Social media primer for people who are blind or partially sighted
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Social media primer for people who are blind or partially sighted

Jennison: Social media is a set of tools,
such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and some of the other stuff like YouTube which really allow us as, as people, to create content that can be viewed by our friends or complete strangers. And what makes it so social is there’s an aspect of interactivity so if I post something on Facebook for example, my friends can react to it. Or if I post a YouTube video, people can, can like it or dislike it. So that’s what social media is. Debbie: Social media is definitely one of the
best ways to connect people with people. Jennison: There’s so many people on Facebook,
and so many people on LinkedIn, and so many people on Twitter. I think if we want as blind and visually impaired people if we want to kind of be counted and, and part of the dialogue that happens in daily life, I think it’s important for us to choose.
You don’t have to be on all of them, but choose a social medium and get on there. Whether it’s communicating with your friends or building your professional network or even tweeting to the world whether it’s about your experiences as someone who is blind or low vision or either if you have a particular passion such as the AODA or blind sports. There’s, there’s, there’s, for everyone that’s out there that has an interest, there’ll always be an audience. So social media has been,
has definitely been used effectively by, by customers to, to get things to happen. The examples I always think about is um, when airlines, when they screw up, if there’s a late delayed flight you’ll always see on Twitter that particular airline being brought out for public, for public whipping if
they’re not getting information. The airlines are very quick to, to react. Because that’s all in the public domain. Debbie: When you have vision loss, you could be in a room with many people that you know well but you don’t know that they’re there. So social media is a big connector for everybody. It really benefits people who are blind and have low vision. It’s not for everyone. Um, for myself, I am naturally a, a networking person so it was easy for me to, to start using it. Although, when I started thinking about how I came to use social media they were all, they weren’t me jumping into it. It was because a friend of mine invited me to join LinkedIn. And so I decided to, because it was someone
I trusted, I decided to check it out. I didn’t go there knowing what it is, but I’ve been using LinkedIn since 2006 and it’s become an important part of my professional growth and, and, and networking and all that good stuff. You need to really uh, want, and want to go and try these things out. So for example – LinkedIn, if you’re looking for work or if you already have a job and you want to be able to showcase what your strengths are to your current colleagues and to potentially new colleagues in a new role, that’s one place you’d go to, to do that. And you can network with people you used to work with, and people you currently work with, etcetera etcetera. It’s all about building your professional network. Facebook, on the other hand, is all about friends and friendships. Whether those are friends you grew up with that you lost touch with, or friends you have now, or family. So if, if you’re looking to stay in touch with your friends and family, that’s, Facebook is, is an interesting venue for, for that. Daniel: There are aspects that are informational-driven. So there’s information that’s presented to you. Um, and then there’s the other you know, level, So if you’re a, a job seeker, the difference
between a resume online and a resume in person is that a resume in person is, is a piece of paper. Um the job, uh, the person interviewing you is maybe going to go over it and you know, ask you questions about what they see in the, on the resume. Whereas if you’re on a site like LinkedIn, not necessarily a resume per se, but what it allows the recruiter to do is to maybe take a look at all the interactivity you’ve had with other people. Um, so it would, you know, if you say, if you claim you’re an expert at something, people might endorse you for that. Or people might give you a reference for that, right? Whereas if, if you’re, you’re going, you’re just using a paper copy of a resume, you’re not going to get that. While the focus of a lot of social media conversation is on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, I did want to point out that there are other social mediums, medium, is it?, out there to um, to explore. So you don’t, you don’t have to feel like you need to use Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to be part of the social space. I find a lot of uh, blind and low vision folks use blogs to kind of tell their story. And um, talk about what their lives are like um, I know there’s um, the Blind Food Critic, has, has a blog where he talks about uh, things, and from a video perspective there’s, there’s YouTube. He’s a bit of a sensation on YouTube – his name is the Blind Film Critic – and he talks about movie reviews, he’s blind himself,
but he also talks about life in general.

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