Tonight’s podcast brought myself and John Coster together with Ben, Gerhard and Dominika for a chat about inter-cultural experiences, learning, video blogging, and some other random stuff – mainly me getting on my soapbox and having a rant about the French!
For the last week or so, John and myself have been in Cambodia doing some teaching and research work with the American University of Phnom Penh. We met some fantastic students and experienced Cambodian life and culture. It was my first time in Cambodia and it was completely different to how I expected it. We chat in this edition of the DIY-DMU podcast about scratching the surface, not making any assumptions and honoring the proud traditions of Khemer life, both in the city and at Angkor Wat.
As more evidence is emerging that our use of technology has negative effects on our mental well being, we might have to start thinking about how we can address some of the patterns of behavior and expectations about the way that we use social media and tech devices. Belinda Parmar, who was once a tech-advocate is now warning about the dangers of an unquestioned use of tech devices, especially as they have a negative impact on the developing minds of children.
“Tech was a leveller,” she says. “You didn’t need money, you didn’t need status; it was an enabler of a more equal and more diverse society. This tiny bubble that most of us lived in had been popped and that was wonderful. That still is wonderful.” But certain aspects of her relationship with technology were not so wonderful. “I’d wake up and look at Twitter,” she says. “I had two small children, and the first thing I should have been doing was going to see the kids, but I’d be looking at Twitter.” She realised she was using social media for validation, to feed her ego. She began to think: “If technology is an enabler, why am I just using it for things I don’t like about myself?”
This is a detailed and evidence-based article that has a lot of strong ideas about our use of technology, and I’m sure it will provide plenty of points of discussion as we begin to question the role of technology in our lives more carefully.
It’s often thought that anything goes when it comes to social media, and that we are free to do and say pretty much whatever we want because there is no control. Obviously, this is an unfounded assumption. When we post material online we are subject to the same laws and standards as any other form of publishing – liable and advertising standards being just two. Ben Chapman writing in The Independent describes how the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recognises that:
Lines are now blurred between advertising and editorial content, leading to uncertainty for consumers and for influencers themselves, who may not know what is and is not allowed.
Under industry rules, ads must be obviously recognisable as such so that people know when they’re being advertised to. The ASA said that when people are not sure what is advertising and what isn’t, trust in the whole sector is damaged.
So if you are planning on using your social media activities to generate some cash, do yourself a favour and check out the ASA rules first and stay on the right side of the law.
Tonight’s podcast gave John Coster and myself some insight into the work of Ulike Kubatta, a documentary film maker who recently joined us at De Montfort University. Ulrike’s friend and DJ, Martina Giesa told us about her love of original R&B music, while J and Toc gave us some insight into the mind of millenials and their goals in life.
This is an overview of the topics that will be covered in the twenty third lecture for TECH1002 Social Media Innovation.
Community media isn’t just about programming, it’s also about the access that we have to different media. The death of Trevor Baylis is perhaps a moment when we can reflect on the contribution that his invention made to understanding, conflict resolution and disaster management around the world, allowing people to listen to radio when they have no access to reliable power sources. Far sighted and innovative people like Trevor are few and far between.
According to Jamie Bartlett writing in The Guardian, in our rush to embrace all things technological, we are failing to account for the human costs and the consequences of the development of automation, artificial intelligence and everything being networked. Jamie asks if 2018 will be the year when of the Luddite comes to prominence again?
“The downsides of technology’s inexorable march are now becoming clear – and automation will only increase the anxiety. We should expect the growing interest in off-grid lifestyles to be accompanied by direct action and even anti-tech riots.”
I’m not such a pessimist, but with every move forward with technology there is both a positive and a negative impact. Having open forums in which we can share our concerns seems to me to be the initial response to our anxieties, and learning to express our anxieties without fear of being shamed for them, however unfounded they may seem to others, should be something we use socialised media to achieve. Talk and learn is probably the best response to these anxieties.
Mary Shelly taught us two hundred years about that we have to learn to adapt to changes in our culture brought about by science and technology, the question is how and in what way we respond – as a Luddite smashing things up, or as an optimist embracing change as a way of promoting diversity and inclusivity?
In today’s podcast John and I met up with Emily Wallis and Karl Letten who are DMU’s Fairtrade champions, and we talked about the relevance and importance of ethical and accountable trading.
Fair Trade is about offering a fair deal to the producers from across the world that grow, make and produce the products we all enjoy.
Perhaps the best known fair trade label is the Fairtrade Mark, which can be found on over 4,500 different Fairtrade certified products in the UK – including: coffee, cotton, flowers and a variety of skincare products.
The Fairtrade Mark certifies that a product has met international Fairtrade standards. These standards ensure better prices, decent working conditions, sustainable practises and fair terms of trade for farmers. It also signifies that a Fairtrade premium – an additional sum of money on top of the Fairtrade minimum price – has been paid. This premium is used to invest in social, environmental and economic projects, as decided democratically by the business or the community.
Put simply, the Fairtrade Mark certifies that the farmers and workers involved in the production of an item are treated and paid fairly.