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“Well, UOSM was more challenging than expected. I’m not as savvy online as I initially thought!”

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 16.47.35.png
(Created by Natasha Greeff on Stencil)

As we come to the end of UOSM2008, it is time for a final reflection covering all that was learnt throughout the course of the module and what I will endeavour to improve in the future.

What has been improved?

For those who haven’t been following my blog, in my first post I posted results of a self-test that I carried out to evaluate my digital literacy. This involved scoring myself from 1-5 (where 1 was no experience at all and 5 being very experienced) in different areas. Since completing the course I have re-taken this test.

Below is a graph I have made displaying my scores before and after, to illustrate my progress.

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A comparison of my self-test scores evaluating my digital profile before and after UOSM2008 (Created by Natasha Greeff on Excel)

As you can see all scores have improved in all criteria. Particularly in ‘Creating online materials (text, audio, images, video)’. This proved to be my most improved skill, from 1 to 5! This is definitely an accurate representation of my improvement.  As I mention in my Twitter Q&A video (below), I found creating my own materials to be the most challenging yet rewarding element of the course.

Before

I had not used Powtoon, Haikudeck, Canva, Piktochart, Biteable, iMovie or Stencil. I was a novice and creating my own content proved frustrating and time-consuming.

After

I have produced content using all of the tools mentioned above. Moreover, I am able to confidently create my own unique material in no time at all (when you compare it to the hours I spent initially!). However, I am still no expert. Despite rating myself a 5 in the self-test undoubtedly  this skill can be further improved my expanding the number of tools I use to create material.

I now realise with hindsight that I over-estimated my own abilities initially. Particularly in ‘building online networks around an area of interest’. As you can see from the above graph, there is still room for improvement in this area. However, this is a skill which I am currently improving. As shown through the developments of my online profiles and this blog.

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 00.37.50
(Created by Natasha Greeff on Piktochart)

How have these improvements affected my digital identity?

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(Screen capture taken from Twitter: natashagreeff6)

 

 

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(Screen capture taken from Linkedin)

 

I have begun to utilise my professional twitter; following academics that I am interested in and companies that I am interested in working for. I have also included my Linkedin profile in my Twitter bio, so that my followers are able to gain access to it easily.

Prior to this module I didn’t have a professional twitter account, nor a Linkedin profile. I have since realised the importance of representing yourself well online.Thus, I have created a Linkedin profile and have made connections with potential employers as well as students at the University of Southampton.

I have utilised my twitter account in order to contact students on UOSM with queries or to notify of new posts on my blog. It was also useful in collating this final reflection post as I asked students to direct message me questions about the experience of this module for my  “twitter Q&A” video.

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(Screen capture taken from Twitter: natashagreeff6)

What was the most valuable skill/s gained throughout the module?

  1. Commenting and collaborating with other students over the course of the module allowed me to become an independent  learner. It made me challenge my own opinions and incorporate the learning of others before formulating a more well-rounded holistic opinion on a topic.
  2. The value of managing an online identity in a professional sense to promote my own employability. As a 3rd year student, I am currently applying for positions at long-established recruitment firms in London. Armed with what Topic 3 has taught me, I have begun to establish my ‘professional online identity’. As I now realise the significance of this to employers.
  3. The value of self-reflection of your own work. Retrospectively revisiting all my previous blog posts has enabled me to identify what I have done well and what needed improvement. Moreover, marking my own work on GoogleDrive was a valuable exercise in accurately assessing the quality of my work as compared to the mark scheme.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 21.57.34
    (Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

What are the future practical applications of what I have learnt?

Below is a slideshow created on Visme to illustrate the practical applications of the knowledge I have gained throughout this module. In terms of my degree, my digital profile and my employability.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In Summary:

I’m very pleased with what I have learned throughout the module and how much my digital literacy has improved. I have always thought of myself as internet savvy, mostly because of my activity on social media.

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A screenshot of my Instagram to illustrate my activity on social media Source: http://www.instagram.com/natashagreeff

However, this module has shown me it takes a lot more than an active social media profile to be digitally literate.. I am now able to present myself in a professional manner online which will (hopefully) have positive repercussions for my future employability! 

I would recommend this module to everyone! We might live and work on the web, but that doesn’t mean we always know how best to utilise it!

