The Internet, Social Media and Us: Risks and Rewards Dinner and Discussion for Older Lesbians 16 February 2019

The Internet, Social Media and Us: Risks and Rewards Dinner and Discussion for Older Lesbians 16 February 2019

Dinner and Discussions for Older Lesbians got off to a flying start with the first session of our special Media project. Twenty-six women were present. We enjoyed delicious Thai food organised by Kel as a big change from our ‘bring a plate’ format. As always women enjoyed meeting new participants and old friends, chatting and catching up while enjoying the feast. Feedback indicated the importance of this aspect of Dinner and Discussion evenings.

Dr Justine Humphry is a Lecturer in Digital Cultures in the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney. Her students are very fortunate to have such and enthusiastic and engaging lecturer. There was total engagement from the audience and Justine capably answered the many questions from her deep knowledge of all aspects of social media. It is impossible to give a comprehensive overview of her presentation as the content was so rich and much of it new to many of the women. The feedback expressed delight in the relaxed and informative method of her presentation, which included appropriate slides, and the depth and diversity of her knowledge.

Some of the key points she raised were the developments of technological applications to street furniture. Smart benches powered by solar that you can plug in your device was one of the ideas that is already being implemented in some places. Justine also introduces the Meme-anonymous pictures that travel around the internet being modified by users.

Justine gave a brief overview of the development of social media and the rapid growth since 2000. A small group discussion of which social media we use revealed some women used none while others used several platforms. Facebook use mainly for contact with friends and family was the favourite. One of the main concerns expressed was how to manage and control Facebook and limit the problems. Security was a key issue raised.

The session went over time and could have continued such was the enthusiasm of the audience. Fortunately, this was only the first session of three.

Sylvia Kinder

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