Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I feel like most social media managers can relate to that saying.

So many of us are busy giving advice to clients on best practice for their socials yet tend to neglect our own. The busier we get the less we implement all of the things we know we should be doing to help build our own business.

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

It’s a bit of a catch 22…makes you feel a little bit hypocritcial if I’m honest. I would be lying if I use the age old excuse that I don’t have time, I could find the time…get up earlier, not binge netflix shows etc.

I kind of compare it to chefs that don’t necessarily enjoy cooking when they are at home because they’ve been doing it all day at work.

The last thing I want to do is burnout or post content for the sake of posting content. I don’t want to lose my love for it or feel resentful about having to ‘do all the things’. The reality is that if I want to grow my business and attract new clients…I need to be showing up consistently.

The whole reason businesses outsource to SMM’s in the first place is because it is a struggle to do it all. As a small business owner you wear many hats, some of them are out of your wheelhouse of expertise and you might need a helping hand to juggle it all.

It’s knowing when to do that and reaching a place (not just financially) where you feel comfortable taking that step. It’s no small decision to entrust your baby with a total stranger. Finding someone that you click with and who you feel will be the right person to help kick your business goals is a big deal.

The journey feels more like a rollercoaster than a leisurely Sunday drive sometimes, social media can be fickle. Things can change at the drop of a hat, the goal posts move. Finding someone who becomes a part of your team/cheer squad is nice to have.

I’m not necessarily just referring to myself, there’s plenty of us out there. We get a thrill out of watching you succeed and grow, that is our job afterall.

I didn’t really have a point to all of this, I just wanted to do a post to kind of explain why I haven’t been active on here. There’s really no excuse though, I could have made the time. If it is a priority you will find the time.

I can say that I am more consistent over on Instagram, that is where you’re more likely to find me. I’m not throwing in the towel here but if you come back in a couple of months and I still haven’t blogged…my bad, I’m sorry.

If you ever have any questions, want a chat or are maybe looking for that right fit you can always shoot me a message or an email. x

Surveillance Society

I don’t know about you but being the social media enthusiast that I am, I have downloaded many an app with a barely a thought to the permission and access I am granting to my life and information.

To me it is as simple as if I want to use their platform, I need to agree to their terms and conditions. Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.129) refer to the saying ‘I agree to these terms and conditions’ as the biggest lie on the internet. I would have to agree, I know that I am guilty of not taking the time to read them over. I was curious to know what the general consensus was and took the question to twitter. You can see the results in the poll below.

Obar and Oeldorf-Hirsch (2020, p.140) also go on to say that when people do read the policies, they usually only remain on the page long enough to scroll to the accept button.

What some people may not realise is when you click on agree you are giving those apps permission to use your content as well as your data. Troni (2020) suggests that social media is the Holy Grail for marketers.

In this thoroughly 21st Century communications channel, old notions of privacy simply do not apply; sharing personal information, experiences, and opinions is the whole point of the service. And, wonder of wonders, consumers don’t only provide it willingly—they provide it for free!

Naomi Troni (2020)
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Obviously there are sometimes cause for concern in regards to your privacy and sometimes we see a particular platform end up on the news. Recently there has been plenty of coverage around Tik Tok. Tik Tok has become widely popular with over 800 Million users and is expected to rise to over a Billion this year. It is used for a variety of content creation with many users becoming viral sensations. It was a recent conversation with a friend online that caused me to dig a little deeper. Below is a brief video I have made on the subject, I would love to hear what you think about it all.

We are aware that certain apps ask for permission to access our phones data, like our photos or audio, what you may not be aware of is that the information is being shared with companies you didn’t sign up for.

Warzel (2019) advises that when you enter into the contract, you are also exposing your sensitive information to dozens of other companies. With each app potentially leaking your data to 5-10 other apps.

This is done through something called an SDK (Software Development Kit), before reading that article I had never even heard of an SDK. It is a set of software tools and programs used by developers to create an app. So rather than having to build parts of the code for their software from scratch they use existing SDKs, which in turn gives the companies that own the SDKs access to your data.

Binns et al (2018, p.3) advises that third-party companies gain access to our data as a result of integrating into first party apps and websites, with the concern being that the more websites and apps that integrate those same third party entities the greater the tracking power becomes for them to access a wider range of our personal information.

Social media is what you make of it, the choice is yours whether you are comfortable or not in using it knowing that your data is a commodity. That is the price we pay to use these platforms freely in the first place.

In saying that, I found a quote that is great food for thought.

