Reflecting on my time on UOSM2008

The journey on this module has been a positive one, I have learned new skills, acquired new knowledge and developed my time management. Throughout this post I shall be looking back on the time spent over this semester and discussing what I have learnt and how I have developed.

Why did I choose this module?

I initially chose this module as I wanted to experience a different way of learning, learn more about the online world and develop my skills. I had always had an interest in blogging but never had the confidence or knowledge to start.

How did I find the module?

I really enjoyed the unique assessment method used in this module. I am used to modules that are usually assessed by one large essay (around 2000-3000 words) and a exam at the end. This module was assessed by week by week blogs and I enjoyed the fast-paced way of working. This module also taught me things that I was able to incorporate in other modules. For my large assignment on my Collective Action and Social Change module I decided to answer the question about digital activism after being inspired from what I have learned from this one and used the knowledge I have acquired to help me effectively answer the question.

The Learning process

What Have I Learned?

Topic One and Two

I have linked these two topics together as they flowed well together. They both made me reflect on my personal online behaviours and privilege whilst creating a good basis for the topics that followed. This is where I first realised I was not as digitally literature and skilled as I had first thought, however, I have improved after undertaking this module.

Heres an overview:

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(Created by Me, 2018)

Topic Three

Topic three was a very on trend topic to discuss and learn about. As I had heard the phrase ‘fake news’ often in the political sphere in recent months (Donald Trump!), I was really looking forward to developing a deeper understanding of what fake news really was and how it developed. Learning about filter bubbles and the way each individuals internet use is tweaked was a highlight for me in this course. I would argue that learning about media literacy has changed the way I approach internet sources and I have been aware of what and who I trust on the internet ever since!

Heres an overview:

001

Topic four

Single Vs multiple identities was an interesting topic to blog about. I had never thought about the way we present ourselves online until then! I really enjoyed discussing with my peers the problems that can occur when you blur the lines between your personal and professional life online and concluded that it is really important to take your online identities seriously. This topic encouraged me to improve my professional identity by updating and enhancing my LinkedIn profile which has always been neglected and put to the side. I also had discussions with my friends who have careers in sensitive/important areas (social work, for example) how important it is for them to consider having multiple identities to distance their work life from their personal life.

Heres an overview:

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Comparing my digital skills from the beginning to now

My original digital self-test was this:

new-piktochart_28009179

Following the weeks learning on this module, I can now conclude my self-test looks more like the following:

new-piktochart_28009179-2

My main improvements would be that I have learned how to make my own videos and infographics, which I had no idea about before. I have been able to link multiple accounts to share these images and videos, which helped improve my online identity. I have also developed my LinkedIn profile which has helped me to build online networks in careers fields that I am interested in. I have gained understanding about the importance of connectivity and have researched about the strengths of having a professional online presence when starting or developing a career. The importance surrounding first impressions and learning to stand out is key to succeeding in the professional world (Beckingham, 2014).

 

What will I take from this module?

  • I have learnt how to blog and share information on a new platform
  • I have read and gained understanding on all the topics we were given
  • I have developed my digital skills
  • I have created new online identities including the one on this blog and a professional LinkedIn.
  • I have discovered a new way of learning which has improved my creativity, time management and summarising skills.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, I would say that this has been my most unique learning experience over my three years at the University of Southampton. I have learned skills I can take with me into the professional world which I intend to carry on developing and improving. I have enjoyed the feedback system we experience in this module both from the lecturers and my peers. It has been a good experience to learn from peers as well as academic sources to widen my views and opinions in a controlled and positive environment. For the future, I hope that issues raised in this module such as the digital divide and online trolling will eventually be a small issue (or not an issue at all!) and everyone can enjoy the online world for the positive and create space that it can be!

 

Thank you for taking time to read my reflection!

 

Word Count: 900

References

Beckingham, S. (2018). Why You Need A Professional Online Presence. [online] LinkedIn. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140810203500-20331736-why-you-need-a-professional-online-presence [Accessed 17 May 2018].

