Sunday, August 29, 2010

A call to address the need for Social Media / Online Literacy

Are you a parent? Would you let your son / daughter figure out how to cross a busy intersection on their own in their very first try? Or would you instead spend years holding them by the hand and pointing to them the all they have to watch for before crossing?

However it seems that when it comes to online behavior, and in particular Social Media, we are ready to let people figure it out on their own…

I am not advocating for you to live a life of “online abstinence”, but when online activity affects your chances to get a dream job, the amount of credit you may obtain or your safety I think it is important and fair for all of us to be in a position to make educated choices.

Do you understand the implications of searching, information you share through social networks, and browsing sites for products? Are you aware of the information you are leaving behind and how it is being used? The detail and richness of this data, as well as the focus and attention companies place on capturing, analyzing and deriving insights from it will only grow with time.

How do you think we should address this need? Not every household has someone capable of educating others; and even those that do may be challenged keeping up with the ever changing landscape.. Should it be handled in the schools? Is this even feasible in times when things as important and basic as Art and Music are going out the window due to budgetary limitations?

I propose that those industries that benefit from the data have in their best interest to help the public with this education need; I am one of them and I truly believe addressing this proactively and transparently can only benefit us.. Let’s not wait to be regulated

What do you think?

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