Remember if the product is free, the product is you.

Ray Shaw (2019)

I am happy to offer up my data if it means that I get to use the platforms to connect with my friends and family. If what that entails results in some targeted advertising, then target away. Although I don’t know who else finds it eerie when you have a conversation with someone about a specific topic only to then be shown ads online for that very same thing. It is a running joke that our phones are listening to us, but they totally are.

Everyone will have an opinion on social media but given that I intend to make a career in that field, I am very much on the pro side. It offers us entertainment, an escape, connection and a service. Just be sure that you are going in to it eyes open and fully informed, do your research and follow what feels right for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, feel free to leave me a comment below or come and say hi on social media (links are on the home page). I am always up for a thought provoking discussion, hope to connect with you soon.

References:

Binns, R  Zhao, J Van Kleek, M and Shadbolt, N 2018, ‘Measuring Third-party Tracker Power across Web and Mobile’ ACM Trans. Internet Technol. 18, 4, Article 2018, pp.1-22  https://doi.org/10.1145/3176246

Leetaru, K 2019, ‘So Much Of Our Lives Have Been Exposed Through Breaches We Have No Privacy Left’, Forbes, retrieved 11 May 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2019/08/25/so-much-of-our-lives-have-been-exposed-through-breaches-we-have-no-privacy-left/#2a43554c1d3b&gt;

Obar, J and Oeldorf-Hirsch, A 2020, ‘The biggest lie on the Internet: ignoring the privacy policies and terms of service policies of social networking services’, Information, Communication & Society, 23:1, 128-147, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1486870

Rembert, L 2020, ‘Is TikTok a Cybersecurity Threat?’, Forbes, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/tiktok-cybersecurity-threat/>

Shaw, R 2019, ‘How to stop Big Tech using you – breaking up or breaking free’, Gadget Guy, retrieved 17 May 2020 ,https://www.gadgetguy.com.au/how-to-stop-big-tech-using-you-breaking-up-or-breaking-free/>

Troni, N (2020), ‘Social Media Privacy: A Contradiction In Terms?’, Forbes, retrieved 11 May 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/04/24/social-media-privacy-a-contradiction-in-terms/#396356717c45&gt;

Warzel, C 2019, ‘The Loophole That Turns Your Apps Into Spies’, NY Times, retrieved 27 April 2020, <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/24/opinion/facebook-google-apps-data.html&gt;

Music:
‘Chill Wave’ by Kevin MacLeod (CC BY 3.0)
Kevin-9-1 – Chill-wave

Featured Image: Photo by ev on Unsplash

Images and Videos:
Privacy by Kyla Borg (CC BY 2.0)
Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash
Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Screenshot of ABC Article 2020, retrieved 27 April 2020 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-19/should-we-trust-chinese-owned-tiktok-personal-data/11962086>

Screenshot of CNBC Article 2019, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/16/how-tiktok-went-from-a-fun-viral-app-to-a-us-national-security-concern.html>

Screenshot of CNBC Article 2020, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/09/tiktok-security-flaw-found-that-allowed-hackers-to-access-accounts.html>

Screenshot of SC Media Article 2020, retrieved 17 May 2020 <https://www.scmagazine.com/home/security-news/privacy-compliance/tiktok-app-inherently-unsafe-and-a-privacy-risk/>

Video by Coverr-Free-Footage from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by Evodesign from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by mgprest from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by starroom from Pixabay (CC0)
Video by vijayrajesh from Pixabay (CC0)

Making My First Podcast

I have never attempted to make a podcast before, however my university assessment called for it and I set out in my attempt to learn how to do it.

I encountered some difficulties along the way, such as trying to find copyright free music to use in my podcast. I’m going to try and save you the trouble should you ever choose to start your own podcast; my lecturer shared a site that has royalty free music that you can use. You can find that here, it should hopefully make life easier and there is a plethora of different genres/songs to choose from.

The next challenge was learning a new software to edit my podcast, there are so many options to choose from, but I went with the recommendation of my lecturer and downloaded Audacity. It is free to download but not the simplest of programs and will likely take a bit of playing around and watching tutorials to figure it out.

I’m also not set up with proper equipment, so I did the best with what I had (the voice recorder on my phone). Finding a quiet place to record and not be interrupted proved to be another challenge. It is really important to try and record nice clean audio without any distortion or background noise.

You can check out a tweet I did below trying my best to offer some tips based off my experience and what I learnt when making this podcast.

