When I log into Facebook, I tend to see the same ol’ stuff. A lot of posts are typically memes, or funny videos being shared. Pages that I have “Liked” in the past such as the Wu-Tang Clan or the Atlanta Falcons continuously post information or images to keep viewers entertained. The other posts in my feed are from my Facebook friends. The typical posts are racy photos of women wanting to be complimented and status updates. Some statuses are weird. Some statuses are funny. Some statuses spark conversation. Other statuses make me question sanity or even the fact that someone cares.
No matter what I observe on my Facebook feed, I am taking in information. I am not sure if “information” is even the proper term to use. Most things are just updates on people’s life, opinions, gossip, and the sharing of entertainment. Sometimes, news will get into my feed, updating me on current events. This is what I would view as information. Social networks are more of an outlet to communicate with old connections that an information resource to me. From social networks like Facebook and Twitter, I have noticed the many roles that people can play on a social network.
I see many people on Facebook who are influencers. An influencer is a social network personality that can get others to perform an action of change an attitude. People continuously post, “Like my status for a good morning post” or even “New phone, inbox your number.” If people respond (and they typically do), the person has had influence on someone to perform a task. Celebrities and public figures post opinions all the time, influencing the ideas of people. An example for this was the Obama campaign of 2007; many celebrities of all backgrounds got together and provided support in the public eye, influencing their followers to vote for who they support. This leads to my next point.
There are two types of social networking relationships; strong ties and weak ties. Strong ties are the tight bonds between people of close connection or those you already know. Weak ties are connections made from people of “different worlds.” Their bond is not as great as that of strong ties. The perfect example would be those same musicians and figures influencing voters in the election of Obama. These musicians are not people known personally from work or school, but someone connected with through the medium of internet.