By Renee Hobbs
Media Literacy IN ACTION
Questioning the Media
Are social media free?
Gain knowledge about why and how people freely share photos, information, and aspects of their personal identity using a variety of social media platform
Consider the negotiated balance of power between social media platforms and their users
Examine how social media companies harvest, use, and profit from monitoring the behavior of users
Understand the legal frameworks that protect social media and reflect on potential changes to social networks that might affect how people use them.
Social media platforms profit from users who create and share content
I'M AN ORIGINAL CATCHPHRASE
In this creative writing activity, try to offer a brief description of one form of social media that you use.
But write your description as if you were explaining it to a space alien. Assume your reader knows nothing about social media and even less about human beings and our strange ways of interacting and communicating. This kind of playful creative writing enables defamiliarization, which is a way to heighten awareness by taking something familiar and making it seem strange. You can post using the #MLAction hashtag to share your work with a global community of media literacy learners.
CREATE TO LEARN
Make the Familiar Strange
REFLECT ON WHAT A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM KNOWS ABOUT YOU
Take a look at one of the social media platforms that you use most and “go under the hood” to see what it
knows about you.
On Instagram, this can be found under Privacy and Security, View Account Data. On Facebook, this can be found under General Account Settings.
Consider these questions as you explore:
• What does the platform think your interests are? How accurate is it?
• How does the platform profile you based on the content you have clicked on?
• How accurate is the platform’s profile?
Social media platforms show ads to your friends based on actions you have taken, such as liking a page or sharing a post.
• Which ads did your friends see because of your actions?
• What are some potential long-term benefits and limitations of digital platforms personalizing content for you?
Click on the Flipgrid Inquiry icon to contribute your ideas in a brief oral presentation. You can also view and respond to comments of other people who have offered thoughtful reflections on media literacy.
"In a world where information is easily available, strong personal networks and access to helpful people often matter more than access to the information itself.”
--Dana Boyd, 2018
Learn more about how Dana Boys influenced media literacy educators, researchers & activists