The Business of Social Media

The first article I read discussed the differences between internal and external rewards, otherwise known as intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. Internal rewards are basically things like a feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment that can be achieved when someone works towards a goal. External rewards address things like money or other physical objects someone can attain for completing a task. Between the two, those who were surveyed seemed to respond more towards external rewards.

Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised by this. I think that people are more easily motivated by physical things because it can be seen by others as proof that you accomplished something worthwhile. While receiving payment in forms like money can be rewarding in of itself, the added benefit of possible envy from others is pretty enticing too.

The second article I read talked about the topic of privacy in an online space or domain. It went into detail about how popular sites such as Google and Facebook are making billions every year on consumer data and content. This cuts two ways essentially. First and foremost, people are often offended that these companies are selling their private information for money. But an often overlooked fact is that these sites are free to use in just about every way, and that selling information can be seen as a way for these companies to make a profit for their work.

Personally, I feel that what an individual searches and posts should be private. These companies are huge and have many other ways to make revenue at their disposal. I don’t think that its right that they make the majority of their profit off the selling of private information.

The third and final article that I read discussed the issue that is prevalent in Google’s search engine, in which it shows ads for high paying jobs more to men than to women. Google uses behavior tracking software to pick ads that might be more personalized to the consumer, which is usually a very helpful tool. But when presumes some men to be job seekers that are qualified for these positions and some women not to be, it becomes sexist.

I understand that its only the way that the software works, but instances like this are unacceptable. I think that the software or programming need to stop taking gender into account, so that all ads presented to a consumer may be unbiased.

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