Holiday help

This is the last post from iQ for sometime to come. Best wishes to all readers for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and beyond.

Just a note that if you need support due to online issues, there are a number of avenues you can use:

You can also search the iQ archives for further assistance.

It’s complicated by danah boyd

iQ was fortunate enough to hear internationally recognised social media researcher danah boyd speak back in 2012 (click here to access all of iQ’s resources on danah boyd). Now boyd has a book coming out entitled It’s complicated. The blurb from the book (via Amazon) explains what it’s about:

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.

This is not an advertisement for the book, just a pointer to a resource that many people may find useful. Public libraries may stock this book.

Hey, you with the phone, listen up!

Have you ever been a victim of ‘phubbing?’ I know I have. Maybe you were the perpetrator. What is phubbing? Wendy Squires wrote in an article in The Age on 2 November that phubbing is:

snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention.

She continues

here’s what’s not justified: checking what some friend you barely know said about a message you posted while bored on the cab trip over. Neither is digesting whether a text message from a new beau reading ”cool” means yes or maybe, or learning that your 17-year-old can’t find the Milo in the pantry.

Then there’s texting during a film (Madonna was recently booed by cinemagoers for this), while eating (manners, please!) and before or after sex (never a turn on – even if the phone is switched to vibrate).

Because what those things are is rude. Damn rude. As in ”do you think I’m so boring that reading inanities on a tiny screen is somehow better than my company?” inconsiderate.

Sometimes we all need to do a quick check of our phones for important messages, but what I’m talking about is extended distraction from the people in front of you – perhaps 10 or more minutes. We need to be mindful that if we make a commitment to see people in a social setting, then we need to spend time with them, not the people in our online world. They’ll still be there when you get back home. But your f2f friends may not.

I know that when I was phubbed, I was angry and annoyed that I’d bothered to go out with my friend. If she would have preferred to be online than see me and my friends, then perhaps she should have stayed home.

Read the whole article here.

‘Eraser’ law will let Californian kids scrub online past

California Governor Jerry Brown has spoken to Phys.org about the US state passing a law that entitles young adults to delete their online past.

“Kids so often self-reveal before they self-reflect,” James Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a  in San Francisco that pushed for the law, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Mistakes can stay with teens for life, and their digital footprint can follow them wherever they go.”

But now

social media titans such as Facebook, Twitter and Google [will] let minors scrub their personal online history in the hopes that it might help them avoid personal and work-related problems.

Do you agree with the passing of this law? Do you think it will help young adults or prevent them from learning about the realities of social media?

Read the whole article here.

Public servants who bag employers on social media to suffer severe “consequences”, says government technical office

Back in September, the Canberra Times published an article on the consequences of government employees who criticise their employers on social media.

“If you spend time bagging your organisation online or offline, you should not think that your employment is going to continue unconditionally,” he told the audience.

“You shouldn’t be surprised by the consequences.”

“If you post defamatory material on a pinboard in the office, this behaviour should be treated in the same way as posting that material online.

This article is relevant to all of us who have a job, as it reminds us, whether we are employed part-time at McDonalds or as the CEO of a large corporation, that our posts are going to be read and judged by others, whether we like it or not.

Read the whole article here.

I need to know about social networking and online friends

Continuing on with the resources provided by the Australian Communication and Media Authority‘s Cybersmart website, the information social networking and online friends is very useful. It includes information on:

  • Are they my friends in real life too?
  • Know the basics of safe social networking
  • Meeting online friends in the real world – do you really know who you’re meeting?
Well worth checking out. Read the whole post here.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Teens/I%20need%20to%20know%20about/Social%20networking%20and%20online%20friends.aspx

A social profile is not a CV

Recently The Age published an article stating that a social media profile is not a CV. Year 11 student Olympia Nelson states:

Young people need to be protected from cyber-spying by prospective employers.

It’s creepy to think that you’re being stalked. But how much creepier is it that a group of people sit around a long table analysing information on your Facebook profile in order to decide whether you’re worthy of a job in their organisation?

The government is not going to protect you from people looking at what you publish. It’s up to you to portray yourself as you’d like to be seen. She continues:

When teachers say: ‘‘Do you know that employers will actually search you on Facebook’’, they are implicitly condoning, rather than condemning, this despicable and illogical intrusiveness. Why aren’t they devoting their energies to berating search companies for cyber-stalking?

Like it or not, what you put out to the public domain via social media is going to be viewed and used by others. Whether it’s a prospective employer or worse, what you publicly publish is open to all. We aren’t condoning it, we’re just telling it like it is. A reminder to think before you post.

Who’s chatting to your kids?

Queensland Police has developed a resource for parents entitled Who’s chatting to your kids: surviving social media use with your children. Covering the topics of:

  • social media
  • smart devices and phones
  • other internet capable devices (gaming consoles, smart televisions)
  • sexting
  • signs your child could be at risk
  • suggestions to help protect your child on the internet
  • family safety internet agreement

The most important piece of advice they give is:

Maintain direct and open communication with your child.

This is a useful resource, however, I’d like to see more emphasis on children and young adults being encouraged to build a positive digital footprint.