So, Tell Us More About The Time You…

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A repeated theme in just about every blog I’ve written is how technology, whether we like it or not, is continuing to evolve. As such, we too as a society has to evolve with it. A clear example of this is the emergence of social media, the most popular obviously being Facebook and Twitter. With 310 million users on Twitter and an amazing 1.65 billion users on Facebook, for a lot of people, every aspect of their lives is willingly available online.

In this modern age, it is thought that 90% of of employers will do a simple google search of a possible future employees name. With so much of our lives online, online personas and digital footprints are easily available to be found. For me, I’ve only just started using Twitter this year, primarily to live tweet in lectures I should really be paying more attention to. Even though I don’t tweet often, and I barely post on Facebook, I’ve already begun creating an online persona for myself. For others, their entire life is online, including questionable photos, videos tweets and statuses.

A recent study has stated that up to 70% of employers who have used LinkedIn say they’ve chosen not to hire a person based on what they’ve found out about them online. Our online personas continue to grow day by day, and as such, we need to be careful as to what we put willingly onto the internet. Due to convergence, everything we need to create an online persona (whether that is on Twitter or Facebook) is available on a smartphone. While this is of course convenient, it obviously causes problems. While you may think it may be harmless to tweet a video of yourself doing something that can only be described as stupid, a future employee may not think the same way you do. Being able to manage the online identity you have created is absolutely vital in this current society.

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Got a Smart Phone? You’re a Citizen Journalist!

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Convergence continues to change the way individuals live their lives. In this current age, the term ‘journalist’ has very much evolved from what is once used to be. In the past, the only source of news that held any source of accountability was a considered, observational documentary broadcast on a traditional television channel. However It is safe to say that in this digital age, it is increasingly hard to judge the value of amateur eyewitness film shot on a mobile phone and posted on the internet.

The idea behind citizen journalism is that any individual, no matter the training they may have, can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. The use of blogs and commentary online has allowed citizen journalism to appeal to a wide range of people online, and to continue to grow in popularity.

Of course, there is controversy behind this new concept, as is the norm in our modern world. Many professional journalists believe that only a trained journalist can understand the ethics and rigours involved in reporting the news.

However, Josh Stearns has said that, “There’s nothing quite like live video to put people in the moment when it comes to breaking news.” This quote effectively sums up one of the major advantages of citizen journalism, which is that unlike the news, which has a natural delay on events, citizen journalists are able to report live, on the spot, with many different angles. We, as a society, has evolved to the point where just about anyone with a smart phone, with access to the internet, can in a way, become a journalist.