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Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

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Social Media has been a booming industry since its conception. There is a site for almost every need imaginable, with  more being made every day.

Instagram, Vine, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+, Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, all of these sites have their own specific niche in the market.

Some sites are finding trouble with their place in the market.

Strava is a mobile Social Media platform designed to help people gauge their running/cycling exercises, and to create a little competition over who can be the fastest in their respective areas.

I think this is an awesome idea, but Strava has been receiving some bad PR and has even been sued because of accidents and catastrophes associated with it.

William Flint, a cyclist in California, was killed during an attempt to reclaim his record over a particular user-created course after receiving a notification that someone had beaten his previous time.

Flint’s family has sued Strava for not regulating the course and, basically, allowing their son to die.

Another site to receive a bad rap is Snapchat. Snapchat is an app designed to allow users to send pictures to other people in a form of visual dialogue. After the picture has been received, the app deletes the photo from the receivers phone.

This is another great app with great potential, but again we see issues arising.

A hack arose that allowed the receivers to save the pictures, and certain pictures that should have been deleted were being spread across the internet.

Now the app is on the receiving end of some bad PR because their app is at the head of some criminal child pornography investigations.

This is extremely bad news, but what could they do?

What I am noticing between these two examples and other Social Media controversies is the blatant user error and disregard for the app’s true intent.

Strava is a great app that allows people to get motivated to exercise, track their personal scores, and better themselves through competition. What ruins it is when users become belligerent with their misuse of the app and put themselves and others in danger.

Strava cannot help the fact that some people are arrogant and reckless. I am almost positive that the people who are misusing the site were  arrogant and reckless BEFORE the site was invented.

For the 99% of people who use the app for what it is intended, it is an amazing platform that fills a need within the market.

The same goes for Snapchat. For the people who use it to chat with their friends, it is a new and entertaining way for people to become closer to the people they love. For people who want to misuse the app and send naked pictures to everyone and their brother, it will turn around and bite them in the behind.

I firmly believe that as consumers we need to take responsibility for our actions, and that we should be able to regulate ourselves enough to use these virtual tools for their designed purpose.

If you can’t do that, then DON”T USE THEM.

Super simple stuff.

Sources:

http://pix11.com/2013/03/14/snapchat-sexting-scandal-at-nj-high-school-could-result-in-child-porn-charges/#axzz2PwGZFQWS

http://bicycling.com/blogs/roadrights/2012/08/13/suing-strava/

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2 Comments

  1. nlittlepage says:

    Hello
    I am a PR student at Indiana State University, and I had to tell you that I love the stance you took on apps getting bad publicity. It truly is the customer’s responsibility not to misuse technology, when the correct way to use it is very clear. It shouldn’t be the company that suffers from a small percent of people that can’t regulate themselves. Unfortunately the company will always have to take the blame, and ends up loosing money in the process.
    Thank you!!

    • Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it. And that is true, I just wish it weren’t the case. Our society has become so entitled with its use of technology that I fear we are losing our sight on what is real in the world. I mean for god’s sake a man died for a CYCLING app. Not even close to a situation that needed to be life or death.

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