During our last meeting we made some important decisions on how we would like to present our project and also what areas we are going to focus on. Over the past week each of us conducted research on the area of our interest within the topic of ” Social media as our second life”. We have divided the topic so each of our group members is going to talk about different aspect of social media and what impact it has on our life. So far we have established that Sam is going to cover statistics of social media, Knitsy will talk about pitfalls of social media as our second lives on a cultural level, I am going to look at the topic from the personal level covering pros and cons of social media and explaining what happens when we over use it and how it is taking over our lives. Going further Mitch might be presenting the future of social media. We are also discussing our project on our Facebook group, and for those who could not make in to our last meeting in Second Life Sam has posted an update so they can decide what area they would like to cover on our presentation.
We were also discussing the way we would like to present and our idea is to build an installation of our slides instead of streaming the presentation. This way we would be able to make it more interactive and hopefully more interesting. We were looking for a location to do that and we found a really nice place the race track in the sky above Akron island:
We would offer a teleport to our audience in advance and we would guide them through our project on the race track. We have to discuss it in class now to find out if that would be possible for us to do and if so we are planning on working on that over the weekend.
During the last class we discussed three examples of inappropriate and controversial tweets. The first one was awfully immature, racist and in very simple words plain stupid. It was a tweet posted by PR executive Justine Sacco. In her post Justine said: ” Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”. In my opinion this post was absolutely thoughtless. When I first saw it I could not believe my eyes I thought it was a joke, a very bad one too and that was even before I found out that these words came out from a PR executive. The second example was a teenage girl who posted offensive comments. When I think of both of the examples together I would not say that I approve in any shape or form any of them but I think that our perspective and judgment changes based on who is saying that. I think I have more understanding of why an inexperienced teenager unaware of the value and impact of words and how she is going to be perceived by society could write such a offensive posts than a grown up professional. Nevertheless I think regardless our age, we should become more aware of our online identity and be simply more thoughtful and respectful in our ways of communication.
The third example was a little bit different from the two above the tweet came from Dr. Phill who posted : ” If a girl is drunk is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no.” This was obviously a very controversial tweet but as bad as it sounded it was not meant to come up this way in my opinion. People were arguing over it, posting many comments and deliberating on how many levels was it inappropriate. As I do agree that it does look inappropriate and controversial I do not think that there was anything else behind it besides a follow up from Dr. Phill’s show. In my opinion the question was posted to check how society would react and respond to that and how they will answer the question. Having said that since this is a very fragile and potentially dangerous topic, I think it was really easy to predict how it will end up and I think it should not be posted even just to avoid the unnecessary controversy and confusion.
As a team we decided that since it is not always easy to get all of us to meet in Second Life to discuss our project our main tool of communication will be Facebook. Because of the time difference and different college hours sometimes it is not possible to get all of us at once to meet in SL and discuss our project, but with Facebook it is a lot better because we can all leave messages and comments and all of us can get involved and participate. What we have established is that for a few days we will all do research on the area that we agreed on which is ” Social media as our second life”. I am sure that each of us have different approach to this topic so the research will help us to find what each of us is interested in, or what is her or his point of view on this matter so we can start scripting and assign parts for each of us making sure that they are all refer to the same concept and fit it well. We decided to share all articles, websites etc on our Facebook group so each of us can read them so we all get better understanding of what we all want to focus on. For my part I would like to focus on the topic I presented in earlier post which is the fact that technology together with social media are taking over our lives if not used wisely and with a bit of distance. As I already discussed it before I do think that social media are wonderful tools and are well able of contributing to many good causes and our lives but the simply should not replace our real life. Following that thought I decided to also do some research on how some of them contributed to a good cause and I found a really interesting story of a mother who probably saved her daughter’s sight thanks to uploading her photo on Facebook. A friend of the mother noticed weird reflection in the little girl’s eye and contacted the mother to have it checked. As it turned out she spotted a very rare and dangerous disease which untreated would lead to blindness. The girl’s eyes look normal in a day light, the disease came out only because of flash the mother used taking the picture, which was then spotted by a friend who suggested they seek medical help. This is just one of many examples where sharing our life online can be very beneficial and I will continue my research on both advantages and disadvantages of social media to get good understanding of the topic and collect strong arguments for my point of view as well as prepare well for the presentation. Our group will finalize the research in the next few days so we will have enough time for preparing, scripting and rehearsing.
