Digital Literacy

Digital Literacy, something that I’m learning as new technology emerges. Web 2.0 has opened a gateway for consumers to become content creators. Last week, we’ve discussed how there’s a generation gap that limits lower class families to develop at their full potential. We discussed how it’s not a gap but more the availability of being able to afford the technology. I had discussed how I went through my half my high school career without internet. I had a desktop and flash drives to work between school and home. Even though I was limited with what I had to work with I took advantage of it because I couldn’t afford to stay real behind. Once I had started working we decided to get internet because I was needing it for school and so did my sister. I realized that it took me  awhile to get in the game but I managed and now, 5 years later I’m able to work remotely as long as I have internet access and to think I began late. My mother was very supportive as in moving forward technological wise, meaning, she was fine with me buying laptops for myself and sister and then moved on to upgrading gadgets. But none of this would of happened if I wasn’t introduced to this field very young. When I was in fifth grade, I was a part of the typing club they had on campus, basically, we would type as fast as we could with few errors. After that introduction to computers, I began to work with computers and having that opportunity was great but what goo was it if I didn’t really know what all I could do? Everything i knew about technology pre-UTDallas, was self-taught. It was difficult but I did and learn the do and don’ts it took me awhile. If one isn’t taught what one all can do online, what’s the point of having access to it? Also, there’s a lot of negative incidents happening online that children aren’t aware of and they learn the hard way of what’s going. It’s the parents job to teach their kids what’s out there but they only know so much so what happens then? If there could be one class dedicated to digital literacy, that would make a huge difference because not only are the kids being prepared for real use of technology, they get to take that home and teach it to their parents. I know when I started working with new technology, I would go back home and implemented because I wanted my family to become well rounded. Now, they interact with it of course, not as much as I do, but they’re getting the hang of it. I’ll end with this, sometimes different cultures have different thoughts about technology but when they’re receiving their education, they’re in the same room so why not show them beyond the horizon?


In the net we trust?

When I was first introduced the online world, I was very skeptical about it. Of course, i didn’t have a tech-savvy background art that time. As I started to mess around with social networking sites like Myspace I started to mess around with my profile and personal information I posted. I wanted to experiment with Myspace where I put false information about myself to see how people reacted. Meaning, since I only added friends I knew, I wanted to learn how much of what I posted online would they actually believe. My web design teacher in middle school had stated, “don’t believe anything you see online.” if I could talk to him today, i would shape his thought process because everything is moving online. There’s a limit on what kind of information we put up online just because once its posted, its there for ever. I still post false information within my friends just because I know that they’ll believe me and it’s fine if I tell them in person than posting in it online. If I tell you a lie in person, I’m responsible for the misleading information but when I posted it online, i could easily say I was either hacked or someone else did it. So where do we cross the line on what to believe? Of course, professional businesses pass out trustworthy information because they have a whole business behind them but how about someone like me?
I know that within my friends network, I’ve explained to them not to believe everything I post especially if it doesn’t seem something I would do. They ask why I do it and then I say Imagine if I wanted to steal your credit card information, I simply ask you to fill out this information or go somewhere else and then you’ll do it. I think that they don’t fully understand the Internet (I sometimes don’t) and small experiments like these make them aware of the things out there. Spams are always roaming the net if someone becomes 100% worthy of the net, they’re in for a pit fall.


You’re dumb!…who said that??

This weeks readings had to deal with anonymity on the web and the issues we face. Before class, I didn’t know about the ten year old that had posted her video to her “Haters.” Please do watch the video. Anywho, the way she was tracked down by anonymous and now is facing attacks from anonymous people. This in an users across the web, especially after 2.0. User-generated content has created these issues because anyone and everyone can upload a video about their “haters.” I game online on the Ps3 playing Black Ops and I face issues like this. For example, theres times where I’m gaming with my clan, and another comes along and starts talking trash towards us knowing that we won’t find out who they are. At times, it was kids age range from 7 and 8 and it’s insane because they talk nothing but dumb things that leaves anonymity up for questioning. We know that it has it’s up and downs but anonymity doesn’t cause bad behavior but it sometimes encourages mob behavior. But it also depends more on the person, I’ll admit, when someone does act up like that on our online gaming, we make sure they feel the same thing they try to make us feel. In the end, it’s with our backgrounds that really influences us in behavior like that. For the most part, we just remain quiet until the actual game starts because that’s pass our “childish” years. I think that anonymity shouldn’t be done with completely but it should be limited on where it is allowed. This then ties into bullying and furthermore, cyber bullying. Since no one knows who is doing what, people take it to another level which takes bullying into another level. Anonymity creates a separate realm that becomes a free for all. Some will do good and most will bad but one really has the final say.


Free Speech?

