Should Social Media be the New Home Economics and Wood Shop in Schools?

The whole premise of home economics and tool classes is to try and teach students valuable life skills, however times are a changing.  Not every student is going to have to build something for their home or even cook a meal, but every student will have to engage with social media on a personal or profession level, or both.  

Female Cooking

There are many security risks with social media and teens may think they know it all, I thought I did, but adulthood has set me straight on many issues.  Yes, it may be people’s children that are helping them set up their new device, but that still does not mean these children know how to manage the information they encounter and how to protect themselves. This is why I am confused as to why mandatory social media classes have not been implemented in public and private schools.

Computer with Security Images

In the United Kingdom they offer cyber security class to high schoolers in hopes of them being about to use social media in a more secure way.  Canadian adults seem to be rather skeptical of security on social media, according to Ipsos, “[Four in ten (39%) Canadians have either changed their social media behaviour or stopped using some platforms entirely over data privacy concerns]…[it appears that Canadians have the least amount of faith in some of the world’s most-used platforms.]” I think it would be interesting to see how many of these people, who are parents, share this distrust with their children.  I feel most adults engage in this behaviour due to financial risks, something that is not relevant to most children, conversely this will not always be the case.

So why don’t we have social media classes?

There are some school in Canada offering these classes like Sisler High School in Winnipeg, but this is not the norm and not required curriculum.  I think a big issue is trying to come up with a lesson plan that can check all the boxes.  There are many issues associated with social media and younger people; security, privacy, permanency, learning how to use each network effectively are just a few off the top of my head. Even if all the boxes can not be check, I have to ask myself, is some information being taught not better than none? 

Do you feel this is a gap in the education system? If the education system can not fill the gap, fast enough, do you think having extra curricular classes or information via already existing extra curricular activities, like scouts and camps, would be valuable to young people?

Facebook: Many parents worry about what they children are doing on social media, but are you sure your children even know what they are doing? Should Social Media be the New Home Economics and Wood Shop in Schools?

Twitter: Short and long term repercussions of social media. Should children have to take social media as part of their curriculum?

When Everyone Loves You: Is it Everything You Thought It Would Be?

We all know the story about John Lennon and The Beatles and we all know John is no longer with us anymore.  Most of us know, it was because of a crazed fan that shot and killed the singer cause they wanted to be the last person to see him alive.

News Story About John Lennon’s Death

 I would have to say this is one of the most famous cases of a fan being stalked and killed by a fan.  He was an icon for his time and world renown.  However, there are many other cases of celebrities being stalked and accosted by not so stable fans, but today it is not just celebrities in the traditional sense dealing with these treats.  

Many youtubers, instagramers and other social media ‘celebrities’ are finding themselves in rather similar boats. In 2014Gavin Free and Meg Turney, YouTube stars, had a fan break into their home and was subsequently killed. In 2017 Phillip Defrancoanother youtuber had a fan break into his office when filming and these are only a handful of such cases.

So, what if you follow the rules, you know keep your home address and personal information off your platforms and try not to use your full name; then a marketing company, that is supposed to be helping you connect with brands, leaks all your information to anyone who wants it.  That is what happened in 2018 with the marketing company Octoly, who exposed full names and addresses of 1000’s of influencers, a lot of whom were women.  Well it seems like there is not a lot you can do other than beef up you own security and maybe change your address and personal numbers.

It is a slippery slope, you want to be known and get your name out there, but unlike tradition celebrities, most influencers are not making multi-million dollars a year. According to Vanity Fair, personal security is rather expensive, a personal body guard can cost about $100 an hour and all out home security about one and a half million a year…USD. This seems like a lofty price tag for a mid-rage social media influencer to levy.

My goal here is not to scare people away from this carer choice but rather make sure you know what you may be getting into.  I personal would not want to trade my privacy for fame, to me it is not worth it, but what would make it worth it to you?  

Facebook: Now you have followers and everyone knows who you are, but do you really want everyone to know who you are? Security risks associated with being social media famous. When Everyone Loves You: Is it Everything You Thought It Would Be?

Twitter: Social media and stalkers, how safe is your home and your personal information.

