Lisa Silvestri, assistant professor at Gonzaga University, presented research from her book, “Friended at the Front: Social Media in the American War Zone,” on April 20, 2017. Her presentation was part of the annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media, sponsored by K-State’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.
Silvestri described a diagram referencing imagination, interpretation and contemplation, which she said overlap and are critical to life. She referred to the term “field discipline” and how soldiers in the field listen to and for their enemy. She encouraged the audience to listen with a sense of understanding and communicating, adding how crucial it is in life to treat everyone they encounter this way. The world would be very different if everyone followed that principle, Silvestri said, and emphasized that as civilians we can make an effort to understand and comprehend issues within the military community. It’s not about serving others, but about seeing yourself in kinship with them.
Following the lecture, a focus group discussion was sponsored by the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs with topics including military culture, the effects of social media and the loss of written history caused in part to the rise in everyday social media use. The panelists focused on how social media has affected today’s soldier compared to the pre-social media era. The issues facing today’s military in times of deployment often involve tactical awareness and troop safety, as well as complex and challenging social media situations that arise ahead of military policy.
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K-State News Release