum had all the information I could ever need to know.

Most of the questions I had were answered by a quick use of the search bar and then reading through a few threads on the forum. I was learning about special apps that required root permissions and how to overclock my CPU to get more processing power all from the posts of the noobs that went before me. Eventually I had a question that I could not find the answer to anywhere on the forum so I had to come out of hiding, declare myself a noob, and beg for help.

Or so I thought.

Everyone on this forum was quick to offer their help without any attitude or condescension and my question was answered within a few hours. A few of the members even offered me more advice to follow if I wanted to know how to do other things with my new phone. Everyone was polite and helpful, and it made my experience very pleasant.

There is a vast wealth of knowledge here, and everybody is happy to share it.

Pilot

I promised myself that I would never start my own blog. Little did I know I would be taking a course in school that required I start and maintain one. I don’t think I have very much to contribute to the vast web of knowledge and opinions that is the internet, but maybe it will grow on me. 

I am a senior and a communication theory major at Dallas Baptist University. I am from Austin, Texas and am moving back there as soon as I graduate. I am getting married in October of 2013 to my beautiful fiancé, Trayce. I love technology and will most likely end up using this blog to talk about it. Technology is something that has interested me my entire life. From playing Nintendo games when I was a kid to taking apart my laptop last month to see if I could fix it, I have always had an interest in learning everything I can about the Tech industry. Two of my favorite websites are www.techcrunch.com and www.cnet.com. I end up spending a lot of my time at work at one of those two websites.

Lately I have been increasingly interested in social media and plan on doing my research project on that topic. My project will most likely take the form of a sort of research paper/blog post when the time comes. Social networking has exploded over the last 5-10 years and social marketing is becoming the main focus of the advertising industry. Social networking has become such an important part of peoples’ lives that some people can’t go more than 5 minutes without checking their Facebook profile on their smartphones (I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of that). I am curious to know what makes social networking so addicting and if it has positively or negatively affected our culture.

Anyway, that’s all for now.