Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Online Assignment 4_Wedge

Brandon Wedge
Online Assignment

            Wow was the first word that came to my mind after receiving the results from both Facebook and Google. It was simply amazing to see exactly what information Facebook and Google had on me. Both platforms offered a lot of information about myself, even the stuff that I thought I had lost or deleted off of Facebook or Google history. The platforms contained a lot of information, Facebook had a lot of personal information while Google almost matched my demographic information.

            Google was the first platform that I analyzed. Google was able to determine that I was between the ages of 18-24, seemed to speak two languages (English and Spanish), and searched everything from food to universities. Most of Google’s conclusions were very accurate; I do enjoy sports, food, and current events. They were able to see that I like to keep up in the world, but not really through world events, but the country. I also see why they drew the other conclusions, but I would not say those were nearly as accurate. Yes I did search a lot for Spanish related words, but that was mostly to translate the words that I did not know. I also did some research on places to live near and around Madison, but that is just recent activity not so much what I am always searching for. The conclusion that confused me the most was the conclusion that I am near the Chicago area. I did not understand how they came to this conclusion, maybe because I am a huge Chicago sports fan, but then I would not really be interested in Madison area housing? There were a total of 16 other interests that Google compiled, most were quite accurate, some pertained to my most recent activity. The most recent activity had to do a lot for this class. It showed a lot of research on entertainment, video games, etc. Overall, I was stunned by how much information Google was able to compile just through my search history. It really makes you think about what exactly goes on through the web and may make you think twice about searching.

            Facebook grabbed my interest just a bit more. I have had an account on many social networks (Myspace, Facebook, Twitter) since about the seventh grade. Facebook had tracked nearly everything since that time until present day. Every profile, setting, and security change had all been tracked. All the posts, comments, pictures and places had been recorded to date as well. I could not believe that even though I had deleted some of the comments myself or gotten rid of a few pictures, they still had them recorded. It was sort of nice to look through some of the old pictures that I had and see how much my friends and myself had grown over the years. At the same time, it was also very alarming to see how much information had been recorded such as times, places, and dates. That information seemed to be forgotten when I posted about the event, but is scary to look back at now.

            Just like Google, it really makes you think secondly about what you may post online and exactly what information you put out there. That being said I do not believe I will change the way I use either cite. Google is a great tool for myself to help answer the questions I have quickly and efficiently. Facebook is also something I do not use nearly as much anymore because I most am on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. This assignment was very interesting and I am glad I did the analysis because I don’t think I would have ever known this information was tracked by these platforms.

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