LinkedIn Social Action Post

When starting the “prep” for this assignment, I knew I wanted to write about something related to business. I thought it would be too cliche’ to write something on United, although that’s the hot topic nowadays. Then I got to thinking about what my group and I talked about in class one day – is the internet and social media used as a simple (yet effective) catalyst to share, usually detrimental, information with a larger public. I found what one would think would be an issue in business – accusations of a CEO firing employees with a potentially immoral underlying motive. And I posted it to my LinkedIn.

Now, I don’t have 15,000 followers or anything like that in my network, but I would think that as a business platform, that LinkedIn would serve to be my catalyst to spur discussion, or at least add to the conversation.

The author does a great job as well, keeping some sense impartiality, and simply reporting her findings. So I didn’t think that the discussion would be too one-sided. I thought it might garner some comments and at least a little discussion within an online business community.

However, after 102 views (according to LinkedIn), my post received 1 like and 0 comments. To play devil’s advocate for myself, here are a few “could-have-happened” in my opposition: perhaps people just scrolled through my post; perhaps, due to my lack of posting prior, no one cared to check out my post; perhaps I posted it with too little time for people to respond; there are a number of “perhaps” that could have happened.

So, how big of a catalyst is my personal LinkedIn? Apparently not that big. No game-changers, or mind-shifting ideals coming from my site.

But the article I posted interested me because, as the author on BusinessInsider wrote, she had a following. It was one of the featured stories. The tech company, Tanium, got publicity for this, and there CEO got called out on some potentially harmful accusations. The question I posed in my post is, without social media or the internet, would this have just been an internal issue? Or would the issue have been brought to the public’s attention, but at a much slower rate – perhaps causing the public interest to be lessened due to the lack of a catalyst?

It’s hard to tell sometimes whether news would be news without the internet and the information age. What would we do without our beloved social media and internet? What issues would be swept under the rug? What issues would still be important?

 

Plaintiff and Defendant

One of the things we often, as Americans, take advantage of in our country is our civil liberties. Our right to a fair trial, a right to be defended, freedom of speech. How can we take advantage of these things? Perhaps by not affording them to the people who need to utilize them the most. I’ve always been interested in the justice system, the way that lawyers defend clients that are “obviously” guilty. But, innocent before proven guilty is a statement made by many and, apparently, understood by few.

After reading Ronson, and more directly seeing him on screen, I can see why using the “plaintiff and defendant” example is so important. In a public shaming scenario, there is no defense attorney – there is no defense. There is simply a mob, and mob’s destroy things. One person follows the next because everyone says it’s a good idea. This reminds me of an old adage in our country not too long ago – I think they were called lynch mobs.

United Airlines is a perfect example. Yes, the video (taken from a poor angle) seems bad. Yes, the man had blood on his face. Yes, he was dragged off the plane. Could those United Airlines employees have handled that better? Probably. But we don’t know until we examine all the facts. Foresight is always 20-20 – cliche’, but cliche’s are cliche’s because they are always true. So in defense of the United Airlines employees, I still believe that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – here’s to hoping that there might be one.

Another popular example not too long ago was during the protests of the travel ban by our current Administration. Many taxi drivers (being of middle-eastern decent) did not drive their taxis for people exiting airports in support of the protests. Uber drivers were not allowed to participate in the protest, and I believe (from memory) that Uber actually kept their rates low, despite the increased demand, in order to take a bigger bulk of the business. Now, many people posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook, etc. of them deleting their Uber apps, now protesting Uber because they wouldn’t let their workers participate in this protest.

Uber is a business folks. Every business’s goal: make a profit. Uber saw that protest as an opportunity to rake in some revenue. From a stockholder’s point of view, Uber made a smart move. Now from a stockholder’s point of view from United Airlines, maybe not the best move, but I digress.

Innocent until proven guilty is what I’m trying to get across. Do not simply shame companies/people for making maybe one of the worst mistakes in their company’s history, or that person’s career. Examine all the facts – once you have all the facts – and make a judgement for yourself. Be prepared to debate with naysayers, and ignorant people without all the facts. And disregard those people – because they are part of the mob.

