The price of a participatory culture

The past 10 days has really had me questioning the value of a participatory culture.  When we originally talked about participatory culture in the context of remixes and bottom-up creation and sharing I viewed the concept with rose-coloured glasses. Giving everyone a voice is a great idea, right?

Since the Paris attacks I have become bitter every time I log in to Facebook and I see ignorance and misinformation shared so vastly. On Facebook anyone can voice their opinion and likes & shares are what give validity to a claim, not actual truth. This has really made me look critically at the bottom-up model of reporting/news sharing and realize it’s not all beneficial for society.

Brad Wall’s letter to the Trudeau government stood out to me as an example of how the medium is more important than the message. I didn’t necessarily disagree with the content of his letter this week as much as I disagreed with the medium through which he shared it with it’s “intended recipient”. It is the response, sharing, and comments that have come with his letter that make me frustrated with just how willing to share their uneducated opinions our society has become.

I believe that we, as a society, haven’t learned the skills of critical thinking and being good digital citizens in order to keep up with the online world and I have a new, more balanced, view of what it means to have a participatory culture.

The timing of these events couldn’t have been more appropriate as we discuss the moral and ethical issues surrounding social media.


Major Project Update: I have changed my project to be a survey of students about their social media use rather than interviews as I feel that they will likely be more open and honest in a survey and won’t be as affected by the stressful environment interviews, especially recorded ones, will create. I hope to go through the surveys an ask individual students to record their answers so I can create a summary video.  I also spent a lot of time recently getting the permission form finalized. I am feeling very behind in this project and I need to actually get some forms completed. I can’t wait to see what students say for their most used social media and how much $ it would take for them to give up their devices and all their social media accounts.




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