 

 

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Reflecting on Online Identities

Overall Reflection

After reading my peers blogs, I noted that I had not actually considered how I manage my identity online. I would argue that I am for the most part quite transparent and singular as my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all linked and easily accessible. However, I have a smaller network on snapchat. Professionally, I have a linked in account that only a few of ‘friends’ are a part of my network. Lastly, Educationally I use this blog, that only my peers on the living and working on the web module are aware of. This provides evidence of multiple identities even though some of my profiles are linked, not all of them are.

pexels-photo-607812.jpeg

As I read on Will’s blog post, some people have to keep a single identity for their careers to thrive. ‘Bloggers’ and ‘influencers’ tend to make their money through allowing their audience to get to know every part of themselves. This can go from day-to-day vlogging, sharing personal thoughts and feelings and interacting with your audience. Although this seems as authentic as you could possibly get online, it is argued that many influencers actually deceive their audience by trying to create a picture of a ‘perfect’ lifestyle which is not actually true to reality.

The video below depicts the deception that can often be found on social media profiles, questioning authenticity even when a single identity is used

(Youtube)

 

To conclude, I would reflect that both single and multiple identities have their benefits and drawbacks. There is no one size fits all for online identities and it would be best if everyone fit their online identities to suit their lifestyle needs. I would recommend everyone to always be safe and cautious online as no matter how authentic something may seem, it may not always be the case! Stay media and digitally literate!

Words: 307.

Click here to view my comment on Will’s Blog 

Click here to view my comment on Sam’s Blog

 

References

References

WordPress.com. (2018). WordPress.com. [online] Available at: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/142150787/posts/115 [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].

YouTube. (2017). Are You Living an Insta Lie? Social Media Vs. Reality. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EFHbruKEmw [Accessed 29 Apr. 2018].

Who am I? Singles Vs Multiple Identities.

We have the ability to create our own online identities in todays world. Some people chose to have their online identity reflect their offline identity in all ways on all social platforms that they are a part of. Some people have more than one online identity showing different sides of them eg. Personal and Professional. Others have an anonymous identity to express opinions and beliefs without high risk of unintended effects – although this can open doors for trolling, bullying and abusive online behaviour (Future Learn, 2017)

One argument for the use of single identities in authenticity. Having one online identity that links and reflects to your offline identity with the same connections and images can give validity and authenticity to your online profile and trust that a person is actually who they are claiming to be (Krotoski, 2016).

Internet_dog                                                                                                     (Wikipedia)

The image above is a famous cartoon image drawn for the New Yorker in 1993 by Peter Steiner. Although it is often referred to as ahead of it’s time, it is now more relevant than ever and comically but accurately depicts the issues surrounding online validity (Cavna, 2013).

It can also be argued that creating multiple online identities can help you in different aspects of your life. It is known that employers tend to research job candidates online before considering them for a job (Salpeter, 2011). This is motivation to keep a professional online presence and your informal ‘fun’ online presences separate, so people can selectively get to know different sides of you. Recruiters have said that they are less trusting of recruiting people from Facebook and prefer the professional based social media LinkedIn (TheFractons, 2017). This is an example spaces that allow for different identities.

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                                                                                                 (TheFractions, 2017)

Aside from the professional/personal debate – what are the benefits and drawbacks from having single or multiple online identities?

new-piktochart_29795923.png

                                                                           (Created by me using Picktochart, 2018) Information : (Futurelearn, 2017)

 

Word Count: 303

References:

References

Cavna, M. (2013). ‘Nobody Knows You’re a Dog’: At 20, Web cartoon as true as ever.. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/comic-riffs/post/nobody-knows-youre-a-dog-as-iconic-internet-cartoon-turns-20-creator-peter-steiner-knows-the-joke-rings-as-relevant-as-ever/2013/07/31/73372600-f98d-11e2-8e84-c56731a202fb_blog.html?utm_term=.2e7c98c9e34f [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].