Social Media can be used in so many ways, from promoting what’s going on with your company to what is going on around your community. I believe that Network Site such as Facebook and Twitter allow us to keep our existing networks and make them stronger. This, I consider it, the personal level. At this point, we’re able to interact with those who are already close to us and build on the existing networks, “Help me help you” type scenarios. Then, we go to the local level, where we promote communities through these mediums. Let others know what is happening around the neighborhood. Festivals, bars, or specials at local restaurants. From here, we start moving into the political grounds. Whether you’re republican or democrat, you start promoting your party and then you start displaying the “flaws” of the other side. So, In a way, you do this at a state level and start climbing into a National level. Now, Can twitter cause a Revolution? I’m not so sure about it causing it, but it can add sparks and facilitate on how people meet. In class, we covered, Gladwell: “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” and I agree and disagree at the same time. The reading covers how the civil rights movements were able to be successful not because they were “tweeting” but because the will and power were present. If the people were up to the challenge, it will happened. Over time, we all evolve and learn to adapt, meaning, when new technology is introduced, we either take it and run with it or we just trash it. When the Civil Rights Movement was occurring, the medium to communicate wasn’t available. Modern day today, when Egypt wanted a government reform, twitter facilitated that medium that didn’t exist decades ago. They were successful because they wanted to over throw their government but being able to utilize twitter, they acted within seconds to form and protest. To manage a massive group that large can be done without twitter like in the civil rights movements. But there’s a difference, in the reading, their boycotts lasted about a year and it took weeks for others to join in, and in Egypt, it took hours to move people in different places at the same time. Of course, it requires people’s will power to act out on what they want, but tools allow them to become efficient and a lot more powerful.


Google did what?

“The Googlization of Everything: Chapter 1” reading was something I already knew and it also introduced some aspects that I had no idea had occurred. Google re-defines the cliche: “To make money, you have to spend money” How? By investing on services that didn’t see any profit, better yet, not even to break even. In class we discussed how google was making these decisions because they weren’t looking for profit, well at least not at that point, they were trying to refine the services they had and/or to collaborate with other existing ones. So when saying that google is just another search engine is to say that AT&T is just another phone provider. Everything happens for a reason, meaning, google took initiative in it’s early stage to take control of the Net. Of course, google doesn’t run the internet but it does aid it. Anything and everything we do, in some way or some how, we’ll need to interact with google. One interested thing that  I picked up during the discussion was that what if Google becomes Big Brother. It may sound like a stretch but is it really? When we look at how we interact, everything we do online can be tracked, copied, and broadcast within seconds of it’s original posting. Anyone and everyone can virtually see it. So when you hear that everything you post online will forever remain on there, it’s a fact. Not only is Google becoming big brother, but anyone and everyone is a big brother. After reading this article, it gives someone a different view of the net, of course, we all know that we become miniature versions of big brother. In order to have a great experience online, we have to give some privacy for convenience and everyone does it. Whether its right thing to do or not, that’s something else.

Privacy has been a big issues since the dawn of the internet. Well for the most part but one thing that we’ve realized is that privacy is an issue that concerns everyone from just what we do in our private life to what we do and post on social media networks. I feel that the when one discusses issues covering the internet, their proposal is either: “the internet is good” or “the internet is bad” and I think it’s neither. The internet doesn’t cause good nor bad but how one uses does.


Excuse me, you can’t see that.

This weeks readings dealt with privacy. Defining privacy today is a little tougher than 20 years ago. Anything and everything posted online can be traced, multiplied and mass produced by anyone. Last semester, one of my emac classes required for groups to do a project and one created by http://bigbrotheriswatching.us/videos/, they posted this video:

After watching this video, you realize how much can be done and found under 5 minutes. So what does that say about the internet and society? It’s understandable to have the friends and family doing this type of research but what about someone that lives on the other side of town? What then? Privacy has always been an issue but now there’s more at stake because never before have we had the chance to store so much date in very little physical space. So when we think about facebook, we think it’s just another social network site. I’m more interested in facebook alone because they’re the most controversial because with “it’s nearly 500 million users actively [online]” they’re closing in “banking somewhere north of $10 million according to a source in Reuters’ report.” (Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/06/18/how-much-money-does-facebook-make-a-lot/#ixzz1FeZyAabO)

As a facebook user, we know that everything we write, post, and upload doesn’t belong to just us but also facebook. This is critical because something we deemed private within our circle is no longer private. Our friends can tag our post and pictures and then their circle of friends can see them. Not only that, their friends could do same and it’s a never ending vicious cycle. Of course, if we want something private, we would keep it to ourselves but with technology, it’s harder not to upload that funny picture or say curse out your boss online. Everyone can see what we do and when we do it. I’ll leave you with this article and you be the judge whether facebook is a “Security breach” of OUR PRIVACY.


Friends?

As the readings from this week focused more on online existence, we begin to question when do we really begin to cross that boundary of being alive and online. This might be a bit of a drag but it’s reasonable to argue. When looking at social media and how it works, we took a closer look at facebook and how it’s functionality creates an empty space between us and the real world. When looking at facebook, we tend to focus on friends of friends, meaning, I amy not no you but we may have mutual friends and therefor, we have a potential to be friends. These affects more to those that are barely new to the system. I remember when I first created my facebook account, I added people that I knew and those that knew them. It was easier like that because I didn’t know who to add just did it at the beginning. Now, when i look back, I have 387 friends, I probably know about 50% of them, and about half of that half i really do talk to on a daily basis. The Faux Friendship reading points this out:

Far from being ordinary and universal, friendship, for the ancients, was rare, precious, and hard-won.

Now, anyone can request to be friends and they’re either accepted or declined but does that really mean they’re friends? Think about it, of course friendships have evolved at a rapid rate where from the “ancient times” friendships were earned and now, they’re a mere joke. Friendships are just acquaintances, and a true friend only exist if one lets it. Social media has created a world where everything can be done more efficiently yet we’re not sure who can we really trust. Even though I use facebook to interact with other “friends” I post things about me and about who I am just because in the end, there’s only a few that would actually look and provide feedback.