(Video created by Natasha Greeff on iMovie)

(Thumbnail created by Natasha Greeff on Photoshop)

Word Count: 900

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Reflecting on Online Identities

At the beginning of the week I thought that a  single online identity was superior to having multiple identities. However, the blog posts of peers and discussion within the comments were insightful. Below is a graphic I produced to illustrate how Tom and Natalie blogs challenged my previous thoughts on single vs multiple identities.

Business
Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva 

A report published by the Miller (2013) for the government office for science also shed light on the topic. The report discussed the notion that online identity diminishes one’s real identity, commenting that “online identity remains largely contrasted with “real life”.

Although there is a contrast between online and offline identity, if this becomes a universally acknowledged truth, then all internet users will be able to view others’ online identities objectively.

All internet users are guilty of harbouring an ‘online identity’ which defers from their true identity. As I explained in my initial blog post, I knowingly only represent the best side of myself, irrespective of multiple/single identities.

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Created by Natasha Greeff on Piktochart

The question is therefore, which is more important- online authenticity or anonymity?

I am soon to be a graduate student looking for a career in public relations. Therefore, projecting an authentic online identity is paramount to my future success. In short, I value my authenticity more than my anonymity (Krotoski, A., 2012) My desire for control and creativity is sidelined for the desire for online authenticity. Nevertheless, it is always the choice of the individual.

I found the topic this week to be insightful and thought provoking. The topic challenged my views surrounding my own online behaviours. Moreover, this knowledge gained through the discussion of this topic has practical implications for future job applications, and how best to represent myself online. Which is invaluable to future success.

It is the choice of the individual to have single/multiple identities. It is also the choice of the individual whether they choose to be anonymous or authentic. There is no right or wrong in this case.

Word Count: 311

References:

Miller, D. (2013). What is the relationship between identities that people construct, express and consume online and those offline?. Future Identities: Changing identities in the UK – the next 10 years. London: Government Office for Science.

Krotoski, A. (2012). Online identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?. The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/19/online-identity-authenticity-anonymity [Accessed 26 Apr. 2018].

 

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Does having multiple online identities make you disingenuous?

Mark Zuckerberg once commented that through Facebook people were able to create a “single and authentic online persona”. Continuing that “having two identities; is an example of a lack of integrity”.

However, it increasingly common for people to have more than one online identity, whether it be multiple profiles on a single site or multiple identities over multiple sites. (Casserly, 2018)

My ‘multiple identities’: Personal/Professional.

  • Facebook is a platform through which I connect my life to family who I don’t see often, they are able to see regular updates in a ‘PC way’
  • Instagram is a more ‘real’ version. It’s an online photo album that presents a accurate timeline of events. It’s a holistic picture of my life, as compared to Facebook. Albeit only representing the ‘best side’.
  • Snapchat represents the raw, uncut, uncensored part of my life, which is arguably the ‘truest’ version of myself. Unlike my Instagram followers, viewers on snapchat will see me sitting at home at the weekend; not just last weekend’s trip to Berlin.
  • I have 2 accounts on Twitter. One for personal anecdotes/interacting with friends. The other: to follow current events, professionals/ for discussions of politics and the news. This I have found – is not at all unusual.

    31282787_10215772179687511_7104110021956337664_n
    This screen grab showcases my own “multiple online identities”. Source: Twitter (NatashaGreeff)

Pro’s and Con’s of Single/Multiple Identities:

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A infographic detailing the advantages and disadvantages of having single and multiple online identities.                        (Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

Ultimately, social networking sites are a marketing tool through which you can ‘sell yourself’, especially when you are looking for a professional career.

What % of recruiters look at social networking sites?
This infographic details the importance of social networking sites in recruiting applicants. (Singer, 2017) (Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

In summary,  I do not believe using multiple accounts makes you disingenuous, on the contrary it makes you an aware and responsible professional. Van Dijck, J., (2013)

People have diverse rich lives that aren't contained within a single idea or personae. The life I lead in front of my family members is not the life I lead when I'm with my friends, which is also not the life I lead .png
Lee (2016) – (Image created by Natasha Greeff on Piktochart)

Word Count: 326

Comments:

My comment on Natalie’s blog here

My comment on Tom’s blog here

References:

Lee, N. (2016). Having multiple online identities is more normal than you think. [Blog] En Gadget. available at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/04/multiple-online-identities/

Singer, M. (2017). Welcome to the 2015 Recruiter Nation, Formerly Known as the Social Recruiting Survey. [online] Jobvite. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/jobvite-news-and-reports/welcome-to-the-2015-recruiter-nation-formerly-known-as-the-social-recruiting-survey/

Casserly, M. (2018). Multiple Personalities And Social Media: The Many Faces of Me. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/01/26/multiple-personalities-and-social-media-the-many-faces-of-me/#570eb7306d51 [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].

