Ethical Issues

This week has been an especially rough week for me in my personal life and to be honest concentrating hasn’t exactly been something I have been able to do. When trying to reflect on this week’s class, my mind has been cloudy, so please excuse me if everything is just all over the place.

Ethical Issues are the name of the game this week and what I gathered from some of the cases are people do not use common sense when using the internet. As I stressed in class about the Twitter Joke Case, if you do not want something to be shared on the Internet, then don’t post it. Don’t share it! Especially on social media, where we are meant to be social and share our ideas with our peers! Another example of this is with the Snapchat case regarding whether or not Snapchat has a data base of photos or if they are actually deleted. My thoughts again, if you do not feel comfortable having the whole world see your photo, why would you send someone it in the first place? End Rant.

Although people may not make the greatest decisions when using the internet (aka anyone who has ever signed up for Ashley Madison), the internet still remains a wonderful, free place where our thoughts can be shared. In regards to Lauren’s article, having a governance over the internet would not be, in my opinion, the greatest idea. The internet is meant to be free and open and having people reside over what is okay and not okay takes the fun out of such a large network of ideas, people and pages. It is amazing what you can learn from exploring into the great depths of space and if one day a governing body said that that wasn’t okay, how would we ever learn about, for example, another country and their political problems?

Perhaps a fun past time of some of my classmates and friends is trolling. Earlier in the day on Tuesday I had read an article, similar to Marissa’s, about the Target Troll. Unfortunately I had not read the entire article and thought that Target actually responded to people in the manner that the person did. (My favorite was, “Name…I think you’re hungry, have a snickers bar, they’re located up front by the cash registers.”) After learning about the full article, it made sense that it was not actually Target; I mean that would be a nightmare, even if it was just funny, sarcastic comments. Although I think the Target troll was all in good fun, trolling, in itself is not the nicest thing to do.

According to Urban Dictionary, the top definition of trolling is:

“Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.”

As this definition so bluntly put it, trolling is being a prick on the internet. But even if someone is not acting in a favorable manner, it would be extremely hard to regulate any type of ban on trolling as there is unlimited content on the internet to troll. Who would regulate it? If it was that big of an issue, many jobs could be created to keep a handle on it, but is that really necessary? Is trolling just another version of free speech? In my opinion, trolling is just something to be tolerated and is just another feature of sharing your opinions on the internet.

Finally, I just wanted to touch on my own article which talked about a Facebook Research Experiment which did not notify the participants and spoke a little about whether or not it was ethical. I found that it was hard to make my own decision on the topic. I can definitely see the advantages, having unknowing participants would give researchers the truest results, but on the other hand, it is unfair to the participant. The unwilling participant.

Any study, done in the real world or on social media should  follow the same standards, but would it be more beneficial to use social media as a tool to get the truest results on unknowing people? This is an ethical issue that even I am having a hard time taking a side…

Have a good weekend and good luck on the Midterm Everyone!! 🙂


Exposed: Digital Consumption Diary

To follow up on my post from last week’s embarrassing dive into my social media habits, this week I dive into my embarrassing iPhone usage. Although I hate to admit it, over the past couple of months, I have gotten extremely attached to the thing. I also realized, after speaking to a friend, that I don’t really need any other technology (with the exception of my work computer) to entertain me.

In my Digital Consumption Diary I found that I really only use my television (for background noise) and iPhone and the day I chose to record didn’t even remotely reflect my actual habits. I decided to record my habits on a Sunday when I am sitting in a lifeguard stand on the beach…where we’re not exactly supposed to use our phones…and I still managed to rack up time from the hours of 9am to 5:30pm. During the week, I am 100% on it more. I am always glancing at it during work or scrolling through an app; it is my cure for boredom (After I typed that line I actually just looked at my phone).

It was comforting to know that my classmates also seem to struggle with keeping off their phones and I’m sure our patterns are very similar to others.

One medium that stuck out to me as being lost is the traditional radio. Today, many people would rather listen to a music streaming service such as Pandora or Spotify or even their XM Radio. Personally, I enjoy the music feature on the iPhone (go figure). It will be interesting to find out what the future holds for traditional radio…

In other news, while going through my work email today I stumbled across an email from my local County College putting together a conference for college students and the community on using social media to promote businesses. I actually chuckled thinking back to class this week and our Breakout Groups forming agendas for a conference on the Digital Divide.

I thought that each group had a well thought out agenda that would be extremely beneficial to those who attend. I was particularly interested in Breakout group 2 as their agenda really focused on closing the gap in the digital divide. It really tackles how to close the divide and offers a great forum for ideas. I also really enjoyed the titles of Breakout Group 4 and thought they did an excellent job addressing the digital divide as well, in fact all groups did an excellent job.

Last week I tweeted an article that spoke about the Digital Divide in Cuba and how people without internet access were receiving files once a week to download and view on their computer so they could stay up to date on current events, music, etc. I thought this was an interesting solution to the problem, especially to those living far away from any internet service.

If interested, follow the link below!

My Embarrassing Social Media Habits

As I pause during my work day to take a mental break from my computer, rather than doing something completely different than looking at a screen, I pick up my phone…and look at the screen. Even as I type this I realize how embarrassing it is.

I flip through the major apps I always check – Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and then continue on with my work day. Social Media very obviously rules my life. As of right now, my Snapchat score (the amount of snaps you have sent and received) is at 22,482 (I’m pretty embarrassed), my total number of Instagram photos is at 245 and the amount of tweets (on my personal twitter) is at 3,846. I am very clearly an avid user of these apps.

I like to think of myself as pretty on-trend with Social Media; or as on-trend as a 25 year old can be, and even I was surprised by what I did not know from the presentations in class on Tuesday night. I was even impressed with Foursquare, the platform I chose, as I had never downloaded it before two weeks ago. Since downloading it I have used it almost every day! It is always fun to learn about new apps that can make my life easier and the two that I enjoyed the most was Venmo and Goodreads – and as of writing this post, I still have not had the time to look into either more than just in the app store on my iPhone (what can I say? I work two jobs).

Moving forward I will look to find other social media platforms that can be useful to my life…as I am sure there are many that I am missing out on.

To next week!!