Reflection

I have been part of a course that teaches its students about digital citizenship and how to work in a world that is going under the cyber age. In the beginning of this semester I was very nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I knew most things about what it meant to be a digital citizen; don’t be a troll and don’t post something you might regret later. I thought that was it and I was very wrong. Back then, what I thought of digital citizenship was  that it meant you were apart of the cyber world and that was it. You had an account and sometimes you would post things and scroll through your feed. That’s all it was to me.

After entering this course, I was bombarded with an array of knowledge. There was a book we had to read called Net Smart by Howard Rheingold, and this book taught me so much about the digital world. First off there’s a thing called crap detection, and I remember the first time I read it I had a real kick out of it. But that was a real concept we had to learn for this class and it was an important concept at that. The book also taught about the importance of communication with others. I thought that this was one of the most important concepts we could have learned as a class. I thought this because in the world that we live in most often times we are silenced because the expression of feelings and thoughts and words can be seen as weak. We live in a world where there is so much pressure to be different that even a colloquialism among youth is being expressed; the term “basic” is now being used. If we live in a world, and we do, in which young people have an air horn to have their voices expressed but have fear of using that medium of communication because of the social repercussions of the day and age; then we are simply doing something wrong.

The idea to communicate, and communicate well, is a lost art. With so many people screaming ideas into our heads and having others tear them apart for having them; it’s no wonder youth may have apprehension from having a voice.

What this book taught us, along with our teachers, was how to communicate. And I take this with a grain of salt because we all communicate, but now we know the abundance at which we communicate when in the cyber world. We understand now that everyone can see it, literally everyone. But with the knowledge of this at hand, we are able to communicate efficiently, responsibly, thoughtfully, and wholeheartedly.

I remember when our teachers first had us engage in the community we were studying I was feeling more then a bit nervous. I was honestly scared of what might happen. I felt this way because I knew about the trolls and had seen them in action and I didn’t want anyone to talk to me like that. But, my teachers advised the class not to talk to those hurtful people and provided a safe place in the classroom so I felt brave enough to engage.

I say this because I no longer have fear to say what I believe or to ask questions to people of my fellow cyber community. I know how to communicate well and am aware of the image I am putting out into the world. I know myself and I know my cyber self. I am not afraid to say what I think or believe and I fear no one who would say anything against me.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: December 10, 2015

Digital Citizen

This week my class and I were to read an article about Digital Citizenship and watch a video about being knowledgable about technology and how to properly use it. Here are links to both.

https://thejournal.com/Articles/2012/04/09/Rethinking-digital-citizenship.aspx?Page=4

I liked the digital citizenship article. It talked a lot about what it meant to be a good person online and not only that but what it meant to also participate online. It talked about critical thinking and the importance about the knowledge students take from the classroom and being able to use that in the digital world. I don’t think a lot of teachers even realize the concepts the students are learning can be applied to the digital world. Furthermore what the teachers should be teaching their students to become better digital citizens. I don’t know if the teachers realize and maybe they do, that their students are living in a world in which they must become or learn how to be a good person online in order to be a good person in real life. It has the same principles.

In the video the speaker talked a lot about being innovative. He spoke about what the students’ needs, which I think some of us forget. It was interesting to me to read all these posting about what it meant to be a student or the habits we take, and how I related to almost all of it. I knew what it was like to have a professor not know my name, or only read 48% of the reading material, and not have a fellow classmate skip class the majority of the time. I knew and experienced all of this and much more. And it was great to have someone bring this up because I feel that a lot of this gets bypassed, it gets skipped. Teachers, and not only teachers, are not listening to the voices they are trying to teach how to speak.

