Essay #1

As our usage of new technology increase every day, the older medium gets pushed back and we rely on our smartphones, laptops more. Social media is definitely a rising platform that people are increasingly using and nowadays, majority of the digital natives’ major source of news is from their social media feed. However, it’s arguably true that many of the news that shows up are “false news” and social media plays an enormous role to shape one’s public opinion unconsciously. Digital literacy is a big problem that many people face in today’s society because there are countless articles that aren’t actually true and can’t be credential.

False news is something that happens way too common these days and happens more frequently than it ever has been. This illustrates that many of the citizens are receiving false information and spreading them around, shaping their public opinion. Facebook is a great example to look into this controversy as “…reaching nearly 2 billion people each month, driving more traffic and attention to news than anything else on earth- it’s also become a single point of failure for civic information” (Benton, 2016, pg. 38). Especially the younger generations receive their major source of news from the social media they use the most; however the social media platforms and certain websites all have different political views that they tend to lean on. It’s not very hard to identify if they are left winged or right winged from the articles they post, what kind of language and pictures they use. Ultimately, we can say that people who use Facebook the most are going to have different political views compared to the people who uses The Globe and Mail to get their news.

Furthermore, in today’s society, “We are faced with massive information literacy problems, as shown by the complete inability of students and adults to identify fake stories, misinformation, disinformation, and other forms of spin” (Caulfield, 2016). Many people tend to do a quick research on Google and whatever they find in the first few links, they’ll believe the information without a doubt. In reality, many of the articles are not actually 100% true and exaggerated as long with a certain political view. Users must use their time and follow the tricks such as checking if the information is accurate, author’s credential matters, typography and much more to indicate the false news alarm. The online world is full of fake news, stories and so called “facts” and we must not be caught up with these strategies that companies are using to attract attention.

I, myself am guilty of not taking the time to check if the information is actually accurate and credential. Many people would think that if an article says some sort of “fact” and it is posted CBC, The New York Times or any bigger corporate companies, it would be true and a fact. However, this is definitely not the case and even big companies make mistakes as well. Journalists write articles that’s biased to their own political views and this can seriously affect the reader’s mind and shape how they feel and think about certain things. As an example, before the previous US elections, Facebook was full of articles about how Trump won’t become the president and Clinton will have more chance. All of these countless articles were clickbait, trying to catch the reader’s attention but had fake information on them as Benton mentions (2016), “The fake stuff, when it connects with a Facebook user’s preconceived notions or sense of identity, spreads like a wildfire” (pg.38). As the media shaped certain ideologies in our heads, when Trump was elected, everyone was in complete shock and the media went crazy after all. Countless people were mocking, complaining and even more false news has been created due to this phenomenon.

“Publics are important, not just for enabling political action, but also for providing a mechanism through which we construct our social world. In essence, publics are the fabric of society” (Boyd, 2014, pg. 201). As the public shape ideologies and create viewpoints, social media users have no choice but to follow them. Boyd mentioned that: “Not only has social media enabled new way of being public and being in public, but these same technologies have been used to reconfigure political publics as we know them” (2015, pg. 206). Users scroll through Facebook’s news feed constantly, so fast that they don’t take the time to check if the information is accurate or not. If they see negative posts about Trump, it will shape them to think that a person like Trump won’t become the president of the United States. As Facebook’s feed is filled with ‘Trending’ component, it’s hard to even miss out of these political actions and not care about it. Users will find things that are interesting, comment and share it which spreads enormously leading to a never ending cycle. This is how our media and public are made and there is ultimately no way to stop this. Social media platforms like Facebook are so easy to be politically engaged with and conclusively, it shapes the users’ public opinion.

In conclusion, digital literacy must be essential for our generation to be taught to stop social media from constructing individuals’ thoughts and position. Knowing simple indicators to detect what kind of political view that certain social media or websites has is an important skill to have in our society today and won’t be as affected by the media. The recent US election is a great example of false news and wrongful information that we encounter in our everyday lives. Although Facebook claims they have“…taken a lot of heat since the election for not doing enough to remove fake news reports…” (Guynn, USA Today, 2016), in reality we cannot fully escape from the false news online. “It’s by learning the stuff on a granular level that we form the larger understandings- when you know the difference between a fake news site and an advocacy blog…these tools and process raise the questions that larger theories can answer” (Caulfield, 2016). Digital literacy shouldn’t be an add-on level that we can intake, it should be essential for all online users out there.

