Social Media – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

In Jeff Jarvis’s article on BuzzMachine called, “Bizarro Identity,” Jarvis, who has worked with various media businesses, explains the profound effect that media has on society.


Jarvis’s article describes the reality of online media outlets having the power to manipulate a person’s identity, as they do not allow users to “control and publish and set access to and rules for the use of its users identity online.” For example. Facebook lets people have control of their data, but it doesn’t allow people to create and transfer information. The extent to what we can share is things that we like, do and think. Although we are sharing our opinions, we are not completely in control of our data and what we have produced.

Jarvis states that there are three things needed for order in our social media outlets:

1.) Organization—Sites like Google organize information for us, there is no way for users to construct info the way they want to see it.

2.) Verification—People have the right to know if identities are true identities (Catfish accounts, hackers, etc.)

3.) Connections—Facebook does this well, making online use social, but there needs to be a greater link between information and relationships to enhance identities.


Identities online are not personalized, as online forums are solely interested in how their company can benefit and what they can do for their users online, and they ask these questions in the incorrect order. We, as users, do not have full control over our data and identities. We mainly share things that we identify with, such as places, sites, data and information. There is no value behind what we “like” and what our friends “like”—due to trends and the domino effect, this isn’t as significant as we believe it to be.


Almost every website holds some type of knowledge about its user’s distributed identities—thus, there needs to be verified identity, allowing people to be able to interact with the outside world and form authentic relationships. Ultimately, people can shape the way they look online.




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