One day I heard that inspiration comes to you the minute you feel passionate about something. I have always thought that numbers were not my thing, that I had to work really hard to understand them, so when I started High School I decided I will conquer the way math works. After weeks and weeks of extra practice of equations, imaginary numbers, natural numbers, fractions, geometry and more, it became a logical and a known road to answer math quizzes. From that date, whenever numbers are involved in my life I have the need to answer the riddle, to find out what is the result of those numbers, I just have a satisfaction when they make sense.
So, hearing someone talk passionately about the importance of numbers disguised as data, made me realize the reason I love numbers. The speaker for this third session didn’t like numbers, but I think the reason she, Adriana Gil Miner, works with them is because thanks to numbers represented as data we can make sense of our digital lives. During this session I learned four basic things about big data:
- It makes sense when we have it in a specific context and we can compare it with humanist concepts.
- Social Media is free because it is getting personal and value information from its users in the same way.
- Privacy is a matter of concern when you use social media, the little letters in the terms of agreement may engage ourselves in more than we are ready to.
- As COMMLeaders it is important to understand the importance of big data, how it reflects human behavior and how it can be useful and harmful at the same time.
I believe that as digital media learners/experts is our liability to have a responsible digital image and awareness of the implication of being online. I know that our world is currently ran by the language of business, and that creating engaging content for digital platforms will not be enough if there’s not revenues or return of investments, so the importance of big data in this sense. But I must say that even though I love numbers, numbers will lose their meaning if at the end of the day they transform only in currency, and not in the possibility to encounter real human behavioral change. Why is this relevant? Well, because I think data creates the space where human connections face each other in a digital network allowing any kind of communication and change possible. I ended the class with the feeling that numbers (big data) mean so much more than money or incomprehensive concepts, they give us the ability to understand (a little bit more) our behavior as humans.