Monday in class, we debated the article titled “Your Phone Was Made By Slaves: A Primer on the Secret Economy”, which in summary described how the cheap smart phone technology we use in America is manufactured overseas using slave labor. There were two sides to the debate: our side, which defended the use of slave labor technology, and the opposing side, which suggested we switch to companies that don’t use slave labor.
In the debate, I contributed to my team by promoting ideas and taking notes on the opposing side’s opening statement. When we were coming up with our rebuttal, I suggested we talked about how if America were to boycott slave labor technology manufacturers that another group of consumers would just take our place and continue to support these companies. I also read off the key points the opposing group made in their opening statement to my team and highlighted what we should focus on in our rebuttal.
Besides opinions, some factual evidence my group used to respond to the opposing group’s rebuttal was: that Nokia (which they suggested America should support) hasn’t put out a widely-used smart phone in almost ten years, and that since slavery is institutionalized in countries like the ones that are producing our technology, if everyone everywhere were to stop supporting the slave labor technology manufacturers that the companies would just move their business to a different consumer product. Our rebuttal in conclusion was that supporting one non-slavery company would be detrimental, and that if we stopped buying slave labor technology that the manufacturers would just switch to different products and produce them with slave labor.
All in all, I really agree with my groups position on this ethical issue. Although it is a tragedy that slave labor is used to create cheap smart phone technology, there is no one specific way that we could stop the usage of slave labor. I believe that Americans wouldn’t want to buy from non-slave labor companies that would likely cost more for technology, and that if slave labor wasn’t used for technology manufacturing, that the slave labor would just move to another product. I thought the opposing views evidence lacked a real resolution, besides purchasing smart phone technology from one slave labor free manufacturing company.
My digital footprint is most present in the websites I frequently use and contribute the most content are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr. On Twitter, I don’t post or retweet that much, I just look at my followers content or favorite it. I mostly scroll down my timeline and look at my Twitter feed for entertainment. On Facebook, I post moderately and like other peoples posts on a regular basis. For me, Facebook is where I share the most about myself. On Instagram, I post very rarely and mostly look at other peoples photos and occasionally like them. Lastly, on Tumblr, I scroll through my dashboard very often and reblog a lot of photos, sometimes uploading my own.
For Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I use my own name for my profile. Yet, on Tumblr, I do not associate my real name with my Tumblr url or my profiles name. I keep my Tumblr anonymous. This is because I use my Tumblr the most out of all social media and use it to express my emotions that I don’t necessarily want other people seeing.
My levels of participation on these sites reflect who I am in certain ways. For example, I use Tumblr a lot, but not under my real name, so that I can reblog photos/text posts/videos that I feel represent me without fearing other people seeing what I’m sharing on my account. Using my Tumblr a lot, but anonymously reflects that I want to keep my true emotions and posts private to myself without people I personally know seeing them.
My level of participation on Instagram and Twitter is little to none. I used to use both a lot back in my senior year of high school, but since I got to college, i find mindless posting for “likes” and “retweets” doesn’t appeal to me anymore. My little amount of participation implies that I don’t really care if other people are liking or retweeting what I post, and that I don’t feel pressured to get on the “bandwagon” of competitive social media. I feel like what I post should be designed for me, which is why I post so much on my Tumblr under a different name.
However, I do use Facebook a lot more now than I used to. I didn’t use it significantly in high school, but since I got to college I think it’s a good platform for me to stay connected with my friends and find out information from the activities I’m involved in at Mary Washington. I use Facebook mainly to post about myself and be a part of groups on Facebook, such as my sorority here at UMW called Alpha Mu Sigma. My active participation on Facebook shows how I want to stay in contact with people and keep up to date with whats happening in my social activities at UMW.
Twitter and Instagram probably think little of me, considering I’m not “social media famous” on any of them, and have an average amount of followers/friends/likes on my posts and profiles just like another person. However, on Facebook I have a significant amount of friends and use the site to chat with friends, so Facebook must think of me as an avid participant. On Tumblr, I post very frequently and always have the app open on my phone and computer, so Tumblr must think that I’m an active user as well.
I googled myself, and the first thing that came up was my Facebook profile. Then, my Youtube channel, my name as my high school’s newspaper editor on their website, my name in the white pages, and lastly, my UMW domain, sarasciulla.com. When I searched for my name on Facebook, my profile was the first to come up. This isn’t surprising though, because there aren’t a lot of people on Facebook with the last name “Sciulla”.