Blog Post 5

I think a piece of media that would be a good addition to the class would be Smithereens, the second episode of the fifth season of Black Mirror. I loved this episode when I first watched it, and after reviewing it, I have to say I think it stands up to the test of time.  The episode deals with one man’s struggle to speak to the creator of a large social media platform following the death of his fiancee. The man, Chris, blames the app for her death as he was checking the app while driving and caused an accident, which resulted in her death.

I think that this episode fits into the curriculum because it deals not only with the concept of addiction to social media but also the possibility of being kidnapped by an Uber driver. I think that this would fit into the theme of Digital Consumer and prompt an interesting discussion in the classroom. Additionally, there are a multitude of articles discussing car accidents caused by using social media such as Snapchat. I think this is a very contemporary concept as each year students become increasingly dependent and addicted to technology and a discussion about the dangers of using the technology while driving would be beneficial. I think an in class activity that could go along with this reading would be to make the students have a debate regarding whether social media should be designed to be addictive. By forcing students to argue viewpoints they may not agree with, everybody will leave the classroom having gained a new perspective on the topic. I hope that this was helpful and that Smithereens will appear on the syllabus next year!

Blog Post 4: Historical Remix

The Spanish American War is often referred to as the first media war by many historians. This came as a result of the rise of yellow journalism, news categorized by sensationalism and often hyperbolized statements. Yellow journalism often shoulders the blame for pushing the United States into war with Spain, and a particularly powerful moment was the explosion of the USS Maine on the 15th of February, 1898. In this blog post I will be showing what this event might look like in the modern age of Twitter. As discussed in class and in the article Facebook Broke Democracy, but the Fix Is Harder Than People Realize headlines online are often misleading and originate from unreliable sources much like the yellow journalism of the late 19th century.

February 15th, 1898


March 28th, 1898

@US_NavalCourt_of_Inquiry: The USS Maine was destroyed by a submerged mine.


April 25th, 1898

@POTUS: The United States has declared war on Spain and we plan to liberate Cuba.



Blog Post 3: Privacy

For this blog post, I decided to investigate Twitter’s privacy statement. I chose Twitter because I think that we focused a great deal on Facebook in class and I wanted to write about something fresh but also still relevant. I think that Twitter is especially relevant considering the fact that our President uses the app so much to communicate with the American public and the rest of the world.

Taking a close look at Twitter’s privacy policy showed me a few things. First, there is a multitude of options allowing for customization of the information made public to the rest of twitter users. You can make your account private, restrict your account from being able to be tagged in other posts, whether your phone number is displayed, and what accounts you want to block or “mute”(Privacy Policy, 1.6). I think that this section was extremely easy to understand and presented a great many options to users more focused on their privacy and online presence. There was a button that you could press (Figure 1) showing you exactly how you could access the Privacy & Safety menu (Figure 2). Another thing it showed me is that while the user has a large amount of control on what information they show on the surface, they have very little control of the information Twitter collects from them.

Section 2 of Twitter’s privacy policy details their ability to gather location information, cookies from your time on the web, Log Data (which catalogs exactly how you use and interact with the system), and information from third-party affiliates(Privacy Policy, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4, 2.8). By default, Twitter collects all this information from you and uses it to customize your experience. This “customization” of your experience on Twitter ties into several of our class discussions and our readings (particularly Why the First Amendment Doesn’t Really Apply to Social Media) regarding the “filter bubble.” This idea was one that our entire class found troubling and one that TeenVouge described as a “big problem.” With the general public not taking the time to read these policies and become aware of the presence of these options that create filter bubbles the problem will persist.

As a result of this assignment I think I will be much more cognisant of privacy policies as a whole and take the time out of my day to read them when I am creating new networking accounts.


Figure 1 & 2


Interview with fellow W&L classmate

Blog Post 2: Stalk Your Professors

Elizabeth Teaff: Professor Teaff actively engaged in facebook showing a love of cats and Ohio State. The URL to her facebook includes the tag “spiderchick”  which would also indicate some interest in spiders. I was able to find several records of Professor Teaff’s run ins with the Law including but not limited to a speeding ticket and an expired registration charge which I have included on the timeline. Professor Teaff has also studied at a multitude of institutions all over the East Coast. Professor Teaff owns a house at 22 Maple Ln in addition to some vacant land on the same road. Photos of the house including floor plans can be found online. I would say that Professor Teaff’s has a large amount of information about herself online although none that I could see being leveraged against her or used against her in a negative way.

Mary Abdoney: Professor Abdoney had an active twitter engagement until late 2018, her last post a meme poking fun at Senate Majority Leader McConnell for a seeming lack of sympathy. This in conjunction with a few other tweets lead me to believe that Professor Abdoney holds progressive/liberal social views. Professor Abdoney was also raised and schooled in Florida, attending H.B. Plant Highschool in Tampa, Florida. She then attended University of Florida and University of South Florida. While I hoped to find parking/speeding tickets on Professor Abdoney I was unable to do so in either Florida or Virginia. However I was able to find her house and floor plans at 112 Myers St. I would say that Professor Abdoney has much less information available online than Professor Teaff. I would imagine that Professor Abdoney’s bubble has a lot to do with Libraries and would work to continue to inform her regarding issues faced by other librarians at other colleges.

I would say that this assignment ties in with our reading “Your Digital Footprint Matters” because I was able to find a shockingly large amount of information on both Professor Abdoney and Teaff. While neither of my Professors had anything that would negatively impact my opinion or viewpoint on them it definitely made me think about what I had available online for people to see. As somebody growing up during the rise of social media my life has been tied to the Internet for better or worse. I don’t think that I will end up changing my online habits as a result of this assignment but I have definitley reflected upon my engagement in social media.

Blog Post 1: One Day of Web Interactions

Today our assignment for DCI 180 was to log each interaction we have with the web. The first interaction I had today was, unfortunately, my phone’s alarm going off this morning. Following the rude awakening to the sounds of “The 1812 Overture” I browsed through a variety of social media apps including Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. After begrudgingly climbing out of my bed and slowly making my way to the bathroom I used Apple Music to listen to inspirational songs such as Beautiful by Christina Aguilera as I showered. Thankfully I had some time before my first class in the morning and was able to scroll through a multitude of messages mocking my pain and suffering following the Jets’ loss to the Browns the night before. Luckily I was saved by the looming task of walking over to Howe for my daily dose of physics. Throughout the class I accessed the internet to google new terms and information. At the mid class break I again browsed social media on my phone and texted some of my friends. After physics I was done with school for the day and was able to unwind by watching football film on Hudl to prepare for Saturdays game. While watching film I realized that we were going to be wearing alternate uniforms and that I needed to acquire more swag in a desperate attempt to look like I belonged in the NFL. After browsing Amazon I settled on some items and had to call my mother to ask for permission to use her Amazon account. After a nice conversation with her I made my purchase. Following this I took a nice nap. I again used Apple Music, this time listening to some Billy Joel and Elton John. I checked my bank account to see if my mother had forgotten to take back the money I spent on her Amazon account and was NOT surprised when I saw the exact amount I spent removed. After this I walked over to practice where I watched more film, this time with the rest of the team before strapping on my pads and going out on the field. Following practice I again scrolled through social media as I walked back to the dorm room where I began to write this assignment. And so ends my catalog of today’s interaction with the internet! I hope all of you are enjoying the cursor trail!

Pictured: The dope arm sleeve I ordered