That’s the technical stuff out the way; the next and most important element is the content. My topic is to do with the use of digital media in education. There has never been a more relevant time than now when we are turning to online sources to educate ourselves. Not only in the traditional sense such as school and university but in a myriad of ways of learning something new. The future, in my humble opinion, is leaning to an overwhelming amount of choice in the digital space. The knowledge available to anyone with an internet connection is almost infinite.

Lastly you need somewhere to host the audio, we were advised to upload our podcast onto Soundcloud, they allow you to upload up to 180 mins for free before you would need to upgrade to a pro account. Setting up the account was straightforward; I created the header image for the background and uploaded the logo I had previously created as my profile pic. If you want your podcast to be accessible across various listening platforms you will need to add it to an RSS feed. If you end up using Soundcloud I have sourced a handy how to article here.

I would love to get your feedback on how you think it turned out, so I have included it for your listening pleasure below.

Happy Podcasting!

References:

Glenn, M 2008, ‘The future of higher education: How technology will shape learning’, Austin, Texas, The New Media Consortium, p.4, Retrieved April 29, 2020 from www.learntechlib.org/p/182088/

Network Support, n.d., ‘How Can Teachers Use Digital Media to Improve Teaching and Learning?’, Professional Learning Board, retrieved 5th May 2020, https://bit.ly/2L5x2ws 

Rajabalee, B. Y, Santally, M. I and Rennie, F 2020 ‘A study of the relationship between students’ engagement and their academic performances in an eLearning environment’, E-Learning and Digital Media, 17(1), pp. 1–20. doi: 10.1177/2042753019882567

Sobko, S, Unadkat, D, Adams, J and Hull, G 2020 ‘Learning through collaboration: A networked approach to online pedagogy’, E-Learning and Digital Media, 17(1), pp. 36–55, doi: 10.1177/2042753019882562

Music:
‘Chill Wave’ by Kevin MacLeod (CC BY 3.0)
Kevin-9-1 – Chill-wave

Featured Image: Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Our Best (Digital) Self

Are you the same person online as you are offline? Or do you only tend to show the highlight reel of your life?

You wouldn’t be the only one guilty of wanting to curate the most flattering image of themselves online. You best believe that if a friend tagged me in a picture that made me look bad I would be untagging myself quick smart.

Social Media is a powerful tool for communicating with many different audiences; how we approach each platform depends on who you are communicating with. What I mean by that is, typically you would adopt a more professional approach on a platform such as Linked In as opposed to the more casual version of you that you present to friends and family on your private Facebook account (assuming that you have one of course).

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

We often hear ‘just be 100% yourself’ or ‘be authentic’ when it comes to advice for social media. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could hand on heart say that I am 100% myself online. I certainly don’t share pics of my crazy hair, no make-up self before I’ve even had my morning coffee…nobody needs to see that.

A good Snapchat filter is my friend, could it be a lack of confidence or it could be that I just don’t want an unflattering image of myself kicking about the interwebs. I am all for a good selfie, if you are feeling yourself you should document that.

I just wish that people wouldn’t compare their normal everyday lives with the highlight reel of someone else’s. We are all unique and finding your people online can be highly rewarding. There is a sense of community once you find your niche, people with similar interests etc.

The internet and social media is what you make of it, if you go looking in dark places and get sucked in to the drama it’s not going to be a good time. I personally try and spread a little kindness, the world needs more of that.

How we portray ourselves online is ultimately a part of us. William James, American philosopher and psychologist, suggested that our digital identity is somewhat split, with our various online personas leaving breadcrumbs of our core self. 

I don’t see social media as the enemy or that it is destroying us but I did find the YouTube clip below interesting and worthy of sharing. I’d be curious to know your thoughts on it…?

Do you agree with the quote by Elon below, are people trying to make their lives look more interesting than they are?

‘People look like they have a much better life than they really do’

Elon Musk
Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash
#blessed

Who wouldn’t want to share an image like the one above, if you were sunning it up in Greece you would want to capture that moment and look back on those precious memories for years to come.

I do my best to be myself as much as I can be online, without overstepping…people don’t necessarily need to know every nitty gritty detail. But also bare in mind that once you share that photo, comment, tweet, it is out there for all to see. Try and think of the future and make sure you don’t do something that may come back to haunt you (teenagers take note: your future employer will Google you!).

Ultimately it is up to you how you appear online, you control the narrative of your own life (both online and off). If you want to share only the good, there’s no shame in that. Let’s all do our bit to be the good though too.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite sayings: ‘spread kindness like confetti’. Yes, let’s!

Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash