Posts Tagged ‘danah boyd’
Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a weekly post reviewing Sunday, the busiest, most stressful, most gratifying day in the week of a pastor/parent/spouse/citizen.
Song of the Day:
6:00. Alarm. Seriously? Snooze.
6:18. Awake two minutes before expiration of snooze alarm. Consider the relative value of two minutes of sle–alarm again.
6:33. Open laptop to finish the morning’s confirmation lesson. Face down reality: The Heidelberg Catechism, Ann LaMott, Dorothy Day, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the story of the Rich Young Ruler, and the Presbyterian Study Catechism won’t all fit in 45 minutes. Curse the space/time continuum.
7:53. Completely rethink final confirmation project assignment and write up a new description. Plan to post it to blog later in the week.
8:11. Second cup of coffee.
9:27. Expose confirmation students to Ann LaMott and her profoundly theological profanity. Brace for retribution.
10:09. Acolyte jogs to the lectern to lead Call to Worship like he’s being introduced as part of the starting lineups.
10:10. Chest bump the acolyte.
10:17. Recognizing new crosses decorating sanctuary during Children’s Time. Tell kids that the big paper one with their handprints on it hanging in the back is to remind us that the cross is for all of us. Kid looks at me like, “For me? What did I do?”
10:29. Getting schooled on the water situation in 1st century Laodiceia by my brilliant colleague. Mentally rehearse the putdown, “Ima spit you out my mouth like Laodiceian water, fool!“
11:22. Ask adult education committee members to introduce themselves by answering the question, “What are you learning?” Listen carefully as people share thoughtful, sensitive, yearning to grow.
11:58. Schedule six weeks of adult education programming in four minutes. We done here?
12:38. Return home to playdate with four year-old and her bestie. Realize I haven’t eaten yet today. Devour a pizza.
12:45. Wife is screening new show, “Preacher’s Daughers.” Hey, this could be interesti–nope nope nope nope nope. Plan blog post on horrors of the show for later in the week.
12:53. While watching show about promiscuous pastor’s daughters, serve as the groom in my four year-old’s wedding, officiated by her playmate. Riff terrifically with the hashtag #fouryearoldwedding.
1:39. Set up play tent, sleeping bag, and lawn chair for daughter and playmate on the lawn. Claim the lawn chair for myself.
2:46. Taxes. Done.
2:52. The week’s meals. Planned.
4:14. Tearful end to the playdate. Literally have to pry the crying girls off of each other. Assurances of “You’ll see her next week” are met with “But that’s too long!” Broken up.
4:37. Facing group of 14 people–junior high students and their parents–explaining with as much pastoral adroitness as I can that there’s no telling what will happen at the meal we’re all about to go serve at the local transitional housing shelter. Thinking they’re taking it well.
5:07. Sit down to banquet of chicken enchilada casserole, fruit salad, mac n’ cheese, caesar salad, brownies, and gallons of beverages. There are 15 from the church and a single shelter resident. Awkward. Reeealy awkward.
5:24. Shelter resident and church families devolve into knee-slapping laughter around the table. Catch a glimpse of the truth: we’re called to share our community and our humanity; food’s a useful tool to do that.
5:51. Dishes. Dried.
6:32. Waiting for high school students to arrive, building to-do list for the week.
6:41. Youth group volunteers arrive with coffee for me. Kiss them both on their mouths simultaneously.
7:43. “Game of Things” prompt: “Things you shouldn’t lick.” Answer from volunteer: “The Pope.”
7:52. Student tries to tell me her mom needs her home early. Text mom. Nope. Busted. Student fumes.
8:08. Soul Pancake check-in prompt: greatest fault, greatest strength. Observe students struggling to talk about their strengths. For some it’s not a pose; they really don’t know they have any. Wince.
8:38. Celebrate student who’s question was featured on Questions That Haunt. Note this is a student who couldn’t identify his own strengths.
9:02. Practice “Yes, let’s!” improv benediction I learned at NEXT 2013.