 

References

Continue Reading

Feburary: Beauty & Fashion Wishlist

Hi guys! It’s been a while I posted a beauty/fashion post. Today, I wanted to talk about the beauty and fashion products that has been on my wishlist this month! I’ve been eyeing on these for quite a while I dying to get my hands on them. Hopefully, I can save up so I can treat myself and perhaps wish them for my birthday that’s coming up in a month 🙂

Continue Reading

Process Post #5: Authority, Echo Chambers, Online Behaviour

How I’m doing: Blog

After reading my second peer review, it definitely helped me to understand and look at a bigger picture. Since I’m the creator of this blog and it’s a lifestyle blog, it’s hard for me to see what could be wrong and the mistakes. The peer reviews we’ve been doing have been super helpful to detect my mistakes and improve my blog!

Trena, my second peer review partner did an excellent job critiquing my blog and really has helped me to see the errors I made. After reading the peer review, I went over my About section and changed some spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Also, I ended up going to every single post I have made in the past and just looked over if I had any general mistakes that I couldn’t tell when I was writing it. I definitely caught some errors and fixed it. I have added my Facebook link to my social media, get in touch section. Although I didn’t want to share my Facebook at first, I realized putting just my Instagram was too bare and I think it could make my readers feel more connected and get to know me better. Furthermore, I have put up my search bar on the very top of my side bar because she has said that out of all of the widgets I have, it may be hard to find where the search bar was. I do agree and would be more beneficial if I have the search bar at the very top so it doesn’t get lost! I played around with the typography a little bit to the right font size I wanted for my paragraph and the line spacing as well. Overall, Trena’s review of my blog was very helpful and I have made many changes according to her critique! What I thought to myself was I should include more visuals into my blog and make it more eye catching for the readers.

False News Topics Covered in Class: 

My group had talked about Tim Hortons’ employees getting charged for thousands of dollars to win roll up the rim cups. As our group researched online and found couple articles, we realized that there were few articles that were almost exactly the same, written by the same author but was posted into different news websites. All of them were under the Canadian Press but we had no information about the author nor if it was actually true or not. As of that moment, we really couldn’t do much further to find out if this was true or not but based on the articles that was posted, there were couple young, male employees who stole couple boxes of the roll up the rim cups but eventually got caught and fired. We do not know if it was actually worth thousands of dollars or anything because there was no evidence of it and only one or two of them get caught. After doing this exercise and learning about the false news, I have realized that I really shouldn’t be believing everything that’s online. I, myself is guilty of doing a quick research and believing what I saw because I don’t take the time to research further if it’s actually credential and true. I think it’s important to take the time and research further more of the author, where the information/”fact” came from and if it’s actually true. Most of the times, only part of the topics are true and the writers have added something else to make it more viral and eye catching.

Tracking App:  

As of my tracking app, I am still using waterlogged because I think that’s the easiest one to use and keep track of my water usage. However, I have definitely lost my motivation to drink more water and even to track compared to the earlier semester. Even knowing I should be tracking more, it’s been really hard to track the exact amount of water I intake and I end up forgetting about it. Also, I think to my self I’ll eventually end up adding everything and just track it at the end of the night, but when I remember, it’s already passed midnight and I failed to track my usage. I definitely need to be more motivated and keep track more, especially because I chose this specific tracking to keep me more motivated and posed a challenge to myself.

Continue Reading

Peer Review #2

This is my second peer review that I’m doing and I can say that I feel more comfortable reviewing someone else’s blog after the first one we did. After I heard very positive feedback from my previous peer review partner, I hope it goes the same for this one as well! For my second peer review, I got assigned to Trena Nguyen’s. Her blog can be found at http://trenanguyen.com/

Trena’s blog is very simple and has a black and white theme to it. I think she used a very nice and simplistic theme that goes well with her lifestyle blog. Her theme allows to give enough white space to her blog, so it gives a white, canvas and clean look. I like the font that she used, not sure if it’s the default font from the theme she’s using. It’s very bold and clearly stands out from the white space. To add on, the layout of the posts are very easy to look at, like the wireframe boxes that Gertz talked about in his article. “The wireframes are flexible enough to accommodate variation…There’s room for interpretation in each section of the layout” (Gertz, T, 2015). The typography is great because it wasn’t hard for me to read her posts and there was nothing that made it difficult to understand text. Trena did very well on the usage of underline, bold, incorporating images, videos and such to attract the viewer’s attention and made it very eye catching.

