Think Ignorance is Bliss? Think Again

I recently came across David McMillan’s blog post  How to Ruin Your Life in 14 Minutes: Or Why We Need a Serious Conversation About the Ethics of Social Media on the Huffington Post and he addressed an issue I’ve been pondering for some time. In my previous blog post, I wrote about the consequences of social media for journalists and pr professionals. However, I didn’t talk about the consequences that uses of social media pose for individuals who don’t work in an media related field.

McMillan specifically addresses one of our previous discussions in class, teen use of social media. The general consensus in class was that teens were better equipped to use social media, however I would have to disagree. I think teens, as well as many young adults, aren’t aware of the long-term consequences that social media poses for individuals. Now, no one was given a guide about how to use social media when it first came out, and privacy policies and viewing preferences are ever changing in the social media world, but rarely is one given a pass for not being knowledgable of such things.

There has been a lot of conversation about what media literacy education should and shouldn’t consist of, as well as if it’s even relevant. I think media literacy is very relevant and that any media literacy  curriculum should focus extensively on social media and online identities.

Although some think ignorance is bliss, the repercussions of ignorance most certainly are not.



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7 responses to “Think Ignorance is Bliss? Think Again

  1. I agree, Marcie, I don’t think most kids are well-equipped at all — they only THINK they know what they’re doing.

    • I definitely agree. Teenagers, are knowledgable about social media platforms, but that doesn’t mean they are savvy enough to use these tools. That’s why a comprehensive media literacy planned should be implemented in school systems to cover the ins and outs of social media.

  2. It’s a fair assumption to say that teenagers are generally not equipped to deal with social media, but I would also like to point out that there’s not alot of things that teenagers are generally equipped to deal with. Take for example, bank accounts, taxes, budgeting, identity theft, credit cards, credit in general, and the list goes on and on. Sure social media ignorance has ramafications for the precocious teen, but as far as education goes, we ought to be teaching them more about… well… everything.

  3. Not trying to be crude,but one thing that baffles me about the topic of teen social media use are instances of sexting. You would think after all the horror stories they would know better. You would think that they would know better than to trust someone’s goodwill not to release potentially damaging messages or pictures (I never knew goodwill for others to exist when I was a teen). Then again, members of Congress have done the same thing, so maybe it is not an exclusive teen problem…

  4. Ning Huang

    What impresses me is the sentence in the article: fourteen minutes could ruin a person’s life.
    In the future, I need to be more cautious about what I will post online, which could reach out to millions of audiences in just a few seconds and even may do harm to them or myself.
    The world is more and more transparent than before, thus we must learn how to live a life under this condition.

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