Van Dijck, J., (2013) ‘‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn’, Media Culture and Society: SAGE  [Accessed 17 Apr. 2018].

 

#UOSM2008 Topics

Reflection: Harmless Satire or Harmful Propaganda?

This week, I entered into the discussion on Fake News with the view that it was obvious satire that every reader was able to see straight through. However, through the discussion on FutureLearn and interacting with Natalie on her blog, I realised that I had always assumed that Fake News was harmless. I now realise that it is not.

Harmful Propaganda?

All too often I see friends or family on social networking sites, particularly Facebook, sharing ‘news stories’, where the reliability/credibility leaves much to be desired. Just scrolling through Facebook, I came across an article posted by a “repeat fake news sharing” offender:

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(Article Source: Facebook. Edited by Natasha Greeff on Piktochart)

This article was shared by a South African family member, and is clearly aimed at a South African readership.

The article is almost definitely ‘fake news’, or at the least is a warped version of a truth, which has been sensationalised.

In the first sentence, the article mentions the race of the offenders; (as if it’s consequential!) and thus the article causes stir with readers who react hatefully and this antagonises the current social problems in South Africa.

 

Reflection:

Through the discussion with Chloe on her blog; she elaborated on her thoughts on the negative impact of fake news. Since, I have come to realise that Fake News is not always harmless satire presented in a way that is obvious to its readers. Chloe’s comments spurred me on to find articles such as the one posted above which does indeed have negative consequences.

Final Thoughts:

  1. Be wary of what you believe
  2. Arm those you know with the tools to identify fake news- you never know what the negative consequences may be!
Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 17.15.02
(Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

My Comments:

My comments on Natalie’s blog here

My comments on Chloe’s blog here

Discussion on FutureLearn here

Word Count: 289

References: 

“PATRICK” (2018). Fake Abortion Doctor And His Wife In Durban, In Hot Soup, Gets 5 Year Jail Term And Deportation.. [online] HINNEWS SOUTH AFRICA. Available at: http://www.hinnews.com/za/metro-news/fake-abortion-doctor-and-his-wife-in-durban-in-hot-soup-gets-5-year-jail-term/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2018].

Dice, M. (2017). The true story of fake news. 1st ed. San Diego, CA: The Resistance Manifesto.

 

Bartlett, B. (2017). The truth matters. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishing.

Uncategorized

“You Can Hardly Watch the Real News Without Hearing About Fake News!”

(Created by Natasha Greeff on Biteable)

Fake News: A recent development?:

The news is more available then ever before as a result of social networking sites; it was found that 62 percent of US adults get news on social media (Gottfried & Shearer. 2016 cited in Allcott, & Gentzkow, M. (2017))

However, with news comes fake news and it can be difficult to sift through and ascertain which news is real and which is fake; especially if fake news stories have spread like wildfire – as they often do. It has been well documented that Donald Trump has been the subject of Fake News blasts, and so it seemed appropriate to cite him during this topic discussion.

 (Source: Twitter)

Example of Fake News:

CBS 60 minutes aired a segment on their investigation into fake news, one of the examples that they used was Celebtricity.comwhich published an article entitled “Donald Trump caught sniffing cocaine by hotel staff”. The story cited no authors or publish date and claims made were so elaborate that the whole article screamed satire.

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“Maria Gonzalez” an ’employee’ describes the scene. (Source: Celebtricity.com)
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This image accompanied the article, as ‘photographic evidence’. (Source: Celebtricity.com)

As you can see, the article is very poorly written, and quite clearly a joke – yet CBS used it as an example of ‘fake news’ in a very serious segment about “fake news as an epidemic”. (Dice, M., 2017)

How do you protect yourself from Fake News?

In the above example it’s fairly obvious the article is unreliable- however it’s not always as clear cut. Therefore it is important to be able to assess reliability of online news so that you are not misled.

Canva infographic
(Created by Natasha Greeff on Canva)

Use C.R.A.A.P and live your life; well informed.

Conclusion:

The key to assessing the reliability of fake news and ensuring we are well informed is only trusting information from a reputable source, (Bartlett, B., 2017). Facebook and Twitter may be filled with news stories- but do not rely on these sites for news.

