I made this meme because I was angry. This week we were discussing the power of people coming together through social media to make a change, and I thought it was important to point out that sometimes that change isn’t necessarily a good thing. I’m a firm believer that the anti-vaccine movement would never have gained such a strong following without the same social media influence that helped people in the Arab Spring free themselves from tyranny. I’m not saying this makes social media a bad thing. As I’ve said before, I don’t think anything is inherently good or bad.
All the same, people die, every day, from things they wouldn’t have if some blogger hadn’t decided they knew better than doctors. I love the ability of social media to spread information that controlling governments would have otherwise wanted to keep quiet, but a little fact checking never hurts.
I made this meme out of a bit of suppressed rage and disappear at the stage of scientific news. In the lecture, we talked about the rise in citizen journalism and how that may affect the quality of the news stories, and all I wanted to do was crackle manically because science journalism has pretty much always been that terrible.
There is a problem with untrained individuals writing about stuff they don’t fully understand. We see it now with the rise of the regular citizen reporter, but with science, this has always been a problem. Very few people have been trained in both journalism and the scientific field, and either side tends to look down on the other. I know this because I’m one of the unfortunate souls caught between the two. Science writing may get better, with projects such as The Conversation, and accessibility of the internet means that more scientific professionals will get their voices heard. This being said, so will a lot of people who have no idea what they’re on about, and when its a complicated subject, it becomes harder and harder for the public to know who to trust.
Just use Google Scholar guys, it’ll save a life.
The rise of mobile usage wasn’t meant to be the focus of the lecture, but it made me have an “Oh my god why do I do this to myself” moment when I remembered all the times I chose to watch Netflix on my phone while my laptop is right next to me. This is especially concerning considering there’s evidence to suggest that consistent mobile browsing can actually damage the muscles in your hand. I made this meme to summaries my self-destructive life habits.
As for the debate between open and closed systems, I think it should be the consumers right to choose. I don’t want an Iphone, because I like flexibility in my choice applications and settings. This being said, I don’t want my Nan to have to use anything other than an iPhone. She’s only just figured out how to adjust the brightness of her screen and I think Android software would be a little too much. Each has their place in society.