The speaker went  over not how to be knowledgeable but how to be knowledge-able. And I think that is a clear difference. I can do this instead of I know of it. That should be taught more and it ties into the reading by being a good digital citizen in that being a good digital citizen one also needs to contribute; not only to be kind and courteous but to pass on knowledge. Engage, be mindful, helpful, share, and laugh.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: November 17, 2015

Made Contact! 2

 

As with the previous week I was to make contact with members of the group I was studying which was the LGBTQ community and they have been so gracious enough to contact  me back. One thing I am getting from this week rather than last week is a much bigger response, not in how many people responded but in how long the response was. people gave me lengthy paragraphs, and I am very grateful for them. One person even told me I could use their name if it helped. I declined saying that I am keeping everything confidential, but it was great to know that people are willing to give their name. I’m not sure a lot of people would be willing to do that. Also, I thanked those previously who had commented before and went on further saying that their comments were really beneficial to my class.

Of course I asked the same question as the previous week, “Hello friends 🙂 I am a university student learning about the magnitude of social media, and I have a question for you all. What does it mean to you as a member and/or ally of the LGBTQ community to be able to connect with others on social media?” The responses were as follows: “Social media means literally everything to me it isn’t just a place to update media and what’s new but a place to meet new people and make friends we find people who understand what your going through when people you know can’t quite catch what they need to social media is where I can relax and know that there’s people out there who face the same problems as I do or anyone of the LGBTQ community would,” “…being part of the lgbt doesn’t change my view of social media unless social media’s topic is about lgbt. then the things the people say and do will change that answer. and if social media is attacking lgbt then to me it means social media is homophobic or just avoids problem so it makes them ignorant or or they haven;t been educated/educated well so they say what they were taught to not taught….” “Social media means the same to me as it would anyone else. There are things that are offensive, things that are funny, and things I relate to. Just like everyone else.”

I feel as though this week’s theme of comments back is of one in which if social media has to do with the LGBTQ community then it is enriching. Furthermore, the lgbtq community is like any other community. It has its ups and downs, funny posts, trolls, relatable stuff, cool pictures, countless memes. It is a community in which people can get together and interact with one another, it just so happens they are all apart of the LGBTQ community. That’s all.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: November 11, 2015

Made Contact!

In my last post, I explained how I was trying to make contact with people who are apart of the community I am studying. I am studying the LGBT community in regards to social media. So I made a few comments to see if I could  get anyone to talk to me.

My post included the following, “Hello friends 🙂 I am a university student learning about the magnitude of social media, and I have a question for you all. What does it mean to you as a member and/or ally of the LGBTQ community to be able to connect with others on social media?” I was happy to have a few responses. They are as follows: “It is a lot easier to find people like you and people who share the same views. Plus you honestly learn a lot more from other people’s point of views,” another responded, “I feel more accepted when people accept who I am and not judge me based on my gender or who I like. Sharing experiences makes you feel much happier and less alone too,” another wrote, “It’s comforting to know you are not alone,” another person agreed with the last statement replaying, “Yesss,” still another said “It’s really nice to know that there are others who are like you. You are not alone. They accept you, unlike some members of my sh*^% family,” and the last response was someone who answered my question and the user’s question, “It stopped me from killing myself the other day it honestly means so much to me seeing other people’s journeys and how far they’ve come and being able to connect and question and find out things and discover yourself-Hunter (oh and SKITTLES).”

I thanked all these people, not only because they commented back, but because they were so honest. What I found out was that social media helps LGBTQ members and/or allies from feeling alone. That is the over arching theme of all the comments I’ve had. One specifically said, “It’s comforting knowing you are not alone.” Aloneness or feeling isolated is highly evident (I don’t want to say proven) in the studying I have done. Social media is used as a gateway to connect these people with others just like them, free of judgement, compassionate, understanding, humorous, and liberating. It is used in the pursuit of self discovery, and answers. It lifts them up and brings them together because sometimes they are not so lucky; and their families don’t support them with who they are, they do feel alone, they do feel hopeless, they do want to kill themselves. That is when social media comes in and they are able to connect, truly connect with others who understand all that they are going through.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: November 3, 2015

Making Contact!

This week I was to make contact with the people on my topic which is the LGBT Community.

I was a bit hesitant on what to put and on what site to make contact. I decided on Instagram and made contact through a comment because I notice very different people post there and I wanted to hear the contrast of the two.

