Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Internet

There is information on the web all around us that tries luring readers in with outlandish headings and unrealistic information that people try portraying as factual advice. When looking up any topic, individuals need to be aware of where they are getting their knowledge and make sure the website’s statements are backed up by references and studies. While researching about the issue of sleep in college students I have found myself on weird websites or pages on social media that are just not reliable. In my last post, Don’t Sleep on the Truth, I talked about some dependable pages that college students can use on social media to learn about good research studies on sleep. Sites like these are incredibly important to social media users especially when anyone can make a page and post anything they want on it. Having go-to pages that you know have reliable advice can help users know what data is factual and what may just be click-bait.

As I talked about in my first post, More Z’s Can Mean More A’s, college students rarely get enough sleep and they need to realize how negatively this can impact their physical, mental and emotional health. This issue is incredibly important to me and I want to be able to provide the most helpful and authentic guidance to students as I possibly can. I have watched some helpful videos that will assist me with my posts to ensure I am using my platform in a safe and legal way. As I create social media pages and post more about sleep and college students I want to ensure I am spreading factual information to individuals and providing quality websites they can use to get more helpful tips.

One particular TedTalk that has given me a lot of insight on things I should look out for when using social media and creating websites is Del Harvey’s Protecting Twitter Users (sometimes from themselves). This video has made me more aware that we don’t always know what someone is doing online. Del’s TedTalk has helped me realize the importance of ensuring there are no harmful comments on my social media posts and webpages towards individuals. I will also make sure I look out for any posts or comments that look like spam and report it if I determine that it is. Del’s video has helped me understand that I need to plan for the worst and make sure I am using language in my posts that makes sense and has the least likelihood of being misunderstood by my readers. The scariest part of this video is when Del talks about the geodata that sometimes comes encrypted when posting photos. Although Twitter has stripped this from their website I need to ensure that the websites I am posting on are not putting myself in danger.

After watching Juan Enriquez’s TedTalk about posting online and it being there forever I have made a mental note of some of the messages Juan had to share. I need to be very careful what I post on social media and guarantee I am using reliable sources and spreading factual information instead of people’s personal opinions. I will use sources that have studies to back up their statements and make sure I am receiving the information from someone with a background in the field. I know the things I post online will be there forever and I don’t want to be spreading any false information to individuals.

I also got a lot out of Jennifer Golbeck’s TedTalk called The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why Social Media “Likes” Say More than You Might Think. I will make sure I am sticking to my topic and not posting personal information that I do not want the world wide web knowing, because as Jennifer mentioned I may not realize what the internet is doing with my information. Getting enough sleep for college students is a major issue with my generation, but sharing personal information could categorize myself in ways I do not want people knowing. I also want to ensure I am not posting about sleep using any bias that I may have. I want to look at the “whole picture” and make sure I am posting information both positive and negative even if many of the studies I have found show college students are not getting enough sleep. I also don’t want any of the information I share to give readers any idea of what some of my characteristics are. I want to stick solely to the topic of sleep and college students, while providing some personal examples but not straying too far from my main focus.

A TedTalk that I found to be very inspiring and important for individuals who are creating or sharing their art on the internet to watch is Lawrence Lessig’s TedTalk on Laws that Choke Creativity. Lawrence talks about how BMI changed broadcasting by making works public domain and providing it for free to their subscribers. Similar to BMI, Lawrence was a lawyer who founded Creative Commons, which is a nonprofit that offers free creative works that people can build onto and share without getting in trouble for copyright. These works published on Creative Commons provide people the chance to give back and help others who are interested in the same subject. For a lot of the posts that I have published I have given credit to the pages and websites that I have gotten my information off of, but I have also found works in the public domain that have been really helpful. I believe people should embrace Creative Commons and use it to publish their work more because it’s going to help future generations and allow for more inspiring work to be created. I want to create pages and websites that individuals are able to gain something from and maybe even make something better than mine. I hope more people and companies begin publishing works for the public to use rather than generating works only for the money.

I have set up an Instagram account, called sleep8feelgr8, to create a page on that individuals can find quality statistics and reliable facts about sleep pertaining to college students. I find that majority of college students have an Instagram account and I believe this social media site is a great platform to raise awareness for getting enough sleep in college. Using the guidance from these TedTalks I will make sure my page uses proper citations, referencing and dependable sources. I will continue to monitor my pages to ensure the safety of not only myself but also of my readers. I am so excited to take what I have learned from these videos to make my blogs and social media sites better!


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