As the world embraces Web 2.0, the effects of social media are on the minds of several researchers at UMBC.
“Connecting is a deep human need,” said Tufekci. “Social networking is scratching a strong itch by providing individuals with the ability to always stay connected.”
“It would have pluses and minuses,” she said. “There would be more interconnectivity, but it would certainly raise surveillance.”
“In 50 years, I predict people and computers will share a common experience,” he said. “An event will happen in the world, and our computers will know about it.”
Molly Heroux ’09 was one of the first students to enroll in the Media and Communication Studies (MCS) program. Combining her studies in MCS with psychology, Heroux accepted a summer 2008 internship at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Heroux worked toward identifying gaps in Wyeth’s current team communication and collaboration in order to propose alternatives to addressing communication issues using cyber tools. She conducted this research not only to enhance communication among current employees but also to attract a new generation of employees who grew up with these tools. Heroux administered surveys to gather her research, and Wyeth intends to update her survey and conduct it again on a larger scale through an Internet platform.
Heroux looks to social networking to solve some of these communication problems. Her list of recommendations includes instant messaging, internal social networking, one-to-one video conferencing, social news tools, online suggestion forums and fluid notions of workplace and scheduling.
“Encouraging part-time and full-time telecommuting not only cut office costs but also supports women and families.”
Zeynep Tufekci, Tim Finin
and Molly Heroux ‘09