So what I commented was essentially, “Hello friends 🙂 I am a student in University studying the magnitude of social media and I have a question for you all. What does social media mean to you as a member or ally of the lgbt community?”

I haven’t had any comments back, but I look forward to the comments that do arise. If no one replays to my comment I think I will post the same question again in hopes that someone will comment.

I must admit I was nervous to ask a question and put it out there. I am very curious as to what members of this community might say, and I am further curious as to what people OUTSIDE of this community (trolls) might say. I wonder if they will even comment at all. Truthfully, I hope not. I don’t understand trolls, how could someone spew hate speech so boldly, and not think about the repercussions that it might entail?  I do look forward, though, to those who have actual insight to the matter. I want to know what they have to say. I want to know what it means to them to be apart of a community that can connect online, and what that might mean to someone who can only connect with someone online.

Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: October 28, 2015

Lurking 2

This week I continued my lurking on the social media sites Facebook and Instagram. The users I “lurked” were LGBTNews on Facebook and lgbttextposts (no caps). I am doing this to understand the social aspect of the LGBT community.

I found that people are much friendlier and more rancid on Facebook than on Instagram when comparing these two sites. People are often curious and ask genuine questions. There was one person who asked another “Off topic what does your profile picture mean?” This person had series of colors in shape of a heart as their profile picture. The person with the profile in question graciously answered, “It is the bisexual flag symbol, it just so happens to be in the shape of a heart.” “Oh, thank you.” The conversation ended pleasantly and all was well. Then I noticed as I scrolled down someone must have left some nasty comments as one of the persons told that individual to &*$7 off. I believe the person who left the nasty comments was blocked.

I also found that on Instagram there were much more people who blatantly were against the lgbt community. They were there to say hurtful things only or to preach, and when I say preach; I mean to invoke Christianity in the sense that being gay is a sin. One person actually wrote, “This is a sin.” Another replied, “Please tell me you’re joking.” Then the conversation ensued from there. I found also on Instagram that the user will post something, then ask the audience a question and most everyone will answer or tag a friend in the comment.

In the Facebook account this did not happen. Most people would agree with the post or not saying “Wow” or things like that or they would have full blown conversations. No one had a conversation on Instagram unless there was hate speech being used, there was preaching as I explained earlier, or of a person defending the lgbt community against the “trollers”.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: October 20, 2015

Lurking

This week I am to be “lurking” on social media on the subject of the LGBT community. I am doing this to explore the environment and community of these sites, which are Facebook- LGBT News and Instagram- LGBTTEXTPOSTS. 

I “lurk,” view site or page without contributing by comment, about as often as I can. That means I will visit these sights at least twice a day and stay on them for as long as I can learn something new or am simply enjoying myself. These sights can be funny. They have memes, funny pictures with captions, that have to do with the LGBT community. Anyway, I feel hesitant almost to be lurking on the Instagram account because if I go too late in the posting and accidentally like something then the user will see it and that’s kind of weird. Those of you out there will know what I’m talking about. The Facebook site, however, I have no problem lurking because there is a specific button I have to push in order to like it. On Instagram it’s a double tap and sometimes if you leave your finger on there too long  the post can be liked.

The Instagram account posts averaging on day to day while the Facebook account averages about every hour. What I found interesting is on both sites I found individuals preaching. All the preaching was found on the commenting. I’m not entirely sure what those people are getting at, but I do feel that they are trying to provoke an individual to “choose” not to be gay and be “normal”. I don’t particularly like this. Also on the Instagram account I found a lot more hate speech being used which was just awful. Literally people would tell others to go “kill yourself”. That still strikes me. People can be so bold when they hide behind a key board. People comment back sometimes aggressively,  sometimes advocating for peace. The Facebook sight has much less of this, to my relief. 

Those who are not trolls and extremely supportive and courteous. Often times they can be funny and ask questions about the post or things like that. On the Instagram account I noticed something that not everyone does. The user of the account has the left column on their account to be full of LGBT couples while the middle and right column are of text. I found this interesting because not only is this rare but it is meticulously done, and well done at that.  

