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Stalk Your Professor!

Blog 2- “Stalk Your Professor”

This week’s blog is about the digital presence of my professors Mary Abdoney and Elizabeth Anne Teaff.  Both professors were relatively easy to research on the internet through the typical social media platforms. It was easy to quickly figure out their personal views on politics and positions on things such as women’s rights.

Mary Abdoney was born in Florida in 1977 and attended Plant high school. She is highly educated, attending the University of Florida for undergraduate studies and the University of South Florida for her Masters degree in Library and Information Science.  Professor Abdoney is a fan of Burrito Bros. in Gainesville as is anyone that has had a chance to eat their double wrapped burrito with red sauce. I cannot find many references to the Gator football program, so it is unlikely Professor Abdoney teases Professor Teaff about the Gators destruction of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the 2007 National Championship Game.  Instead, she tends to spend her time and intellectual energy on topics related to libraries, the evils of the Patriarchy and supporting liberal leaning political candidates. She was a huge supporter of Elizabeth Warren for president which seems to tie in perfectly with her apparent political views and position on equal rights. From a tweet that she posted, I believe she supports changing the name of Washington and Lee University. Professor Abdoney is a bit obsessed with cats and enjoys the outdoors. Ned Norland, her husband loves music and enjoys tasting bourbons. I found an address for the couple in Lexington, but I am not sure it is current.

Professor Teaff was born in Ohio in 1974. This self-described quiet and quirky librarian has a very extensive educational background. Professor Teaff had four stops at institutions of higher learning, earning multiple degrees along the way. Her college experience started in 1992 at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and ended in 2006 at the University of South Carolina. Professor Teaff has an usual affinity for spiders which is pretty rare. She votes in democratic primaries and is a supporter of LGBTQ rights. She does not mind experimenting with different hair colors with pink or red seemingly being her preferred dyes. For a self-described quiet person, Professor Teaff has made many friends judging by the number of happy birthday wishes she receives on Facebook. Being born in Ohio, Professor Teaff is a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

It’s a little scary how much you can find out about people in 30 minutes of research.  Addresses are listed in public data bases and most information intended for friends is very public.  I think I will become more cautious on my approach to posting information on myself. What I do not like about the “digital profile” is that people tend to judge others, especially people they do not know well, on what they post on social media. This article (https://bit.ly/2FEwAWU) that we read for class, explains how hard it is to keep your digital footprint under control. People can interpret a post incorrectly and then comment about you which can influence your footprint. Unfortunately, there is no way to fully explain or elaborate on most posts. Therefore, I prefer to discuss issues important to me with my chosen audience so I can explain the reasoning behind my beliefs. I do not mind sharing my beliefs, but I always like to have to opportunity to share why I believe what I do and always like to listen to alternative positions. In my opinion, this approach leads to more thoughtful conversation which seems to be lacking in our society.  I enjoy associating with people from all backgrounds, political and social spectrums and I do not want to be misinterpreted or prejudged by limited information on the internet.

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Day of Web Interactions!

Today I logged all the interactions I had on the internet. It is amazing how many times I used it for educational, personal, and social reasons.  Seeing the total interaction numbers in black and white is almost unbelievable. It’s hard to imagine life without the internet when I touch it roughly 40 times a day. 

I manage my educational life through Canvas which lists all of my classes, assignments and grades. I use this source the most of any, outside of social media. I referred back to Canvas six times today, looking back at particular assignment instructions. Also, in the educational area, was Google search. I was writing a paper on “otherness” and how it affected the case of the Central Park 5 for my writing seminar. Google helped me locate numerous articles on the case and gave me good details of the case that I needed. The last part of the educational internet for the day was using video conferencing (Zoom) for my two online classes. After doing my schoolwork on the internet, I reflected back to an article we read about Digital Redlining. I now realize the benefits and privilege with this access that I have that aren’t available to everyone. https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/digital-redlining-access-and-privacy   

On the communications side of things, I spent a lot of time on Snapchat catching up with my high school friend group that are currently attending other schools. We share pictures and stories of what is happening on each campus. It is incredible to see the difference in how things are run, in the time of COVID, on the campus of state schools versus a small school like W&L.  The state schools are having massive parties often and consequently big outbreaks of the virus are ensuing.

Instagram is probably where I spend most my time and it is for personal fulfillment.  I get immediate gratification seeing stories on what friends are doing in their new environments.  I also used different apps like AJGA Sports to follow the scoring of a junior golf tournament, ESPN’s app to get me up to date on what is happening in the world of college football, and USA Today app to check out the national news scene, including the rioting in Portland. 

There are huge advantages to having information at your fingertips, especially when it comes to research for schoolwork.  I think the downside is that there is a lot of false information floating around and you must be careful to use legitimate sources. It’s crazy to think how hard it was to research things prior to the internet. It’s incredibly powerful to have it available now and I’m not sure my generation can really fully appreciate it. 

I also think the social apps have benefits.  Its nice to stay connected with people close to you and these apps make it super easy to do so. However, I also think there are big downsides to these apps.  First, it is tremendously time consuming to stay up to date with everyone and if you are not constantly checking, you feel as though you are missing out. This makes it extremely hard to enjoy the time and place you are currently in and when starting a new chapter in life.