FutureLearn. (2017). What is your network identity? – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303357 [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. [online] The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].

Salpeter, M. (2011). How To Improve Your Online Identity. [online] US News. Available at: https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/03/30/how-to-improve-your-online-identity [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].

The fractions. (2017). LinkedIn Vs. Facebook: Which is Better For Business Networking. [online] Available at: http://www.thefractions.com/2017/04/linkedin-vs-facebook-better-business-networking/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2018].

Fake news reflection

The most recent topic was not something I had not heard of. Although ‘Fake news’ as a phrase is widely known, I had not realised the extent of the problem. The topic goes further than clickbait and Donald trump.

Although I knew that fake news could affect the way people perceive and interact with politics, I had not realised the effect it could have after reading many of the peers discuss this in their blogs. For example, Megan had discussed how fake articles during the US election gathered almost 9 million interactions. It would be naive to believe this would not affect some peoples stances on the candidates and parties.

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                                                                                    (CNN, 2016)

Due to the damage fake news can cause, news sites such as CBS have created lists of known fake news websites so that their followers know who to look out for.

I also had not realised the effects that fake news could have outside of the political sphere. Chloe had made an engaging graphic about how fake news can create problems within social relationships, health and economics as well. Health really stood out to me as I would never have considered this to be a topic fake news could affect – but fake health advice and reviews really are something to be concerned about.

In conclusion I would argue that in some ways, fake news is scarier than I had first thought. It can alter political outcome, change world views and cause health problems through false information. I had discussions in the comments of my last post about the extent fake news should be policed. I think it is difficult to find a balance between allowing freedom on the internet and policing damaging news reports – I hope in the future fake news is not something we have to worry about

Word Count:299

My Comments

Chloe’s blog 

Megan’s Blog (awaiting moderation).

 

 

 

Fake News Epidemic!

 

Fake news. If you are a social media user, or a regular news watcher, there is no doubt that you have heard the phrase ‘fake news’ tirelessly recently. Whether it be online debates or Donald Trump exclaiming the phrase in press releases or on twitter, the phrase is everywhere.

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 13.22.21

                                                           (@realDonaldTrump, twitter, 2018)

 

Why is there fake news?

There are various reasons for the spread of fake news. One of the main reasons is for financial gain. Traffic to a website can create financial gain for the website owners, whether the information is accurate or not is irrelevant. Many websites get ‘paid per click’ therefore the use of sensational, attention-grabbing headlines is appealing as people are likely to want to know more (Dice, 2017).

Another reason is to push an agenda – for example anti-islam. After the Manchester bombings in 2017 an image of a Muslim woman circled the internet claiming that an image captured of her walking by the incident was an showing her lack of remorse and disregard for the victims which quickly turned into a popular #BanIslam Hashtag, although the woman was not projecting these feelings in anyway (Rannard, 2017).

 

Filter bubbles – what are they?

Filter bubbles is a term for algorithms used on social media sites such as facebook. It is described as a ‘bubble’ because the website selects information to show us based on past online behaviours – meaning you can become isolated in a bubble of inaccurate information (FutureLearn, 2017).

This Ted Talk gives an in depth explanation of filter bubbles.

(Pariser, 2011)

What can we do to avoid fake news?! Have good media literacy!

new-piktochart_28766265

                                                                                               (Created by me, 2018)

Information above from here.

To conclude, fake news is here and can be hard to avoid so it is important to keep your wits about you and do not add to the problem by sharing fake news – be media literate!

Words: 307

 

References

Beware Online: Filter Bubbles. (2011). Directed by E. Pariser. Ted Talks.

Dice, M. (2017). The True Story of Fake News. Mark Dice.

Facebook.com. (n.d.). Tips to Spot False News | Facebook Help Centre | Facebook. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/help/188118808357379?qp_instance_log_data%5Brandomization_seed%5D=1492253759&qp_instance_log_data%5Bos_type%5D=Windows&qp_instance_log_data%5Bbrowser_name%5D=Chrome&qp_instance_log_data%5Bbrowser_ver%5D=56 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

FutureLearn. (2017). Media Literacy – Learning in the Network Age – University of Southampton. [online] Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303353 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].

