September 25, 2013

Difficult Conversations 1 When Social Network Gets Nasty: Destructive Communication on Social Network Sites
Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Multicultural Center, WIU Macomb Campus
Description: The Difficult Conversations series brings students, faculty, and staff together to discuss challenging issues based on both real and perceived differences. The September conversation, the first of four conversations scheduled for the 2013-2014 academic year, will focus on mediated communication options such as social network sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and texting. Online, some people seem to post just about anything without realizing the full range of the audience that might view their opinions, vents, and rants. These assumptions can lead to behaviors that many people might avoid in “polite company”: racist or sexist comments, bullying, information or images that used to be considered shameful or embarrassing. What might seem to be acceptable or expected behavior for the audience that we imagine is viewing our posts could turn out to be a big problem for the audience that is actually viewing our posts.

Dr. Bree McEwan of the WIU Communication Department will provide a framework for this Difficult Conversations' small group discussions, addressing the implications of harmful messages and over-sharing on social media. She will help us raise questions about when and why people are more likely to engage in aggressive online behaviors and the ramifications for both senders and receivers of these messages—questions like: How do we decide what is appropriate to share online? Are we aware of the audiences that might view our online messages? What can we do when someone else is being hurtful online? How can we consider our own communication with others more thoughtfully?

Faculty, students, and staff are all welcome and encouraged to attend. Registration is not required. Light refreshments will be served.
Contact Information:
 Debra Miretzky
 Phone: 309-298-1528
Source: Multicultural

Western Illinois University
1 University Circle * Macomb, IL 61455
Phone: 309/298-1414 * E-mail
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