Lets take it back to 1960, when the internet was developed in the United States by the Defense Department. Fifty-six years later, we have seen drastic changes within society – all of which stem back to the internet. Throughout this blog post, I will be discussing the relevance social media plays on PR, Advertising and Marketing. I will also focus on Geotagging and how it can be used as a form of surveillance.
Back to the internet. It wasn’t until 1990’s, when the internet began to impact on our everyday lives (Bhargava, D 2010). Due to its characteristics, speed and efficiency the internet began to increase across business industries ranging from retail, banking to media (Bhargava, D 2010). In 1998, British futurist Peter Cochrane predicted what the world was heading towards. He envisaged that each and every individual must have an online presence. Cochrane stated, “if you are not online, you do not exist.” Personally, I find this to be an extremely powerful quote.
Every individual has the ability to develop their own online identity and can control how they want to be perceived online. When using the internet, your online identify is your character, it shows who you are and what you stand for as well as your interests. Each individual may interact differently with each website they visit. On each website, individuals can choose to portray themselves differently. In today’s world, when looking for a job, many interviewers conduct a social media search and therefore it is extremely important as to how one portrays themselves online.
This ties in social media surveillance and how one must present a positive online reputation. A survey conducted by CareerBuilderUK shows that 53% of employers use social networking sites to research potential job applicants (Mandle, C 2012). However, the survey continues to state that 43% of employers have found content on social media which has lead them to reject candidates (Mandle, C 2012). Moreover, we can look deeper into social media surveillance and question, who is watching us? Who is monitoring the websites that we use, who makes those littles ads of your most recent viewed ASOS items pop up on your Facebook? – let me tell you, it’s all about marketing and making money – girls let’s face it, how long can you stare at that cute dress or those new sneakers!
A writer for Forbes magazine, Jessica Bosari, states that although social media is a relatively recent phenomenon, it has become an increasingly important part of any business marketing and client based development platform. (Bosari, J 2014). A survey ran by HubSpot, show that “92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their blog” (DeMers, J 2014)
This brings me to the topic of Geotagging. – In a nutshell, geotagging is the process of adding one’s geographical information to various media in the form of metadata. This data mostly consists of coordinates such as latitude and longitude. More often than not, geotagging is used on photographs in order to help the viewer get more specific information about the exact location.
Moreover, Geotagging allows for Real-time Surveillance. This is evident in a short clip posted by NBC Chicago reporters Katy Smyser and Stefan Holt enabling us to measure the direct effect of social media surveillance (this clip is encapsulating yet frightening). It reveals just how easy it is to conduct a form of virtual surveillance as well as pinpoint peoples exact locations (Smyser, K & Holt, S 2012). In real time, individuals can troll through Instagram profiles and find out anything from the individual’s name and address. This is all conducted through any social media platform that allows for geotags (Smyser, K & Holt, S 2012). Scary, i know!
Below I will be conducting a short interview about social media surveillance and getting some insight into my friend Marnie’s social media world as well as her views and opinions about surveillance.
Overall, social media surveillance can seem scary, frightening and disconcerting to say the least. Research has come to show that social media in terms of geotagging can be used for good. This was displayed through the above podcast using the example of geotagging during Hurricane Sandy.
Bhargava, D. (2010). The use of Internet in public relations and its impact on the practice: A New Zealand perspective. 1st ed. [ebook] http://aut.researchgateway.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10292/1052/BhargavaD.pdf?sequence=3
Bosari, J. (2014). Forbes Welcome. Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2012/08/08/the-developing-role-of-social-media-in-the-modern-business-world/#47a554424189
DeMers, J. (2014). Forbes Welcome Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/#2ed53fdd2a4d
Mandle, C. (2012). Managing your online reputation. The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/managing-online-reputation-advice
Music – GoingHigher, http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music
Smyser, K. and Holt, S. (2012). Geotagging allows for real time surveillance. NBC Chicago. [online] http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/unit-5-social-media-location-services-180083881.html