On the 3rd of April Sitearm visited us again in the class to give us a very interesting and helpful lecture on presentations and virtual collaboration projects. We received very good tips on how to manage the whole project process to finish it with a successful presentation. Sitearm highlighted a few important components we should be thinking about when working on a team project and he described and explained each of them. The components described by Sitearm are as follows: planning which includes “audience analysis, brainstorming, deciding and assigning”, preparing which includes rehearsing, checking etc., scripting, presenting and debriefing. The first crucial thing we need to think about is our audience, in his lecture Sitearm advised us to do the audience analysis to verify who are we going to present to, who is our targeted audience. The second important advice was to write a good script of our presentation and assign who is going to say which part. We are already thinking of it and each of our team members will have their own part assigned so there is no necessary confusion or stress during the presentation. What is also important is rehearsing in Second Life in advance, sound check and general check of all technical aspects so we are sure that the presentation runs smoothly. Even though I did many presentations already in college, I thought the lecture that Sitearm gave us was very interesting and helpful. It is very easy to miss some important parts unless we follow some set of rules assigned to make sure that we are doing it right and to keep our presentation as professional and interesting as we can. There was also a part that was new to me as I never did that with any group that I worked before and it was the part about debriefing. Sitearm suggested that it is very useful to spend some time together and talk about the presentation we did and discuss how we did, what we think were the strongest points and how we could improve those that we were not as happy about. I thought it can be of a great value to do the debriefing, not only that we could all give each other feedback but most of all that this is a great learning opportunity preparing us for any future presentations.
Continuing with my research I came across this nice info graphics showing people’s usage of internet and social media while traveling. Research conducted by relatively new social network for travelers – Tripl showed some interesting data such as the most popular networks among travelers are Facebook and Tweeter or that 72% of social network users checks their networks every day during their travels but only 7% uses internet on their mobiles.
Tripl that was launched in December 2011, originally was planned to become another social network connecting friends while traveling but since it was not working well they have decided to change and are now producing info graphics based on data collected from social networks and also are still giving the user an option of keeping up with their friends during thir travels.
Recently during the research for our final ” Reality” project I came across very interesting article in which the author- Mark Hooper, talks about his and everyone else’s reality that we are live in. Hooper claims that it is not surprising or shocking to anyone anymore that most of our communication happens online, asking at the same time questions such as “Why is it acceptable to not actually speak to the people we deal with on a daily basis? Why do we prefer faceless anonymity? ” . Hooper’s partial answer to that question is that we live in as the author calls it ” super-accelerated times” full of technology and in that speed we are getting used to living this way. In my opinion this is a serious problem, people spend too much time connected to their devices, tweeting, posting on Facebook, e-mailing, sharing photos of their meals on Instagram etc. instead of connecting to each other outside of virtual world.
While writing above sentence this image, that I found a few weeks ago came to my mind. I remember seeing this photograph everywhere, people were commenting on it, and named the man in the red circle the time traveler. This image spoke to me because when I was growing up (even though, and maybe even more so) it was not that long ago all we had was a stationary phone and I still remember the time before internet and I was able to witness this enormous technological and social change that occurred over the years.
Having said that I do think that all the technological developments and social media platforms are amazing and are proven to be very useful like in case of discussed in class “Technology’s Impact on Disaster Relief” where Tweeter was proven to be extremely helpful being excellent way of communication during time of crisis. Posts shared on Tweeter during the hurricane Sandy informed and navigated people during this difficult time. There is countless reasons for which virtual communication and social media are truly great inventions but in my opinion we should use them wisely and even though the world is changing and developing so fast we should sometimes stop for a moment and do not forget about the reality. Hooper wrote in his article ” I felt the need to slow down a little. And there doesn’t seem to be an app for that.” I think that defines our times really well, we are getting used to technology so much that sometimes it is difficult to disconnect for a while and find other solutions.