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  • Writer's pictureDr. Rob Williams

DECEMBER 2019 UPDATES: #OYOME! Own Your Own Media Experience

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

After decades of critical media literacy education (CMLE) work across the world engaged in giving public talks, delivering auditorium keynote addresses, teaching college and university courses, and facilitating catalyst trainings for professionals, I had an opportunity to fulfill a longtime professional desire - spending a full week at the Brearley School for Girls in New York City this month as a "scholar in residence."

What an eye-opening and wonderful experience!

Quick background. We entitled the week #OYOME - Own Your Own Media Experience.

Working with 6th grade and 9th grade students and their families, we took on a four part weeklong challenge, like so:

1. ADDITION: How will you tally (add up) your daily phone/screen use for 5 days?

2. SUBTRACTION: Describe one specific phone/screen reduction strategy you’ll deploy for 5 days?

3. REDUCTION: Charge your phone for 4 nights as far away from your BED/HEAD as possible. Where will you charge your phone?

4. PRODUCTION: In what ways will you document your 5 day #OYOME challenge? (journal, photographs, videos, memes, sketches, poems, etc - #OYOME2019)

I am still processing this remarkable adventure, and will return to Brearley School in early 2020 for a follow up visit and work with the lower school students. Suffice to say, we had a blast, and learned so much, thanks to the school's commitment to prioritizing this vital work.

Topics we explored during #OYOME included: the PROS and CONS of social media, screens, and phones; human sapiens evolution and the importance of nurturing a healthy body, mind, and spirit; the unique "deep history" power of stories in our lives; the very real power of potentially psychologically addictive social validation feedback loops delivered to us via screens, phones, and social media channels; Big Data's end goal - the creation of predictive future behavioral markets; and how we might break free of psychological addiction and harness the power of digital stories to "better" ourselves, our communities, and our world.

The Brearley students came to play, and their sharp, insightful and honest approach made for a fantastic week of conversation and experimentation.

More in 2020!

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