Rannard, G. (2017). How fake news plagued 2017. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-42487425 [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].

 

Reflecting on digital differences

What are my thoughts on the digital divide now?!

After writing my blog post on digital differences, I then went on to read my peers posts on the same topic. This lead me to question certain things about digital differences that I had not considered originally. This questions refer to both digital differences as a whole and how it effects me personally.

 

new-piktochart_28539930

(created by me, 2018)

 

The human right/privilege debate was one of the main things I took from last weeks blog posts. The fact that the majority of work and schooling is based online means that people are at a true disadvantage if they do not have access. This means they are unable to get out of their circle of deprivation through school and work. I can confidently say that without internet access at my home through a personal laptop, I would not succeed as well during university as I have thus far.

new-piktochart_28540807

 

(Created by me, 2018)

 

As mentioned in Chloe‘s blog, when we think of equality we usually think about race, gender, age, class etc. However, being digitally unequal in modern society can reap similar disadvantages and needs to be focused on as well as ‘traditional’ factors of inequality.

To conclude, learning on the MOOC, learning in a network age has allowed me to gain a lot of insight about inequality in the digital world. I definitely think that digital disadvantage should be taken as seriously as traditional disadvantages do as they can impact a person’s life chances tremendously. As grateful as I am for the MOOC, it has also left me with some privileged guilt as I am only able to gain this knowledge through my internet access. I hope one day we can say that everyone has an equal chance to succeed and become digitally literate if they choose.

Word count (302)

My comment on Chloe’s blog here 

My comment on Carl’s blog here

 

How different are we?!

Why is digital difference important?

Having internet access can affect life chances and opportunities, unfortunately, not everyone is privileged enough to have this. Those who lack this access may find themselves in a deprivation cycle which is why understanding digital differences is so important (Halford and Savage, 2010). Living in a developed and economically strong country, I recognise my privilege in digital access. As seen below, the UK falls into the highest internet user category.

image

                            (Time, 2015)

There are many factors to take into consideration when discussing someones digital accessibility.

What factors create digital differences?

new-piktochart_28358695

(Created by me, 2018)

We know from studying visitors and residents that people who were not born into the digital age often are not as digitally literate as those who are. This may limit the amount they choose access the web. Other factors such as income and wealth create an environment in which those effected do not have the choice. 97% of Americans with household income over $75,000 are internet users in comparison to 62% in households with less than $30,000 (Pew, 2011). Some people may not have internet access at home but can access through their school or university, however, those who do not have access to education are even lacking opportunity here.

Censorship is a big deal in many countries which limits what information you have access to on the internet. China is a prime example of this in which the government censor information including social media, celebrity gossip sites and politically sensitive information (BBC, 2017).

 

To conclude, I would argue that internet access is a privilege that allows people to be free and create opportunities for themselves. It is important to recognise differences around the world and how this impacts different people. Although internet access globally has improved over the last decade, there is a lot more that needs to be done before we can ever be digitally equal.

Word count: 308

References

Anon, (2015). Here’s How Many Internet Users There Are. [online] Available at: http://time.com/money/3896219/internet-users-worldwide/ [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

BBC News. (2017). How Chinese authorities censor your thoughts. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-41523073 [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

Pewinternet.org. (2011). Digital Differences. [online] Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/2012/PIP_Digital_differences_041312.pdf [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

Ugc.futurelearn.com. (2010). Digital differences – inequalities and online practices. [online] Available at: https://ugc.futurelearn.com/uploads/files/1f/aa/1faadfb0-777f-4ef7-8741-e032127ea311/Digital_differences__-_inequalities_and_online_practices.pdf [Accessed 26 Feb. 2018].

YouTube. (2014). China internet: ‘I know we’re being suppressed but it doesn’t affect me’. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QohBE1xPmOI&t=21s [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].