Comments:

My comment on Natalie’s blog here

My Comment on Chloe’s blog here

References:

CBS (2017). Fake News. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-fake-news-find-your-social-media-feeds/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].

Dice, M. (2017). The true story of fake news. 1st ed. San Diego, CA: The Resistance Manifesto.

Twitter.com. (n.d.). Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].

CelebTriCity. (2017). Donald Trump Caught Snorting Cocaine by Hotel Staff. [online] Available at: http://www.celebtricity.com/donal-trump-caught-snorting-cocaine-by-hotel-staff/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].

Allcott, H. and Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), pp.211-236.

BBC News. (2018). Fake news: Universities offer tips. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41902914 [Accessed 11 Mar. 2018].

Bartlett, B. (2017). The truth matters. 1st ed. New York: Crown Publishing.

Word Count: 306

#USOM2008 Topics

Reflecting on Digital Differences

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Made by Natasha Greeff on Canva

Following my research this week into the ‘digital divide’ (Van Dijk). I decided to conduct my own (small) research into age as a digital difference by asking my dad & brother about their internet habits.

These questions sparked a fierce debate within my family; about whether the internet is negatively impacting society. Admittedly it wasn’t the relaxing Sunday Roast I had envisaged .

Left is the results of my mini study- which on a very small scale illustrates the gravity of the digital divide. The most notable example being that my dad solely uses internet at home; as compared to my brother who couldn’t quote enough places where he has used the internet. This is reminiscent of the PowToon in my topic post. Many older people tend to have less access to mobile devices- and if they do have access they lack the ability to navigate the internet properly. (I know this is a generalisation – in the case of my dad however, totally & completely accurate!)

Reflections on the blog posts of others:

Through reading Tom’s blog, which took into account a sociological perspective; I realised that many people who have the access and ability to use the internet daily take it for granted. As Tom puts it, “we must be careful who we leave behind”. This was not something which I had considered in my own blog post. Which upon reflection was mainly theoretical.  Reading Joanna’s blog I was shown that although 2 person’s upbringing may be almost identical their online practices may greatly differ. In my blog post I disregarded these differences in favour of more obvious differences; age and disabilities.

Conclusion:

Digital differences was engaging and led me to the realisation that not everyone is as comfortable and competent on the internet as I may presume. I encourage all readers to watch this thought provoking video that illustrates the problems associated with the digital divide.

Lastly, I would just like to mention that I think my internet skills have improved greatly throughout the week, I’ve finally learned to hyperlink into text and embed YouTube videos into blog posts! I’m getting there!

Comments:

My comment on Hong’s Blog

My Comment on Tom’s Blog

 

Word Count: 355

#USOM2008 Topics

Digital Differences: And the way this affects the way we use the Web

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Digital Differences is a short video that I made to explain this topic,  I thought a visual aid might help to illustrate these points – prior to the body of text to follow:

Digital Differences refers to the manner in which our individual lives can impact the way we access and use the internet.

There are innate biases in the social groups that use the internet. Older people for example, are far less likely to use the internet as compared to their younger counterparts.

generationinfographic.jpg

Those who have disabilities may be limited in their access and use of the internet, as they may need specialised hardware and software to navigate the web in their homes; which excludes them from web use when out. (Halford, S., Davies, H. and Dixon, J. (2017)).

In a study done by the Pew Research Centre it was found that 27% of adults living with disability in the U.S. are significantly less likely than adults without a disability to go online (54% vs. 81%). Further to this it was found that 2% of adults who had a disability so severe that it made it very difficult or impossible to use the internet at all.

Lastly, there are contextual differences such as gender, ethnicity, ideology, culture, relationships which influence the way in which we choose to use the internet. i.e Cyber bullying may affect a persons decision to use the internet.

I am lucky enough to have no disabilities and come from a middle class background – and so I have never had to deal with issues of internet use as discussed above. Unfortunately this is not the case for all people and so it is important that we discuss these issues to raise awareness of digital differences between people.

My comment on Tom’s blog linked here:  (http://www.tjdav.me.uk/digital-differences-discovery/2018/02/20/)

References:

  • Halford, S., Davies, H. and Dixon, J. (2017). Digital differences – inequalities and online practices. [Online – Future Learn] Southampton: University of Southampton. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-network-age/4/steps/303344 [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].
  • Smith, A. and Zickuhr, K. (2012). Digital differences. Pew Internet and American Life Project; Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Washington, D.C
  • White, D. and Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. [online] Firstmonday.org. Available at: http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049 [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

Word Count (exc. references): 293