My Thoughts Around Diverse Representation Online

I remember when Apple came out with the different skin tone emojis to show cultural representation in iOS 8. I remember there being a big uproar about it, but after the first few months following the big decision in 2015, I’ve heard nothing more about it. These articles were a very interesting read. I don’t think I realized how much the skin tones of the emojis affected how people of color thought about their representation online. When I use the emojis that look like humans, I tend to just go with the one that looks most like me: pale skin and dark hair. I would’ve thought that most people did the same thing and just don’t think anything else about it. But, obviously, that is not the case. Not only did the skin tones change as variations of the white emoji, or the “default” as some people might say, but there was also a change in cultural representation, including a Chinese boy emoji, or an emoji depicting a Middle Eastern man wearing a turban. I feel that this was a poor decision of Apple because, even though it wasn’t done maliciously, it came across the wrong way because it seems as if it was done in response to the outcry against the different emoji skin tones.

I think using Bitmoji as a way to convey emotions online is a good alternative to emojis, as that was the purpose of them to begin with. Bitmoji gives you a blank slate and gives you an opportunity to create yourself in your own image to show people on the internet. That way, there’s no confusion as to how you feel about your own representation, and there’s no confusion as to how companies think of cultures other than the societal default: a white male.

The Importance of Online Accessibility

After posting my web address into the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, I saw a few errors and alerts that I wouldn’t have even thought to be an issue with the way people could access my page. There was an alert about how a portion of text was underlined. This can cause issues with accessibility because underlined text normally means linked text, so someone might click on the text thinking it’s a link. Another issue that the site found was the low contrast of colors on my website. This poses an issue to people with colorblindness or that have bad eyesight. It can be hard to read texts if the colors are too similar to each other.

After reading the articles provided and analyzing my personal website, I can look at websites more clearly and identify what pieces could be improved by the owner in order to increase accessibility to their page. The internet is taking over the world, so it’s a good idea to let everyone have a chance to access it easily.

My Digital Footprint

When I was first discovering the internet I Googled myself just for fun. At the time, I only had an Instagram account that was closely monitored by my mom, so the only things that came up that were actually me in my Google search were a few selfies I had posted. Nothing too special. Today when I Google myself, all of my social media accounts pop up, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In. I also saw some more recent photos of myself that I’ve posted. This was interesting to me because I saw my Digital Footprint grow. I believe that having a Digital Footprint is important for potential employers to get a sense of who they might have in their workplace. A Digital Footprint can tell a person enough basic information to help them decide whether or not to give said person a chance. At the same time, I don’t think a Google search should be used as a first impression. You can find a lot out about a person from the internet, but to really get to know a person, you should meet them face-to-face.

What is and what isn’t being shared by the apps on my iPhone?

After I downloaded the My Permissions app that was linked under Thing 4, I was shocked by what I found. I logged in using my Facebook account and as soon as the app was finished setting up, the app told me that I had sixteen apps that were threatening my privacy. The threatening apps were split up into five different categories based on what exact permissions I gave them in the past: act on your behalf, access your pictures and files, access your inbox and contacts, use your location, and require basic permissions. Of the sixteen, none were acting on my behalf, one had access to my pictures and files, fourteen had access to my inbox and contacts, one was using my location, and one required basic permissions. What shocked me was that the app told me that the apps that I had downloaded and had already been given permission to do the things it needed to do in order to be compatible with my iPhone were “threatening” to my privacy. After analyzing all of the threatening apps, I noticed that I gave permission as I saw fit, and did not see any point in changing the permissions on these apps.

What do I hope to gain from the 23 Things program?

I don’t know much of anything about computers, or blogging or having my own website. I was given a task in the fall 2019 semester to make my own ePortfolio, given that I got a new job in the ePortfolio studio. But I had no clue where to start. Even after having an appointment with one of the assistants that works in the office, I still had no motivation to really start working on one. I’m hoping that the 23 Things program will really help get me more involved in my workplace, and give me more motivation to continuously update my ePortfolio.

My thoughts on Old Dominion University’s Social Media Guidelines for Staff, Students, and Researchers

I didn’t know that ODU had a physical page dedicated to what you can and can’t have on a social media page. ODU’s guidelines are to make sure that any account affiliated with the university upholds the reputation that ODU has. The guidelines are in place because ODU wants to make sure that anyone looking in to specific colleges, sports teams or clubs affiliated with ODU represent the university in a positive way.

I think that the guidelines that ODU has in place are reasonable, but one of the things that stood out to me was the fact that your profile picture has to be chosen from one of the profile pictures that ODU has given you. It makes sense though, it gives the viewer a sense of unity through all of the various social media pages affiliated with ODU.

This week in our LEAP class, we talked about professionalism. Professionalism the type of behavior you would expect from a professional person or like how you would act in a professional situation. This includes showing up on time for work and treating other people with respect. Learning about professionalism will help me in my job at ePortfolio because it helps me to remember to treat everyone, clients, assistants, and supervisors alike, with respect to help make the ePortfolio studio a safe and comfortable space. This also helps me in other job like situations by helping me to treat everyone in any situation with respect.

This week in our LEAP class we went to a meeting at the Alumni Center on campus about health insurance, where we learned what a deductible is, what the most typical insurance plans look like, and different benefits that each plan or insurance provider might have. We also looked at what type of plan might pertain to a specific person. This meeting did not give me much useful information for the job that I currently hold in the ePortfolio studio. In light of all the information that was given to us in the meeting, I will be able to make more wise decisions about my health insurance and benefits in the future.

This week in the LEAP 1 course, we finished our discussions about resumes and how to make them presentable, mainly what not to include in resumes, such as photographs, any personal information about yourself other than contact information, negative words, or an objective that says what you want. This doesn’t directly apply to what I do at ePortfolio, however, it will help me in the future when I’m creating new resumes for future jobs I may want to apply for. After this session of the LEAP course, I immediately went and edited my resume to look more professional, in terms of what we learned in class. You can find my updated resume under the “resume” tab.