I know I harped on a very minute point made by Ronson, but I think this is a very important point, and that he would agree. If there is no plaintiff and defense, then there is only an executioner.

Screen vs. Text

I’ve never much been one to make a lot of videos or share much on social media. So doing the Concept in 60 video was a little bit more work than I’m used to for sharing anything on an online medium. That being said, I did have a lot of fun doing it.

One of the things that using video allowed me to do was to be as creative as possible to appeal to as many senses as possible. My voiceover appealed to hearing, my video to sight, and perhaps the sense of touch as you pushed play and awaited the great cinematic experience of “How to Tip your Server Properly.” These are some things that cannot be done through writing text. We each read in our own  voice, so it’s harder as writer to convey tones, emotions, etc. as easily as it they are conveyed through video.

In “How to Properly Watch a Movie,” you could tell that he had a lot of fun making the 60 second video, and that made the video more enjoyable for me to watch. So the conveying of emotion was made easier in a short 60 second video, than it would have been if he’d simply written out his thoughts on how to watch a movie at home. I can’t say I would have laughed as much as I did had I read that on a piece of paper.

Amanda’s video took a more complex concept (subtweeting) and made it simpler through her explanation with her voice, and her use of time-lapsing so that key words could be emphasized with the creativeness of writing them on paper, yet keeping them on screen to be used like stills in a movie. This helped contribute to the creativeness of the concept video, and helped to simplify the complex phenomenon of subtweeting.

“How to get dressed in the morning” also utilized time-lapsing to speed up a process that can take about 10 or 15 minutes. This emphasizes another affordance of video that we cannot get in writing – the essence of time. Reading written text takes as long as the reader needs to, so it can take a lot longer than the writer might have expected. However, with a video, the time stamp is how long the video will take (save for any pausing or rewinding any comical parts of the video), and this affordance allows us to budget our time of how we take in these pieces that we can’t really do with written text. Maybe if you give yourself 15 minutes, and you skim, but then you’re not really taking in what you need to get from reading!

Overall, video affords us certain things that written text can’t and I think our Concept in 60 videos really emphasized a few key things as I wrote about. Great job on the videos everyone!

Keep Out: Private!

Some background music to listen to while you’re reading this post.

Privacy has different meanings. On one hand, it’s a person’s ability to hide something, and on the other hand it’s the ability to share what you want. Doesn’t that sound like the same thing? Hiding things can be very intentional, and have the “sneaky” undertone that we usually connect to “hiding” something. Sharing what you want is a person’s ability to dictate how they are perceived (either online, or otherwise). boyd notes that parents don’t think teens care about their privacy, and will just post anything. But also she notes that we are much more aware than initially perceived. The way that she talks about privacy is interesting and I believe can relate to parts of my life, as I’m sure it can relate to some of yours.

Persistence of content – stuff online last forever (boyd’s wording sounds fancier). This is one the most repeated phrases at my parents’ house that I heard growing up. Be careful what you put online because it lasts forever, anyone who wants to can find it eventually – or some paraphrase of that. This aspect of boyd’s writing is very true. How she notes that things from long ago online can resurface and be used out of context in an argument – a present self having to defend a former self. It isn’t necessarily fair that this can occur with use of online postings, it is ultimately, a trade-off, or necessary evil (I’m not sure which term would be more appropriate) of posting things online. Ironically enough, this post that I’m writing right now is subject to the same perpetuity as the rest of our classes content, and the same perpetuity of news articles, Facebook posts, Trump tweets, etc. I think that, as a younger generation, we aren’t ignorant to the fact that what we post online lasts forever, however perhaps we are… numb? Indifferent? Or maybe we use this fact as the center of motivation to rebel – let everyone read this, I could care less, this needs to be said.

I know writing online can be an outlet for some, so couldn’t it also be an outlet for rebellion? With the use of online mediums, more people hear your voice that wouldn’t necessarily have heard it before social media. Sure, you could have sent a thousand angry letters to whomever, but you’d ultimately end up with carpal tunnel and no change. The fact that “stuff” online lasts forever can help social activism and other aspects of society due to the fact that it can garner support weeks, even years after it was posted because it does indeed last forever.