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: October 13, 2015

Social Media

This week I searched my topic  of the LGBT community on social media. The media I chose was Facebook and Instagram. In both social media sights I typed in LGBT. Simply that, no hashtag no nothing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that on Facebook it took me directly to LGBT News and the next sight was LGBT Nation. Both sights had many articles having to do with the LGBT community. Many of them were about what was happening around the world with regards to the LGBT community. I found that the LGBT Nation page was much more focused on what was happening in US politics. The LGBT News was also about politics but also took into account pop culture, not just political news. It also had as its banner the message “Be Brave” which I felt was heartwarming.

As previously mentioned I visited Instagram as well. I did not search through hashtag at first but simply put the acronym LGBT and was featured the account of LGBT text. It was hilarious in a meaningful kind of way. I also looked up the hashtag but only found vague pictures. I did however look up Ellen Page’s Instagram because I saw her on the LGBT News timeline. She had a speech for the Human Rights Campaign Dinner. Anyway, I discovered that she is in a movie called Free Held, which is about two women who are in love with each other in which one of the women contracts cancer and attempts to have her pension benefits be passed on to her partner. I feel this movie will have historical significance because I cannot recall a movie about a gay/lesbian couple as the main characters and at least one of the main actors be lesbian in real life. I am ecstatic about the information I found on Ellen Page’s account.

I, for one, am going to watch and support this movie.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: October 6, 2015

Peer Reviewed Articles

So this week my assignment was to look up my topic, the LGBT community, and find it on a database  to look for peer reviewed articles.

What I found out that there was a lot of articles to my surprise. I searched from the database Academic Search Premier and categorized it under the Communications field of study, as it is my major. I did not, however, type my search topic under quotations; I wanted to see how many results I would find if I didn’t. I found two that I liked and read them. One was about the LGBT history which I found to be fascinating. I knew about LGBT history before but I did learn a thing or two, like how LGBT history is mostly about gay men. That is only talking about one account, there is much history that is missing and I for one want to learn about it.

The second article was about LGBT oppression and I know that sounds a bit cliche but it is an important topic that needs to be addressed. So I read the article and it talked about norms, what is seen as normal in society. I found out that in a lot of cases, and this article specialized in schools, the LGBT students were harassed by not only the other students but by staff as well. Then the article addressed how integration between races had set up a dialogue between the two and how eventually everything got better. Certainly there are still some issues out there but it’s not nearly as bad as it once was. So since there has been integration of LGBT people, well there always has been but people are now aware of it, there is a glimmer of hope that one day the oppression of LGBT people will be a thing of the past.

Side note; there were a lot, and I mean tons, of articles addressing transgendered individuals. There were also very few to no articles about lesbians. This was all very interesting.

Tags: Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: September 28, 2015

Search Engines

This week I looked up the topic LGBT on three different searching engines including Google Chrome, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo. The search from Google was what I expected because that’s the search engine I usually use. When I typed in LGBT the search result also suggested lgbt center, lgbt community and the like. I just stuck with my original topic. The sites I found were not bad and went well for the assignment I was working on. The next site I went on was Yahoo and it was really refreshing too search there because there were no ads. There were however a lot less sites that had to do with the whole community and more to do with what lgbt meant. So it was a little harder to look for what I actually wanted. With that site I learned that I have to be more specific in my word choice. The last site I searched from was DuckDuckGo and I’ve heard of that search engine previously from another professor I’ve had back in my Community College. So I search from that engine and once again there are no ads what so ever just websites. There aren’t even the images that Google had which I thought was very interesting. The results did not only have what LGBT meant, the acronym I mean. There were actually some good quality sites.

I learned that Google pertains a lot of it’s searches to my liking. That should not be so because I need the diversity and the challenging ideas to my own. I need the different perspectives. They make me a better person. I want to see the different perspectives and ideas. Also the ads are a burden. I do not like them.

 

Filled Under: Uncategorized Posted on: September 22, 2015

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