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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

EDITORIAL: Giving social media its due

Published: September 11, 2009
Section: Front Page

Yesterday marked the beginning of the two-day conference entitled “TMI: Social Justice in the Age of Facebook.” Despite this event succumbing to the regrettably overused “social justice” naming convention that permeates all events on campus, this is just the sort of academic event that truly benefits all members of campus.

To begin, it’s great to have a discussion of technology that transcends the more obvious technology will save us or destroy us dichotomy. As any student who has wasted away in front of a Facebook newsfeed can undoubtedly attest, technology neither saves us nor destroys us. It does something much more profound. It creates a new world for us to live in.

Bringing scholars and professionals together from different fields and different institutions and pairing them with the perspectives of young people is an amazing way for our community to engage in a discussion of one the most important influences in our lives.

The speakers posed some questions some of us have tackled already and many others that were new.

Perhaps the most exciting component of the conference is the student challenge, which invited students to twitter and blog during the event. Many events on campus are of interest to students, but provide no way for students to contribute in a meaningful fashion.

It is only fitting that a conference emphasizing the participatory aspect of this technology is an event that allows for an unprecedented amount of involvement.