My name is Meagan Speich, and I am a junior at Wesleyan College. I grew up in Southern Maine, but moved to Georgia when I was thirteen. Going to school in Georgia was a lot different than going to school in Maine, especially since I was put in advanced math classes, my worst subject, and wasn’t allowed in advanced English classes, my best subject. However, I’m oddly thankful that I did move to Georgia, which I never thought I would say, because it led me to going to Wesleyan, which opened doors I didn’t know existed.
As someone who grew up alongside the rapid development of modern technology, I have always been hyperaware of the nature of social media and the Internet. My own experiences on the Internet from a young age have greatly influenced the way I use it as an adult. I make myself aware of things like big data and online privacy violations in order to be safe and educated about my actions, but my awareness changed when I took a Digital Culture course this semester.
In my Digital Culture course, I learned about more than just social media; I learned about algorithms and the ways they enforce racism, how social media and the Internet have become tools for protests, and how corporations such as Facebook reinforce genocidal movements. This course encouraged the intersection of humanities, specifically English, and technology. Through reading authors like Zeynep Tufekci, Corey Doctrow, and Safiya Noble, our class was able to look at common modern day issues and discuss causes and solutions from a humanities perspective.
This course has only reinforced my interest and passion for understanding the Internet and its users. This course also led me to becoming a HASTAC Scholar, which I plan to use as a place to express my interests in the Internet and social media. With HASTAC, I hope to both learn and educate others on certain aspects of the Internet and social media. I hope to make connections with fellow scholars and learn from them as well.
In the future, I hope to pursue my graduate degree and continue my education in English. Both my experiences at Wesleyan College and as a HASTAC Scholar will further my growth to achieve my goals to become a writer, editor, and educator.