The overall layout of Trena’s blog is easy to look at and clearly lays out the different sections to look at. However, I wished her menu appears at first, rather than by clicking it to the menu section. It makes it a little hard for readers to catch what kind of blog it is and what content it has by looking at the front page. I think the readers will appreciate it more if it has clear menus at first sight. She hasn’t posted too much yet so I don’t have that much to comment about her posts. However, I liked how on the main page, where you could scroll down and see the past post, there is an image for each one that relates with the post. Also, it makes it very eye catching that the image goes back and forth to the other side so the text is not just located at one side of the page. It’s much more dimensional to look at! Just like Gertz mentioned: “Choosing readable or expressive typefaces and proper use of white space is just as important as user flow. In fact, it’s a vital part of it” (2015). I think Trena did an excellent job laying out her posts, with the right amount of white space. The flow of the blog is very well coordinated and super attractive!

One thing that I found she did a great job was incorporating her social media to her blog! Because she has a social media pop up bar that shows up on the right bottom of the page always, at any time the viewers are able to access to her different kind of social medias and feel more connected with her. It’s definitely something that I have to improve on because I was struggling with the theme I’m working with and how it appears on my page. One thing that I want to say is that perhaps she should consider having the posiel posts not show up on the main page and have it mainly focused on her actual blog posts because it could confuse some readers with the process post and such showing up.

Overall Trena’s blog is very well designed and I really enjoyed reading her blog. Great job 🙂

References:

Continue Reading

Process Post #4: Designing Yourself

This week’s lecture about design was very informative, helpful and got me thinking deeper about my blog. I definitely took into consideration of the design aspect of my blog and how I can make things more appealing and attractive to the readers. Firstly, I noticed that my blog main menus were too broad. I only had: Home, About, Blog Post and Posiel. This did not help the readers right off the bat what my blog is going to be about. Just looking at my very front page of the blog did not have much information on what my blog is about. Therefore I made some changes to adding more menus. I have added Beauty, Foodie, Lifestyle in addition to my other ones. This will help the readers to recognize what things that the audience can be expecting from my blog.

I also changed the front static page to a different picture that I liked more and suited my theme more. I wanted a bit more colour to my blog so I added a picture that didn’t have too much bright colour but the image was still soft and simple that blended right through my blog. I personally thought the typography, font and everything was nice the way it is from default, hence I chose this theme. The white space in my opinion is just as much as I wanted for my simple, minimalist theme. I really like how the overall blog has a black and white colour scheme with pop of colours coming from the different images I have, so it is more eye catching. I have tweaked a little bit on my About page to guide it more towards my blog but still incorporated information about me, since this blog is a lifestyle blog about me and my experiences with beauty, food, etc. One thing I really wish to fix is the name of my blog. I’m having trouble coming up with a unique but creative title for my blog. I just have my name for the title as of now, but I wish to change it to a simple, short title, which I will have to work on. Overall, I am content with the look of my blog compared to last week since I am more familiar with the design and the overall look that my blog is giving to the readers. I wish to add more things that could really be interesting and that could represent me. It does seem a little bare at the moment and although I like that look, the readers may like a look that’s more attractive and eye catching to look at.

Here is a picture of how my blog looks like currently:

Tracking App: I have changed my tracking app to Waterlogged, instead of My Water because this blog was easier and simpler to use. I’ve been trying my best to track everyday of my water drinking and hoped that this would help me drink water more. It definitely helped me to drink more at first, but after couple weeks, I have to admit that I’ve been lacking a bit and even forgetting to track them in some days. One thing that made me slack off was that I would drink couple sips of water and forget to track it. Also, it’s hard to know exactly how much I drank so it’s harder for me to log it. Because I’m not a regular basis water drinker and I drink way more juice and coffee, I have been trying to log my other liquid consumption but as of today, it really hasn’t helped me drink more water and I need to try to remember to log it more frequently.

Continue Reading