The curse of the fluffy eared werewolf

Training and Development Workshop: Critically analysing social media

Using Edward De Bono’s PMI – Plus, Minus & Interesting activity, we critically analysed the messages of social media (facebook, snapchat, intagram) to see its  influence on our lives, our student’s lives & the way we shape or view life.

Step 1:

We brainstormed & discussed the pluses, minus and interesting of social media. Here is a summary of the key points:

Plus – fantastic way to communicate everything to all our family & friends quickly, easily and cost effectively. 

Minus – whats real, what’s fake & who knows??

Interesting – who is listening & who controls what is said & displayed; who knows about us – how private are our details??

Step 2:

Teaching conversations & questions posed by the PMI:

a. When we use an online meme or post a selfie, we often are following unstated instructions for what these images should look like and say.

  • From the very act of our not-so-natural smiles to how – especially in the case of female media images – we pose and display ourselves for the camera; we often are contributing to the perpetuation of media images that do not reflect our lives and true selves. 

b. Which images, articles and videos do we choose to share with our friends and colleagues that are truly reflective of what constitutes our reality, and not merely echo the status quo and popular opinions?

  • When we post vacation photos instead of images from our less ordinary routines of life, how are we constructing a message about what is good and valuable in the world, and what are the unstated messages are we constructing about wealth and the opportunity that are for some and not for others?

c. How are we using the media to “edit out” what is undesirable about our world and our lives, and feature only what is most photogenic or appealing? What is the outcome of this on children, young adults?

  • Who are we pleasing? Who are we trying to impress?

d. When we post content online, how aware are we of the diversity of our audience

  • Who might be unintended audiences – colleagues, employers? Who is listening?? Watching??

Step 3:

After much discussion we concluded: 

  • All media products are advertising
  • Certain companies can determine what sites get faster service or seen at all based on their ability to pay large fees
  • Much of what we share might be censored or limited based on whether it meets the criteria of our Internet service provider. 
  • Not to see social media as ‘having a life’  but use it as a means to communicate our own real life. 

Finally we decided we needed a life away from our computers/iphones/ipads etc… in order to have a life.

Thank goodness we do living a life in London.

Shannon on her return to Edmonton Canada said:

” Well it has been a really wonderful year. I have so many things to thank you for – bike rides, walks, going to the races at Lingfield, professional development, pub drinks, friendships and of course – work! Your personal touch at DJM is what is so attractive for teachers”