The Mindsweep: Is your creativity safe online?

Almost everyone with a great idea and creativity wishes to be seen, have peers and others validate or help to continue their work.  I am sure we have all been subjected to a barrage of vacation photos from friends, either in real life or via social media. 

So how safe are your photos and art work? 

I don’t think there is a person out there who has not done the right click save to images or download photo. 

Right clicking on a copyright symbol

I would say most of us do it to share with a friend, because we are looking for inspiration or just really like something and want to keep it, for a while at least.

This is not always the case, just think of that feeling when you see your image on someone else site or even worst when someone is selling your image for almost 100K.

Cell Phone with Instagram

This is what happened to many people when gallery tycoon Richard Prince took peoples Instagram photos and enlarged them and sold them in his gallery for $90 000 US dollars each.  So really, can this be legal?   Well it is, because of the fair use in copyright law.

What is Fair Use?

According to Wikipedia“Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works by allowing as a defense to copyright infringement claims certain limited uses that might otherwise be considered infringement.”  This vague definition with the law is what makes all this legal.

So, what can you do about it?

Sadly, there is not a lot that can be done.  If it is a direct copy of your image you can contact the web admin who is using it and ask to have it removed from their site or ask for compensation.  There is no guarantee this will go your way and the next step would be legal action.  Consequently, you are going to have to spend money to get back what is yours. When posting images online make sure all you copyright information is imbedded, however this is no true assurance, cause this information can be altered.

There are codes that can disable the good old right click on sites.  Another thing is to up load low resolution images so they are not clear when expanded, but these can be cleaned up a rather well by people who know how.

In the case of the Suicide Girls they turned the tables and took their photos and undercut Richard Prince to make a point. Nevertheless, he still made a killing off other people’s Instagram photos.

Is the risk of having your creativity hijacked worth putting it out there?

I cannot speak for everyone, but I think it is worth the risk.  I was trying to figure out how I would feel seeing one of my Instagram phots being sold for $90 thousand dollars. At first, I would be out raged, then I may look in the mirror and laugh, because someone paid that for a picture of this, when I get to see it every day for free.

Facebook: The Mindsweep: Is your creativity safe online? See how the fair use in copyright is making some rich and leaving others bitter. What you may be able to do to protect yourself or even get back.

Twitter: Is your creativity safe online? See how the fair use in copyright is making some rich and leaving others bitter. Vengeance is sweet!

Gillette: Not the First Company to Cause a Nick

In January of this year Gillette launched a campaign about “toxic masculinity”.  At this point I am sure there are very few people who have not heard about this. Gillette is not the first corporation to stand behind a social issue or seen this type of up rising from doing so. One example that readily comes to mind is the 2012 Oreo Pride cookie, but is the juice worth the squeeze?

Oreo Pride Facebook Campaign

Looking at Proctor and Gamble bottom line;

Even after taking a stand on “toxic masculinity” Proctor and Gamble, who own Gillette, have not felt the outcry for a boycott. Their stocks have actually gone up at the end of this month.

Market Graph for Proctor and Gamble

Comparing these stocks to Unilever, large competitor in the shaving market, who’s stock have not seen the same love as Proctor and Gamble.  When looking at the bottom lines it does not seem like this was a bad move for Proctor and Gamble.  They have managed to raise their stock while, according to social media, offending thousands of people.

Market Graph for Unilever

So why would a corporation decide to take a stand on a social issue that has nothing to do with their product?  Is it the profits that follow by having your name out there or do people actually say one thing and do another?  Would they have seen the same profits and notoriety if they had taken the high road and shamed the throat beard? 

These are all the questions that plague me when looking at what people are saying but seeing what people are doing.  It seems to me that standing behind an issue that has nothing to do with your product may be a good way to get some free press and sales.

Twitter post:

Gillette: Not the First Company to Cause a Nick. Is taking a stand on social issues worth the backlash on social media?

Facebook post:

Looking at why would a company would risk social media backlash by taking a stand on a social issue, that has nothing to do with their product.  Wondering if “toxic masculinity” was worth if for Gillette?  Gillette: Not the First Company to Cause a Nick.