The Grandmother Problem MCO 425 Module 6 Blog

With social media engraved as a part of most peoples every day lives, we see that these social platforms serve different functions for different users. There are those family and friends who haven’t really picked up on the whole “social” aspect of social media and simply snoop or lurk in the distance with their accounts. On the opposite side of the spectrum we encounter those family members or friends who seem to share too much or share content that is simply not truth.

On our pursuit to become digitally literate, the ladder social media sharing personality stands out. As we become more digitally literate, our responsibility to educate others is magnified. How do you deal with a friend or family member that is constantly sharing false information online? Can we educate in a manner that promotes awareness rather than detour unaware excessive misinformation sharers?

We find some excellent guidelines on the best approach to educating such types of social media sharers in an article presented in module five. Titled What To Do If Older People In Your Life Are Sharing False Or Extreme Content, BuzzFeed News staff writer Craig Silverman gives a road map on this educating process.  Silverman opens up by explaining that “The challenge is to handle the situation in a way that works and doesn’t fray intergenerational relationships.”

There should be special attention paid to the fact that with different generations come different perspectives. Silverman also suggests that we should begin the process by being non confrontational. This stance will be most productive to facilitating meaningful discussion and hopefully enlightenment. The article gives a great suggestion of “helping to provide context.” Many times people share not knowing the context of the content they are sharing. Helping friends or family members see the big picture can open that users eyes to look deeper into content before sharing it.

Another suggestion we can leave to those in our life sharing false or extreme content is to fact check before sharing. In the article Silverman suggest the simple tactic of getting friends or family members to “Google News It.” Seeing the article from other perspectives and seeing what others have to say on the content can often shed light on incredibility.

In summary, when dealing with friends or family that may share false or extreme content, it is important to start the discussion in a non confrontational manner. The reality is that many generations have different levels of media literacy. As we ourselves become more and more media literate, it is our duty to share that knowledge and promote media literacy within our own circles and beyond.

Francisco Healy