Conditions of Use
While this text does a nice job covering several aspects of social media, beginning with defining it and then diving into various ways it is used and why, I felt there could have been more information on the art and creativity aspect of social... read more
While this text does a nice job covering several aspects of social media, beginning with defining it and then diving into various ways it is used and why, I felt there could have been more information on the art and creativity aspect of social media. Besides the intellectual and emotional impulse to share and communicate thoughts and information, there is the desire for creativity, art, and music. There could be a chapter or two added to discuss visual aesthetics, graphic design, and audio content in social media.
The writing was free from errors and the author presents a neutral, fact-based narrative of information. Student content is clearly marked and the author writes in a clear, concise, easy-to-read style. Information is supported with studies and citations from a variety of sources.
Social Media, by its very definition, is ever evolving and changing. The content in this text is up-to-date and written in a way that it should be easy to update, but it WILL require updates to stay relevant. The author warns in the very beginning of the impermanence of this 'book' and the fragility of website links and content value. You should consider the text an 'evolving' and almost living document, which thrives with your feedback and author updates.
I found the text easy to read, with lots of context, examples, word definitions, and related content for deep dives and alternative views.
Each chapter fits together as one voice, with the same care and attention throughout. Terminology is defined for a broad audience, and it felt as if each chapter was in sync with the others as far as content and consistency.
The text would be easy to share with students based on the chapters, sub-headings, student content, core concepts and questions, and related content. You can choose to share just the relevant content for your needs, and it will be easy for students to find.
In the beginning the author leads you through what social media is, some history behind it, and the basic tenets of how it works, in a sort of scaffolded way. Once you get into the various ways it is used, it spreads out a bit but transitions well between topics. For example, after exploring memes and persuasive communication, my next thought was "what about factual information?", which is exactly what came next. It's organized in a logical way to me.
You definitely want to share this using the online version, rather than the PDF. There are many interactive media links that will require online access. For the most part it is laid out well and easy to navigate, but there could be problems depending on the browser you use. For example, some of the wrap-around text was hard to read with certain images, because words where broken up or hyphenated on the side, when it would have been best to just place the text underneath.
The text is grammatically correct and written in a way that is accessible and easy to read.
I felt the author took great care to be inclusive, as well as sensitive to cultural norms. There are a variety of examples that address cultural and racial issues, and the student content is diverse as well, which I think is very important.
I plan to use this text in my "Multimedia" class, where we discuss content creation with mobile devices. It's a natural fit with social media, where the content will likely reside. Once we get past the mechanics of creating content, understanding how and why it can be used with social media is an important part of the process.
Table of Contents
- I. Main Body
- 1. Identity
- 2. Old to New Media
- 3. Privacy and Publics
- 4. Algorithms
- 5. Equity
- 6. Activism
- 7. Memes
- 8. Information
- 9. Relationships
- 10. Our Transformed Selves
- II. Guest Contributions
- Private: Facial Recognition: A Series by EDRi
- VR and AR: Bringing Closeness to Learning
- Social Networks and Online Communities
- Online Activism in Indigenous Languages
- #metoo and Twitter: The Feminist Movement on Social Media
About the Book
Social media and humans exist in a world of mutual influence, and humans play central roles in how this influence is mediated and transferred. Originally created by University of Arizona Information scholar Diana Daly, this Third Edition of the book Humans are Social Media uses plain language and features contributions by students to help readers understand how we as humans shape social media, and how social media shapes our world in turn.
About the Contributors
Diana Daly, Assistant Professor of Information, University of Arizona