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Starbucks: A Company Above the Rest

It has just been announced that Starbucks will be raising their starting pay to $15 an hour. This has been a longtime demand by employees of the company as staffing issues have increased across the country at a time where demand has continued to rise (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/27/starbucks-hikes-wages-will-hit-15-an-hour-in-2022.html).

Many employers like Target, Chipotle, and even McDonald’s have raised their starting wage to $15 an hour which has added a lot of pressure on the coffee chain. However, Starbucks has always offered amazing benefits, which has somewhat allowed them to get away with lower wage. These benefits include the SCAP program which covers the cost of tuition for ASU online students, free Spotify premium, Lyra – a mental health and therapy program, and the option to hold stock in the company.

Starbucks baristas making beverages
https://content-prod-live.cert.starbucks.com/binary/v2/asset/137-42700.jpg

While these benefits already set Starbucks apart from competitors, them deciding to raise their pay really puts them in a great position to gain a strong and eager workforce again. Along with baristas starting at $15/hr., they’ve also decided to reward long time partners for their commitment to the siren. Partners who have been employed for two or more years will see a 5% raise, and those with over five years will see up to a 10% increase. They are also keeping the same percentage different between baristas and shift supervisors the same at 27% according to this article by Marie Rossiter.

As you may have gathered, I myself am a fellow partner at Starbucks and could not be happier with the company. In the most unbiased view I can take, I feel like they are doing a great job in listening to us baristas who have the most firsthand experience in what goes on at the job. The benefits are some of the best of any company and that’s really what is allowing me to continue as a student here at Arizona State University. Now add in our wages being increased next year, this can only show that they really do hear us and listen to our input. This post has also made me realize I do not have any other photos of my job or of myself working and that I really need to try and capture some because they will make great memories for me in the future.

Thank you for reading my post this week, I hope it was informative and interesting and you will look forward to the next one.

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Post #1 – Why is Media Creation Critical to Media Literacy?

I feel as though media creation is important to media literacy because in our fast-paced world, we must continue to create to become more literate. Society advances every single day, especially in technology and our internet capabilities. This leads to more and more ways to utilize media and create amazing things in the world, as well as more opportunities for harm to be done. But overall, it’s a cycle we live in where we continue to become more advanced ourselves in media literacy and gain knowledge.

As stated by the source https://namle.net/resources/core-principles/, “media literacy builds and reinforces skills for learners of all ages.” I think this is such an important point to realize because those who are unfamiliar with media or haven’t had as much experience such as young children or older adults, are so susceptible to harmful areas of media such as scams, hackers, or viruses. Which leads back into why creation can be so critical. We’ve had media created to protect against these harmful things such as Norton Security or McAfee Antivirus, as well as search engines such as Google increasing their measures to protect their users against bad websites or unwanted pop-ups.

As stated earlier, it is so important for users of the internet and those who post their own media are knowledgeable about their rights and ways to protect themselves. Privacy and security have been on my mind more and more ever since taking MCO 425 in session A. I was a person who has always had their social media public, meaning all of my tweets, Instagram posts, Snapchats, etc. have been open for literally anyone to see and after learning more and more about the privacy we have/don’t have online, I wish I had never done this. In fact, I really had wished I could go back and not have posted much at all on top of being more private with my accounts in my younger years. Things on the internet as we know live forever, and I think this is something that is negatively affecting our younger generations because they can be so naive and oblivious to the internet with how they use it which can lead to really more harm than good in their experience. To tie this point back to media creation, I think it would be so beneficial and important for specifically social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, to have a “child mode” or something of that nature. Much like parents can set on YouTube to limit and censor content to children, social media sites should have this ability as well. For example, this video from the site itself is a great resource for parents to use in order to set up parental controls for their kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nf8GTIV4so.

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My Online Privacy and Security

After everything we’ve learned and discussed throughout this course, I am definitely reconsidering everything about how I approach the internet. Specifically, my social media accounts. I have since made all of my social media accounts private accounts because for years I’ve always just had open, public accounts. I now am in control of who follows me and sees what I have to say and post because even if someone is not following you, having a public account means your content is open to the world.