9:05. Fuming student to me: don’t text my mom behind my back. Me to fuming student: don’t lie to me.
9:12. Whipped in foosball. Again.
9:18. Locking up, notice fuming student’s parent wandering around, looking for her. She just left. Didn’t wait for parents to pick her up.
9:22. Driving home, looking for fuming student along the way.
9:38. Texting fuming student’s mom: is she home?
9:41. Flustered response full of apologies for student’s behavior.
9:42. “Better to have her than not.”
9:44. Plan fuming student blog post for later in the week.
The privacy conversation has never really interested me. I have no illusions about the possibilities when I share something online. I’m making an informed choice to share something about myself and calculating that the potential negative consequence is worth what I gain from sharing it. I do this with strict personal rules: I don’t share things about other people without their consent. I don’t post pictures of other peoples’ kids.
I’ve always assumed that everyone else does this too.
But Boyd has carefully stated what’s at stake with Facebook’s activity. It’s not really privacy, but informed consent. Facebook has made it confusing and difficult for its users to control the people (and–more to the point–advertisers) who see what they share. The privacy settings are confusing, and for that reason, users are being coerced into sharing personal data with audiences they never intended.
When it comes to my stuff, I can handle this. But churchy social media types ought to be more concerned with other peoples’ privacy than their own. How concerned are we that scores of teenagers, for example, are having their personal data mined without their consent? Facebook is providing a platform for ill-intentioned audiences to harvest personal information shared by users who, developmentally speaking, are still learning how to navigate complicated privacy legalese. It’s opportunistic, and it presents real problems for people (like myself) who are otherwise rosy about young people’s social media activity.
The Facebeook defense has been, essentially, that people choose to participate in Facebook, and so they should be willing to accept the consequences. But when that choice is made by people who are developmentally or socially vulnerable to complex and even misleading privacy settings, the integrity of their “choice” has to be questioned.
A teen may accept an invitation to a party as an opportunity to mix with their friends. But if the host of that party invites lots of people the teen doesn’t know, people who are after the teen’s personal information for economic gain; if the host establishes a default “public” setting to the interaction–that just by being there the teen is consenting to sharing everything they do there with with everyone else–and everyone who everyone else chooses to share it with; if the teen can opt-out of that arrangement only by leaving their friends behind at the party or taking valuable party time to fill out forms specifying who’s allowed to see what they’re doing: who would say that the teen had a fair shot at protecting their privacy?
I don’t agree with Umair Haque’s latest post.
Haque, director of the Havas Media Lab who blogs and writes for the Harvard Business Review, says that, just like during the dot.com bubble and the sub-prime mortgage bubble, we’re witnessing a social media bubble; people are ignoring the warning signs of a great collapse.
Here’s the money quote:
During the subprime bubble, banks and brokers sold one another bad debt — debt that couldn’t be made good on. Today, “social” media is trading in low-quality connections — linkages that are unlikely to yield meaningful, lasting relationships.
Haque is worried that the prevalence of Facebook “friendships” are cheapening our notions of friendship altogether. If these social network relationships were in any sense real, then social conditions would be improving. They’re not, so . . . they’re not.
Haque’s right that internet connections are not making the world a better place, at least not if you’re looking for poverty, racism, sexism, and the like to be overcome. People still treat other people contemptibly, especially in online forums, and, as danah boyd is chronicling, white flight (for example) is just as pronounced online as off.
But forming new relationships to fix the world is not what social media wants to do. New social technologies like Twitter, Facebook, and even text messaging don’t bring new people together as much as they extend and strengthen existing relationships. Teenagers, for example, use instant messaging, status updates, and texts to “hang out” with their offline, real-life friends, online. They don’t go looking for new friends.
Haque’s concern is misplaced, but it’s not uncommon. People often complain that online relationships are “thin” or “less real” than real face-to-face relationships. Of course they are. But most online social media connections aren’t things in themselves. They’re ways of making existing relationships better.
And, in my view, they do that pretty well.