Last February, I blogged about the Internet meme “David After the Dentist” and tried to frame the video in the context of media literacy and digital identity. Almost 6 months and 30 millions views later, Rocketboom has put together a short but detailed history of the meme that includes a description of its origin through “user error”, an overview of remixes and parodies, ties to the culture of childhood fame/ridicule, monetization of the meme, and David’s personal story. The short video is worth watching, and I do believe it is important that we better understand how and why media spread, and the resulting effects of Internet fame, especially upon our youth.
Earlier today, I sent a tweet describing the contrast between teachers I have worked with who are afraid to use social media for fear of “Internet Predators” vs. many Iranian citizens who use social media with the realization that they may face direct punishment, imprisonment, or death sentence. Now, I just noticed a video from Rocketboom that supports this important idea and describes some of the perils faced by those that blog for freedom, social justice, and for an end to oppression.
Please help your students and colleagues understand how privileged they are to be able to express their thoughts and ideas, through social media or otherwise, freely and without fear of penalty.
I was recently interviewed by Sheila Coles of the Morning Edition about Twitter. We talked about some of the implications of Twitter for teaching, learning, and privacy. The full interview is available here.
Also related, Rocketboom has done a recent segment on “The Twitter Global Mind” and it’s definitely worth watching. My favourite quote from the piece: “Twitter currently controls the most contemporary thought stream humanity has ever seen.”