Equity Unbound

The video that I have chosen to contribute to equity unbound is “How your phone is changing you”. It illustrates some mind blowing facts about how addiction to mobile phones can affect their users physically and mentally.

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Soliya Reflection

In this post, I am going to reflect on my one-month experience as a participant in the Soliya program. This shall be done through 1-illustrating the way in which I believe soliya is different from the other communication platforms that I am enrolled in; 2- Showing what I have learned about myself in digital communication; 3- Suggesting what I think would improve face to face and online communication modes.

 

To begin with, I believe that Soliya can be distinguished from other online platforms I use in many ways. For instance, in other platforms such as facebook or twitter, the user chooses whom to add, follow, and receive feed and messages from. Soliya on the other hand assigns users randomly with people from different places around the globe with different perspectives. In addition, Soliya provides higher security standards to its users than other platforms. The presence of a facilitator regulates the conversation and ensures that everything is in the right order, prevents cyberbullying and encourages participants to share their beliefs honestly. Also in Soliya, the participants cannot easily reach each other without approval. I remember in the last session when the facilitator asked us if we are comfortable to share our emails with each other. Hence, it is safe to say that discussions over soliya are safer than social media platforms.

 

Another point to be discussed is what I have learned about myself during the experience. Participating in Soliya have pointed out my ability to listen and emphasize with people that have different perspectives and ideas .I found myself able to understand people’s different backgrounds and the reason behind their opinion in certain topics, even when I had totally opposite opinions. Moreover, encountering such a wide spectrum of opinions gave me extra insight about different topics, which helped me contribute more to the discussions. I was glad to find many of the participants convinced and appreciative of my opinion about some topics, especially the ones I had to represent the image of Egypt or the Middle East in general.

 

Finally, I would like to share my suggestions to foster face-to-face and online communication modes. I believe that there are common values that should be encouraged in all channels of communication no matter what they are. These values include giving full attention, listening carefully to what the different sides have to share, and then responding with ultimate respect.

Other values to be encouraged are diversity and honesty. Only when different sides are able to share their minds openly regardless of their differences will a conversation be rich and deep enough to reach a resolution.

For improving online communication modes, I believe that soliya is applying a good strategy when it comes to asking for approval in order to share personal information. However, I find obligating users to have their cameras on unnecessary.

Do not Track

For this activity I have watched

1-Like Mining: This video explains how can your likes and activities on Facebook and other social media platforms could be used by several parties to make money. What I found informative about this video is that a user’s data could not be just revealed to these companies, but also very deeply analyzed to interpret behavior, even better than humans would do it (as claimed by the video). An interesting part in this video was when a financial company CEO stated that he can use social media activities to assess the reliability of customers in returning loans. This leaves me with a question: Does that suggest the possibility of having people manipulating their accounts (or even creating fake ones) in a manner that would guarantee their loans?!

https://episode3.donottrack-doc.com/en/

2-The Spy in my pocket: This video shows how cell phones are used in making target ads through location tracking. The speaker shows that she has 50 applications on her phone, 37 of which requires her location in order to function.  These applications would collect the users’ data, track their movement and send targeted ads based on where they are, places that they go to frequently, and places they have been to before. The weird fact that I learned from this video is that even flashlights has access to where users are through UDID, which is an identity number specific to each phone in the world. Data related to the UDID would be then collected and sent to tons of advertising companies who would use them to bombard the users’ feed with products.

https://donottrack-doc.com/en/episode/4

 

 

 

Fake News

The activity that helped me learn the most about fake news  is the “The Truth Behind The NASA Girl” video. I found the video very interesting and funny, especially that she did not even try to convince anybody that she is actually going to NASA, she went viral because people wanted to believe her which is a mind blowing, totally different side of looking at why fake news could be easily spread.

Link to the video is provided below.

Final Draft Egyptian Athletes Game

 

We are doing a game to shed a light on the difference in the treatment, status, and opportunities offered, between two athletes, one who plays football, and the other who plays wrestling. As football is the most well-known, and of interest to the people who lives in Egypt, other sports are usually not as fairly treated as football. Therefore, if you come to play our game, you will be first given the choice to step in the shoes of either, a football player, or a wrestler. After that, we will take you on a trip of exploring 20 different scenarios, one while you are a footballer and the other while you are a wrestler, and by that, you come to realize the difference between the lives of the two athletes in Egypt.

The link to the game:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1bTAWQHiuw-0ECfT6jAcbgy2uRAHdFI-5A8rMyXu_QNs/edit#slide=id.p

We have changed a few things since the first draft. We added a few newer scenarios, added more links, fixed a few slides that were not linked correctly, and finally, linked the whole game together in the sense that when you play, you experience the 20 scenarios in one round, or turn.

The link to the first draft:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1wAGH8N551htKZfvcmRmJ1Kz2PuqnOjgLbZlD8ImHKgY/edit?fbclid=IwAR2Ytld9-oL2kCu77CZXWg_WzgEf9zxBpIPCzze3EGVHmnR7Yt_ub5a-jSA#slide=id.p

 

If I had more time I would have added more complicated scenarios and interviewed real athletes who suffer from these problems to make the game more realistic.

 

The most meaningful part of this game to me was exploring the suffering of the really hard working and talented Egyptian athletes who deserve much better treatment.