Students and Visibility

By March 1, 2016 BlogPost No Comments

I mostly agree with Dush. I agree with her entirely in that students should be learning the skills that you would actually be using in the workplace. It would be great to get mistakes out of the way in college and not make them on the job. It’s important to be learning techniques that aren’t often accessible to outsiders and to practice what you would actually be making. I think it is important to teach multimodal skills in the writing program (visual, design, video, sound, etc..) because it makes graduates more marketable and makes the program more viable. Employers used to train in these things in internships and entry-level positions, but they don’t anymore. More and more college is seen as job training, so having the option to take content-specific course work prepares students to achieve this expectation. All this makes perfect sense.

With that said… I am personally thankful my first-year writing gets no views. Please, first-year writing, never see the light of day/glow of the screen.

Maybe this is just coming from my own fears and anxiety, but it would be awful if students were harassed online for their early work. People don’t behave very well online, and younger people, especially women, tend to get targeted for errors they may have made or just who they are more often online. Look at the Talia Jane “Yelp Saga” that unfolded on Medium, and she’s even a little older than the college demographic. I know it has a low probability of happening, but being dissected online is something that I wouldn’t want students to have to deal with in addition to their coursework. I think there is a spectrum of different maturity levels across campus and that people should be allowed space to develop away from public scrutiny. I think that’s where I’m a little more forgiving towards the flaws of Digication, because on it you can take more risks in your work. Am I being paternalistic or overly worrisome in my thinking?

I guess it’s cowardly or maybe paranoid, but being scrutinized in the media, even just on blogs, is something that scares me about working and being visible online. I love writing and making content. I hate having to affect a ‘perfect’ brand. Maybe this exists and someone can direct me to it, but I wish there was a course about dealing with backlash/hate/trolls as a creative professional who works visibly online.

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