Major Studio 1: Twitter Gender Test
For my Major Studio Final, I wanted to explore the domains of Social Media(Twitter), Gender Politics, Misogyny and Education. My goal was to create a tool to educate/prepare young internet users on the content found online.
- How might we improve the way we introduce discussions of gender politics online?
- How might we better prepare new internet users (young children) on the ethics of social communication and biases?
Concept Statement: I propose to create an online gender test to encourage open discussion on how we place gender roles and stereotypes on twitter.
Before I began building the test, I created paper prototypes in order to user test. I printed out answer sheets for subjects to use when attempting to guess the gender of the tweet I would show on the laptop. Each tweet had zero indications of identity (i.e Twitter handle and photo avatar). After a couple rounds of 10 sets of questions, I had a better idea of the direction I was going in. My test subjects ranged from native English speakers to non-native speakers.
The results of the user testing were exactly what I had imagined. Zero percent of the subjects scored above 50% of the questions correctly. Following the quiz, for every answer, I asked each of them to explain to me why it wasn’t the opposite sex from what they had filled out on the answer sheet. Every answer had some sort of gender bias/double standard characteristic attached to it. The subjects expressed how unaware they were of how they interpreted tweets and what gender implications they subconsciously added to words and use of emojis.
There are two target audiences groups: Students ages 12+ (Curriculum would create content appropriate per age group/class) and Educators/Teacher or Parents.
Conclusion + Future Iterations
After presenting and listening to the criticism delivered during the final review, I went back to the drawing board to think about how I see this project blossoming. Focusing this project on Twitter was just what I needed to start exploring. This project has put me on a path that has now led me towards education. Cyber Ed, similar to sex ed and drivers ed, is where I want to continue exploration and design. I want this to turn into a full curriculum on educating and introducing young teens to the virtual world that is cyberspace
Cyber Ed will live on an online platform with an interface and aesthetic that resembles that of a social media platform. It will be inviting for the students in hopes to keep them engaged and attentive while consuming the importance of the content being taught. The entire learning process will be interactive and instructors will be provided with a teacher’s manual on how to guide students through different levels, activities and complex questions they will potentially asked. The curriculum will teach students the history of the cyberspace, online communities, its vast development periods and future projections. Online ethics, etiquette and behavior will play a vital role in the curriculum. I believe that people do not properly prepare themselves for the potential emotional and psychological effects that cyber engagement brings upon. Cyber Ed will encourage everyone to stay up to date on how social media and the internet affects us.