The topics of “post-truth” and “networks (digital and real-world networks)” were some interesting topics we covered in class this week. Perhaps, the main reason to why I found them interesting was because they were topics I’ve never dove deep into for analysis. Not surprisingly, I found them to be interesting and worth learning about. As I learned from class and by myself, post-truth is a real thing that is now part of the web in 2019. Simply put, its meaning can be interpret something like this: something might be true for an individual (their perspective), rather than a general fact; it is less influential in shaping public opinion because it appeals more to emotion and personal belief. Today, we find this concept in the web, especially in sites like Youtube or Facebook. These are site where people have the freedom to freely comment, say, or argue whatever they believe in. This is the case because such sites are intended to be used for a casual setting, rather than a professional one. In a professional setting, normally arguments are backed up research an sources, which are later cited. This way, any factual information that someone might sharing can be proven and gain credibility. However, in a casual setting, such idea goes out the window, and this means that there is more space for personal opinion and less facts with comments, posts, or even arguments that are found in these sites.
This brings us to question another factor which we covered in class this week: is everything we find in the internet credible? This could be a double edge sword. For starters, we are now living in an age where we have trained our minds to only see things are factual, if they have credibility (this includes sources from research or experiments). This is mostly because only such methods can come close to proving and arguments. On the other hand, it is hard to accept an argument by someone online, who as no credible sources. The reason for this is because we come to believe that such person might be basing their argument on personal opinion and what they perceive to be truth. And just because they perceive something does not make it right factual, as we are used to truth more data collected research. The problem with this constant need to only accept something as factual if they have credible sources, is also a bit of a problem. Why you may ask? Well, let’s be considerate here on the possibility of someone who doesn’t have credible sources on being correct about an argument. The possibilities are still there. And completely ignoring them, just because there was no research behind the claim or argument, doesn’t mean it should be cast aside. If we do this, we are only limiting our possibilities on finding more accurate data and information.
The other topic we covered this week was that of network, both in the real world and in a digital space (online). To be honest, this one caught me by surprise, mainly because when I think of networks, I directly think of the web and online spaces. Maybe my mind has been programmed by such an idea, due to been exposed to the internet for so many years of my life. The obvious digital networks that came to mind when touching this subject was websites like Youtube, Facebook, Twittter, Instagram, and a few other popular (2019) social media sites. But then, the second part of this topic we covered was about networks in the real world. At first I was mentally frozen, and even questioned my thought with a simple “Wait, what? Networks in the real world?” Then I realized that such thing was more than a possibility. Why does a network only has to be digital to begin with? In fact, why does it even have to be limited to only these two? I quickly started to think about how would a network work in the world, and I found it would be in a similar but just different way. So, the first thing I used as example was my school. As I puzzled it together, my school (Kean University) had all the qualities to be a network. It had a function, a connected community, constant interaction between the members, it was alive in a sense, and if a piece of this network was missing or broken, there would be changes or consequences to the flow of the network. I felt so good to have figured this out. My joy was such that I even used the idea for another of my homework assignments that same day.
Overall, this was an interesting week learning and expanding my knowledge with activities that challenged me critically and analytically. They were fun activities for sure, and got me to think about these topics in various ways that I had never done before. Thanks to this, I have gained a deeper understanding of both “post-truth” and “networks”.