#DigCiz: Making Comics as Keyhole for Thinking

Earth Responds

I’ve been trying my best to engage in discussions about “citizenship” and digital identity and more with the #DigCiz work now underway (see the schedule and join in the discussions). And I have appreciated all of the chatter and the debate (the word ‘citizen’ has sparked a lot of pushback).

I’ve also been on a comic kick each day before heading off to work. I’ve been mostly using my “slow-watching” of the video hangouts each morning to gather ideas for a daily comic. It’s my way to paying attention to what others are writing and saying, and then filtering my thoughts through what I hope is a humorous (although sometimes, sarcastic, but hopefully, never mean) lens of comics.

Echo chamber pop

Here are some comics from the past week, and some thoughts behind them as I process the #DigCiz discussion points:

Unrealistic expectations

This comic came about from thinking in terms of how we expect our various social media platforms to be more and to do more than they are designed to be and do. In some ways, our expectations are unrealistic, and then we are disappointed. This is not to say that Twitter and Facebook and others can’t do more than they are doing (particularly around policing the hate), but I think we also need to cognizant of the reality. But if Twitter wants to vacuum the house? I’m OK with that.

Outside looking in

I hesitated on posting this one. I didn’t want it to become a harsh critique of the discussion and folks behind the discussions, folks I admire and enjoy engaging with. But I was wondering how others could be invited in, too, since the #DigCiz crowd seems very University-based, and already a close network of people.

Who owns what

Again, who owns the platform? We often think we, the user, is in charge, but the reality is the flip — the platforms often own us, and our data, and our information. Why? Notice the dollar sign? That’s why.

Ideal social media user (company perspective)

This was one of my favorites of the last week or so. I think it was an effective look at how corporations are using our children as click-bait for advertising, and how the interactive features of technology allow for such easy access, and easy sharing of data and privacy and more. Young people are vulnerable!

What the Kids Say

And yet … there’s something pure and loving about young people, too, and perhaps we need to pay attention to that notion of play and compassion and collaboration when thinking of how we adults can interact.

When Google is your teacher

There was a link someone shared that I followed about a new Google site for teaching digital citizenship, and I found it strangely ironic, given how much Google taps into our what we do with our time to target us for advertising (and making gazillions of profit as a result). The adblock question in the second frame still cracks me up.

Citizens of the world

Here is the crux of one conversation: how do we help people see their online selves as part of the larger world and move beyond the “follow” into action in their own worlds? Or do we? There was a strand of talk about how people have the right not to engage in the public sphere, too, and that true citizenship, if that’s even the right word, is voluntary and meaningful, not forced.

Listen to the writing

Listen more. Yell less. That’s an idea.

Peace (framed and skewered),

  1. I love your comics. They really get to the root of conversations and make me think. And they’re never mean.

  2. Thanks Kevin. As usual your comics and articles are great at capturing the conversation and highlighting key points.

    Two questions were embedded above (1) how do we draw more people into the on-line space; and (2) how do we help people see their online selves as part of the larger world and move beyond the “follow” into action in their own worlds?

    We started the “who’s here and who’s not” conversation last year, but other than occasional blips where it surfaces, not many are really focusing on this…or the questions you’re raising.

    Or, maybe millions are focusing on these issues, but we’ve just not found them yet in the on-line universe.

  3. The comics focus the ideas so we can consider the implications. So much to consider. And Daniel’s right about Who’s in and who’s not. Yet, each person makes choices for where they’re in or not. But how do we help the world be accepting of differences? If this conversation expanded — would we build one world, where each can be uniquely and voluntarily cooperating – without discrimination of differences? How do we stop labeling?How can we build a better world-together?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *