Wanini (2016) describes contemporary concerns as those causes that begin to arise every day as the world participates in its activities. These concerns may include climate change, income inequality, and economic crises. When reading the two novels, ‘Sharing is a pit’ and ‘Get over it,’ one comes across various topical concerns. It is important to remember, though, that since one culture is affected by one contemporary topic, another may be impacted by a very different one, as indicated in the two novels. Similarities can occur, too.
The novel, ‘Get over it,’ written by Jeff Jarvis, is about social media and privacy. That while some are complaining about newer inventions, others are busy using them effectively to connect and get what they need. He reminds his audience about back then when inventor Gutenberg invented his printing press; many people feared that their information was going to be recorded permanently on a writing sheet thus exposing their privacy. So did people express their concern with the invention of the telephone. He expresses it that almost every device that has come has always received a great opposition before even the opposers try to use the new technology. Several differences have we see in the contemporary world where people are too fast to judge an invention with their imaginations. The author goes further by touching on Facebook, one of the social platforms. When Facebook was invented, many people saw it as an opportunity to connect with others and a form of socialization and communication. This was, however, not well received by everyone. There were some that had to oppose it claiming that there would be no privacy. The author goes further to explain the significant impact that the social media has displayed especially the Facebook and Google map. Almost at the end of the short story, the author says something worth noting, that ‘what is public is a public good. Diminish it, and it is we the public who lose’ (pg. 431, par. 6).
The part of the book, ‘Sharing is a Trap,’ written by Andrew Keen, expresses the negative effects of social media. According to this author, almost everything to do with social media is no longer safe. To him, social media has become a platform for sharing one’s real life. He tries to compare between the current kind of social media and the one that used to exist before. To him, in the traditional social media, features like Facebook places were not in place hence others did not have to know how one is faring on and where they are. With the coming of such advanced technology such as the Facebook places, there is no longer privacy as everything that one does or anywhere that a person goes readily known by other users. The author names a few inventors whom he thinks has misled the whole society. The author refers to the current social network as a social intelligence agency where any form of information can be obtained. The author expresses his feelings about the whole social media with hate. He says that what used to be seen as pain is now a pleasure and what used to be a prison is now a playground (pg.427, par 4). The author does not just see the current social media as an unsafe place to be in. He gives statistics of how so many people are now using this social media to waste their own time thus making themselves their enemy. He also talks about one of those that has made a great impact in trying to improve the social media, Zuckerberg and how Zuckerberg is using the platform to mislead the users. The author, almost at the end of his book makes a point that man was naturally created a social being hence to him that should be enough for him.
The two cases bring out some form of similarity. Both the authors are talking about privacy in the social media. Both are also talking about the social media key players and the effects of the social media on man. Only that even as they speak of the social media, each of them has a different opinion of it. To some extent, both the authors are appreciating the great impact that the contemporary technology has brought about in the current century. Also, both the authors are arguing with evidence, which comes out so clearly in both cases, thus a win-win for both cases. For instance, Jarvis says, ‘‘what is public is a public good. Diminish it, and it is we the public who lose’ (pg. 431, par. 6). This is a stronger point for any reader. Keen on the other hand, also says that, ‘the truth is that we aren’t naturally social beings.’ (pg. 429, par. 2) Meaning that this social media is something that human being is trying to force itself into yet it can avoid it.
Despite the similarities, there are several differences that have been brought out by the two authors. First, each of them holds a different perspective on the effects of social media on the society. While Jarvis sees social media as an opportunity to socialize and grow, Keen sees it as an opportunity to bring the whole community down. Jarvis admits that so many users are using the social media to do things that they could not do before. He strongly opposes people like Keen whom even before a social platform start operating; they start fighting it. To him, that should not be the case. They should, instead, take their time to study what it is and how it operates before commenting negatively. Keen, on the other hand, is so opposed to the current social media. He goes on to mentioning his colleague Jarvis as being among those that has misled the society with a wrong social way of thinking.
Whereas Keen views the contemporary social media as not being safe and private, Jarvis sees it otherwise. Keen is not comfortable about what the social media has grown into because all manner of information is passed through the social media, of which some should be an individual’s top secret. To him, the social media has just gone too extreme. He notes that the social media can now give a person’s location to others, thus making it unsafe for others including himself. Jarvis, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with the social media being open and public. He even goes ahead to tell his readers about how he went to the extent of sharing his private parts with the social media, and because of that, he ended up receiving the help that he would not have received he decided to keep quiet and not use social media.
Jarvis views Zuckerberg, the person behind Facebook, which is the largest social platform, as a visionary man who has helped the present society beyond any reasonable doubts. He repeats Zuckerberg’s quote that said, ‘‘the clear trend is that for people to get value out of sharing more and more.’’ This statement that he echoes in his book indicates the kind of fan he is to Zuckerberg. Keen, on the other hand, views Zuckerberg as someone that has led to all the woes in the social media. He says, ‘Zuckerberg is taking Bentham’s ideas to their ultimate conclusion…’’ followed by a few derogatory statements. This shows how harmful he views this man.
In conclusion, the ultimate decision on whether the social media has privacy or not lies in the users themselves. This is because, with the coming of such social platforms, there always is a privacy setting which when used cannot make public any user. Also, one who decides to share their private lives in the social media does it because they are willing to do so. It is all out of their will, thus not the inventors’ mistake.
Jarvis, Jeff. “Perspectives of Contemporary Issues ‘Get over it’.” Mar. 2011, pp. 430-431.
Keen, Andrew. “Perspectives of Contemporary issues ‘Sharing is a Trap’.” Mar. 2011, pp. 425-429.
Wanini, Hassan. “What is the definition of contemporary issues? What are some examples?” Quora, 18 Nov. 2016, www.quora.com/What-is-the-definition-of-contemporary-issues-What-are-some-examples.