Blog Post 5

Following my completion of this course, I have gained a vast amount of intelligence in the field of social computing and media. As a result of taking part in online lecture sessions, discussion forums and the outlined tasks in the four digital badges I have accumulated knowledge that will serve as building blocks for further cognitive development. In this blog post, I will evaluate my learning to date by critically reviewing my thoughts on social media as a whole and discussing the cumulative information I have acquired from the activities associated with this module.

At the beginning of this module we were presented with a syllabus which stated a different topic for every week, for example, in ‘Week 3’ the topic revolved around “Collaborative Information Generation”. In the online discussion session for this section, topics such as developing content collaboratively and the advantages and disadvantages of user-generated content were discussed as a group with our lecturer. This type of informal discussion surrounding social media tools and the impact of social media on our lives really allowed me to understand and engage with the information that was being shared and further apply this knowledge to the activities in the four digital badges. From this lecture in particular I learned more about factual information and how to find accurate content online rather than taking information at face value. In this digital age anyone can write anything on the internet, if you reference a source which is not credible your research/opinion based on this reference will no longer be credible either (Clark, 2018). This is a factor which is essential for the majority of the information analysis that we do online. It will be extremely useful to me in my future research as I now know how to verify and distinguish between fact and opinion.

I believe that I gained most of my insight from the completion of the digital badges as they allowed me to physically interact with different social media tools. Each topic that was discussed weekly gave us a basic grasp of the concept required to complete the badge activities and then by completing the badge itself we were given a first-hand experience of dealing with a particular social media tool. For example, when we had to set up a LinkedIn account we created a personal profile and provided information that would be sought by employers. However, we were only able to complete this task successfully due to the content that had been discussed in class such as what is considered appropriate and inappropriate online and how to present yourself professionally. The influence of social computing and media on the workplace and the marketing power of personalisation which were discussed in week 7 had a huge impact on this task as it brought to life the idea that everything you post online is most likely going to be there forever. This could affect our future careers as nowadays most employers are taking an increased interest in the digital footprint of job applicants (Bond, 2018). The main lesson that I learned here was that it is important to monitor our digital footprints and brand ourselves online in a way that our social media accounts show positive and pertinent information about us.

Following on from my insight into digital footprints I also noticed how the idea of privacy settings was continuously mentioned throughout lectures and badge activities. For example, in the creation of the Pinterest, Pocket, Google Map Mashup and YouTube Screen publication tasks, there was requirements to choose account privacy settings. This was one of the final steps in each of these badge activities, but it was still extremely important. According to the Pew Research Center only 9% of teens state that they are concerned about third-party access to their data and they are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites such as Facebook than ever before (Madden, et al., 2013). It is only from this module and my continued reading on how our personal data can become public without having secure privacy settings, that I have updated my personal privacy settings on my social media accounts. I will continue to do this in the future to prevent my personal data being publicly shared. These tasks also aided in the Facebook privacy policy that I wrote for badge 4 and really allowed me to grasp the theory of online data privacy.

When creating the WordPress blog for badge 1, I didn’t realise how creative and free one was allowed to be with the blogs display. I decided to create a calm and welcoming theme on my blog through the use of colour images and font. I carried this layout throughout each post. It was interesting to see my classmates blog homepages in comparison to mine and how each page had their own personal touch. This idea of being creative online is something that I continued to see throughout each of the badge activities. For example, in badge 3 we created an infographic and YouTube video and from this I was able to explore and implement an effective means of information through digital audio, video and graphics. This online creativity is something that interests me on a personal level as I think it is important to be able to communicate information in other ways than just words and to be able to have the ability to express one’s thoughts in such a unique way is fascinating. Rettberg’s article on self- representation in social media really enhances this point. She explains how we have been presented with different platforms to represent ourselves in any way that we wish whether it be visual, written or quantitative (Rettberg, 2017).

The use of the blog to publish information surrounding different social media topics really assisted me in my learning. The blog itself unfolded a space which allowed me to share my personal opinion on different social computing concepts as well as teaching me to understand how to correctly critically review an article. I learned how to think clearly and carefully while taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the material that I was reviewing, this is something which will definitely benefit my future writing in both an academic and professional sense. The main knowledge that I gained from the use of the blog was that it allowed me to understand the importance of reflective and collective learning. For example, I used my existing knowledge on social media topics and tools while allowing the module to help me understand new concepts by aligning and comparing them to my life experiences. For example, when creating the data privacy policy I used my previous knowledge of Facebook’s privacy as well as including what I would want to have in a data policy. I also learned about the difference between academic and popular sources, something I was unaware of before but that was an essential feature and great learning tool that I acquired from the digital badges.

In conclusion, I gained a great understanding of social computing and media from this module. I believe that I have learned to express my opinion through the use of different social media tools, I have increased my digital literacy and I have also explored the application of social media in different aspects of my life for example in the workplace. I plan on continuing to study the ethical and social issues that social media can have on my life both now and in the future.