So, yes, our content lasts forever. Should we update our privacy settings, or produce better content?

Shrinking or Expanding?

reliant-on-tech
americanstudiesmediacutlureprogram.wordpress.com

In the latter part of his book, Carr really delves into his argument for what the internet, or technology as a whole is really doing to our minds. I thought it would be interesting to compare his beginning thoughts, or his recognition of certain technologies as neither really good nor bad to his later argument. To do so, I’m going to call back what I wrote about in my first response to Carr on this page. My example starts on page 44 when Carr writes, “Every technology is an expression of human will,” and continues to categorize technology into four categories. The fourth category was of particular interest to me – being the category that Carr cites as “intellectual technologies” that help us to measure things, articulate certain ideas, and to support our mental powers.

Later on in the book, on page 212, Carr uses the example of London taxi drivers. He starts the paragraph in an interesting way, with a definite difference in language of how he approaches the use of technology: “We’re likely going through another such adaptation today as we come to depend on computerized GPS devices to shepherd us around.” I want to call attention to Carr’s diction of “shepherd” in that sentence. The connotations that follow that choice of word certainly set the tone for the London taxi driver example, and he follows through by citing Eleanor Maguire, the neuroscientist who led the study of the brains of London taxi drivers. The neuroscientist is quoted in this example saying, “We very much hope they don’t start using [GPS]…the area of the brain increased in grey matter volume because of the huge amount of data [the drivers] have to memorize. If they all start using GPS, that knowledge base will be less and possibly affect the brain changes we are seeing.” GPS essentially being like a map – the fourth category of technology, that is supposed to SUPPORT our mental powers – is then shrinking them. A curious case.

First, I want to note the change in tone from the beginning of the book to the latter half. Carr doesn’t necessarily praise technology when he categorizes it, but he certainly notes the merits of each category, and how it’s simply human attempts to control a certain thing in their lives. And then as he gets into the meat of his argument(s) we not only see the change in tone, but also the examples he uses to show us how even these technologies that should inherently expand our knowledge of the world (GPS), can also hinder our ability to gain knowledge if we become reliant on these technologies. This example of the London cab drivers is just one example, and I’m not saying I agree with him, but it makes me think of where I’d be without Google Maps, or my iPhone. Have I become that reliant on all of these things? Could I be as efficient without them? How would my life change without them? Is technology shrinking or expanding our mental faculties?

Measure and Calculate (attempt 2)

The idea that Carr talks about starting on page 44 is one of the most interesting to me. He talks about how, using technology as our tools, we “seek to expand our power and control over our circumstances.” As he continues on to classify them into four major parts, it is interesting how spot-on he is about how technology is simply human attempts at gaining control over nature, over each other, and over a thousand different things that we don’t SEE technology as, but it truly is this attempt to gain control.

Apart from Carr’s example of a fighter jet as an example of physical control (fighter jets are awesome), I believe the fourth technological classification category to be the most applicable to me as a business student. Carr notes that they can be referred to as “intellectual technologies.” A map or a clock would be examples of this category of technology. These are technologies we use to classify information, form ideas about certain things based on data and numbers. My laptop and the internet are examples of this technology as well because it expands my mental capacity and my ability to support my mind.

I found it very interesting that I don’t really stop and think about how much we calculate things – especially as a business student – and how I less often think about how someone had to “think up” a way to calculate this or that. How primitive certain calculations must have been thousand of years ago. How did we move from that to calculus, finite math, physics? Who was the first one to think of certain accounting principles for businesses? It’s insane to think about how much we calculate and try to understand things with research and data, but yet we don’t stop and think about how those calculations came to be. And how certain calculations at certain speeds weren’t available in the near past. How many math equations were done at NASA by hand before computer technology was really advanced?

Don’t get me wrong – I believe that the other categories of technology are important; extending our physical strength, extending the range of our senses, and reshaping nature to fit our needs are all important. I just thought that the technology that allows us to measure and calculate things and support our mental powers were more applicable to me as a business major. With all the calculations I do for classes, I don’t know where I’d be without technology helping me.