I feel like privacy and security is something that has always been in the back of my mind, but I’ve never fully thought about it or considered the benefits of being as secure as possible. Things on the internet can live forever, including the posts and photos that were uploaded a decade ago and that should not sit right with most people. Just considering the fact that there is likely images of you on Google of when you were a minor or photos you appeared in with your family and friends is enough to make me wish I had always kept tight security on my account. I think a lot of us in this social media era of society were just too young to consider these things and the harm that can come out of it because we were just more concerned with posting to our friends and looking cool in middle school. Like I had mentioned a little bit of in my extra credit assignment, ever since I graduated high school, I wish I had not posted so many pictures and not followed so many people online because the second we all graduated, we didn’t care about each other anymore. In our modern society we overshare so much, and this course has really put that into perspective how unnecessary it all is.

Social media for me is no longer posting what I’m doing or taking selfies as it used to be as I haven’t posted in probably over a year. However, I honestly don’t think I’ll delete my social media accounts anytime soon. My reason for that is so I can keep up with what I have interest in such as sports, certain musicians, and important news, and is no longer about what people I used to know are doing. I do think that if social media stays around for a lot longer that I will end up making brand new accounts with no indication that it is me. I will probably have no profile picture, a randomly generated username, and will likely never post or comment. In the nine or so years I’ve had multiple social media accounts I already feel like I’ve left too much of a footprint online that is of course not reversible. But I do have slight comfort in knowing that I can always private and deactivate my accounts to leave as little trace as possible of what used to be.

Overall, I feel like this was a great course to take to learn about many things we brush over every single day online. Too few of us consider the risks that come with having all of our business and information out in the open for anyone to see and even use. I’m glad I was able to learn some new things and gain new knowledge from the others in this course as to why our privacy online is so vital.

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The Control of our Internet

As we all know, our modern-day society is largely controlled by the internet. It’s where we do our research, how we are taking this class and submitting assignments, talking with our friends and family, managing our funds, and so much more. However, I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to think and realize how much of our internet is controlled and monitored.

After going through last week’s readings and learning materials, what was really shocking to me was learning how only a few tech giants control basically all of the internet. From Amazon to Google, Facebook, and Apple, it’s crazy to think that these powers have so much say over what is allowed online and what we see every day. This has of course led to the general public becoming more aware of their power and grow frustrated with these companies as there is almost that feeling of a digital “big brother” watching over all of us online. I think what bothered me even more than most things was the difference in how much we pay in the United States. On average, people in the United States spend around $61 on their internet bill. Let’s compare that to a few other countries: In Spain and Canada, the average cost is around $50-55, Greece and the UK are around $40, France and Italy are close to $30, and South Korea is only about $20 (https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/internet-costs-compared-worldwide). What makes these stats even more infuriating is that pretty much the only reason the United States is charging your more, is simply because they can. There is little to no competition for them around the world meaning they can really do what they want (https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/2/18/21126347/antitrust-monopolies-internet-telecommunications-cheerleading). In fact, I bet our internet bills could reach upwards of $80 if they really wanted to because who’s going to stop them?

Another topic that was really interesting to me was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) because I felt like it relates to something I interact with almost every day, in the form of Twitch streams. Twitch.tv,(https://www.twitch.tv/) is a livestream service in which various influencers and content creators play video games, react to videos, or any other thing that you’d see on YouTube, just live. On these streams, creators have a live chat where viewers and or followers can interact with each other and the creator themselves and recently Twitch cracked down on what can be said on their website. Streamers and viewers alike have certain words that cannot be said and that will cause punishment such as a suspension or even ban on their account. The CFAA was really interesting to me especially due to its ambiguity because of the fact that streamers may not even realize they can be held accountable for the things their viewers say in their live streams. I personally feel as though they shouldn’t be in this position because there’s no way to know who will enter your stream on any given day and what people will say, and it really could come down to just getting unlucky for these creators. Of course, these streamers have moderators in their chat to limit any bad speech but still, even if someone gets banned or muted from commenting, who’s to say they won’t make another account and come back with more damaging speech. It’s a really tough situation and a law that I feel is much more important than it’s being treated. It should be made absolutely clear with no holes or gaps that could lead to confusion.

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