Bibliography

Bond, S. (2018, October 12). A Messy Digital Footprint Can Cost You A Job. Retrieved from Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/87cfe2ee-bfeb-11e8-84cd-9e601db069b8

Clark, C. (2018, June 7). How Do You Know If Information Is Accurate? How To Evaluate Information Sources. Retrieved from Owlcation: https://owlcation.com/academia/Evaluating-Your-Sources-of-Information

Madden, M., Lenhart, A., Cortesi, S., Gasser, U., Duggan, M., Smith, A., & Beaton, M. (2013, May 21). Teens, Social Media and Privacy. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: https://www.pewinternet.org/2013/05/21/teens-social-media-and-privacy/

Rettberg, J. W. (2017, December). Self-Representation In Social Media. Retrieved from Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305073320_Self–Representation_in_Social_Media

Facebook Privacy Policy

For the Facebook privacy policy that I have written I tried to make it as clear and detailed as possible without exceeding a 2-page limit. I did this because I believe that if I was presented with a Facebook policy that was around two pages I would definitely read it however anything over this I would not. I did not go into extreme detail on every aspect of Facebooks policy as I believe that the average user would not understand that majority of the terms that are usually used in a privacy policy and if they wished to gain further knowledge on certain aspects of the policy they would do their own personal research. Something that stood out to me while writing the policy was that Facebook has access to your personal messages in Facebook messenger. I found this shocking as I often share confidential information over messenger. I excluded this clause form my policy as I believe it is a complete invasion of privacy however, I did mention that if one was to report another Facebook user due to an act that occurred over messenger that Facebook would have the permission to intervene. I also excluded that information that an account user shares cannot be shared or downloaded by another user or individual who is not friends with the person. I tried to include the 5 Rights outlined by Anderson as much as possible throughout the policy and based the clauses included off of these. Below is the privacy policy document:

Blog Post 4

Due to changes in the way the digital world works, I believe that we are unable to control our digital reach. Digital reach refers to the number of unique individuals who view our content. Search engines have vastly expanded their reach and now include everything from images/videos to real-time results on Twitter (Madde & Smith, 2010). However, I think it is reasonable to say that those who know more about where and who their personal information is being shared are more likely to take-action and control their digital reach.

A digital footprint is the trail left by the actions one has made online including everything from a person’s browsing history to any photos/videos that they have uploaded. As a student I think social media is a great platform to allow individuals of any age to express themselves, collaborate and socialize with others, however I also believe that one must use these sites with care as once something is posted online it becomes part of our digital footprint forever. For this reason, I think it is important as social media users to manage our digital footprint by regularly checking and adjusting our privacy settings, not oversharing information on our social media accounts (Martin, Wang, Petty, Wang, & Wilkins, 2018), being aware of possible consequences due to online behaviour and also using digital tools to manage our footprint. Nowadays there are many browser add-ons that can limit the surreptitious capture of personal information (Doyle, 2018) that most people are not aware of, so it is important to use such tools to our advantage. A common act such as ‘googling yourself’ is one which can benefit us for monitoring our digital footprint. If we see something on google about ourselves that we do not like it causes us to rethink the posting of certain content online in the future and also to review our privacy settings on accounts such as Facebook where the information/images may have originally come from.

Bibliography

Doyle, J. (2018, April 8). 11 Tips For Students To Mange Their Digital Footprints. Retrieved from TeachThought: https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/11-tips-for-students-tomanage-their-digital-footprints/

Madde, M., & Smith, A. (2010, May 26). Managaing the ever-expanding reach of our digital footprints. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: https://www.pewinternet.org/2010/05/26/part-1-managing-the-ever-expanding-reach-of-our-digital-footprints/

Martin, F., Wang, C., Petty, T., Wang, W., & Wilkins, P. (2018). Middle School Student Social Media Use. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 213-224.

Marketing with LinkedIn

The CV that I provided on my LinkedIn page is a summary of information about both me as a person and as a hireable employee. I posted information about my past work experience, skills, interests and also awards/certificates that I have received. I tried to self-market myself as much as possible in a clean and concise way. The purpose of the CV is not so employers can immediately look at my past experience and hire me but it is more so that they can be enticed by the information I have provided about myself. I believe the information that I included from my time in secondary school such as the achievement of the schools studies trophy and spirit of the school award, are factors that would give me an edge over other candidates and would catch the attention of possible employers.

Below is a link to my LinkedIn profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drew-browne-2a7948183/

Blog Post 3

The saying “a picture speaks a thousand words” could not be more relevant to the idea of visual representation of information through social media tools. Whether the information we are seeking is data presented in the form of a graph or an aerial view of a crowd at a political gathering or protest, these visualisations tell a story. Data visualisation techniques can reveal interesting patterns in online crowds and communities and can tease out layers of rich and detailed information about them (Hunter, 2010). By presenting information such as data about a general election in the form of a graph or pie chart it summarises a large quantity of information into a visual form, automatically making it easy for us to understand it without the requirement of any additional explanation.

The recent addition of the “screen time” feature to the apples iPhone software is a good example of how information can be represented visually through social media tools. This is an important indicator for us to be notified on how long we spend on our cell-phones each day and it also shows us the percentage of time we spend on each application or social networking site. According to the Pew research Centre, 54% of U.S teens say that they spend too much time on their phones and 2/3 parents expressed concern about their children’s screen time (Jiang, 2018). The use of the screen time feature on the iPhone can encourage people to begin to limit the time spent on their phones each day by comparing the visuals from one week to the next and calculating the percentage change between them. Due to the ability of this social media tool we are able to visually see just how much time that we are spending on our cell-phones – information which is valuable to both ourselves and others.

Bibliography

Hunter, W. (2010, December 15). Social network visualization techniques can change how we understand relationships between people. Retrieved from UX Magazine: https://uxmag.com/articles/social-seen

Jiang, J. (2018, August 22). How Teens and Parents navigate Screen Time and Device Distractions. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/08/22/how-teens-and-parents-navigate-screen-time-and-device-distractions/