Making new media make sense – Baym

“Making new media make sense”

While reading this article or chapter, I feel it was very well thought-out. The author’s explanation of the 4 main views of the adaptation and future domestication of new technological sources made sense and was easy to understand. The examples and even visual aids from the New Yorker cartoons help the notion or theme of the views easier to comprehend.

The technological determinism view of new technology and sources he states is when people see the device or machine forcing change onto the society. I can see how this view is so popular with the typical response to change being that of a negativity. It has been stated that most humans are creatures of habit and strive off routines and structure. So therefore, anything that comes along and can change the status quo, allows for people to jump to conclusion, and often focusing on negative ones.

This is a dangerous way to approach things, is there such a fear of being left behind, or having yourself become a victim that one’s mind must reject the good a new technology or innovation may bring? When you look deeper in this view it seems to be the fear one has for change and opportunities of loss that drive this view.

Social construction is the view that people are the main driving force for the technology and seen as the active agent of the change. The movie loosely based off the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook highlighted this phenomenon. In a scene Zuckerberg is questioned with the notion of making money off the newly created platform, to which he is reluctant to as he states that they don’t even truly know what they have yet. Implying the platforms intent was being dictated by its users.

The idea that the users dictate the platform and give the value to the technology is strong. As can be said with the internet as a whole, it is valuable for the information it holds, connections it provides and power it can generate, but all those aspects are fundamentally based off the users, their information, their connections and their power. Without users the technology is dead.

The view that seems to be the best fit is that of social shaping, which sees both the device or innovation and the users as the driving force for change. It acknowledges that the technology is typically a result of a need, and the use is typically the result of society adoption. Much like that of the telephone, the benefits and drawbacks take time to weight and depending on which exceeds the notion over the other it will prevail or fail.

The use of an Advice column readers rebuttal is a good way to understand this point. It basically calls out the idea of the device or innovation as the problem, as with this example which uses a knife.  He states that the knife was used as a tool for good as he had recently had lifesaving surgery, yet a knife could also be used to take a life in a murder. Such a strong way to say there is more than one reason or cause for the direction technology leads us.




Is Facebook making us lonely? – Marche

“Is Facebook making us lonely?”

This article addresses the loneliness crisis in the real world and the online world. It turns out there is not a signal cause and or solution for this issue. Falsely assuming the evolution from real world, face to face connections to online interactions as the sole problem is shown not to be the case.

Dating back to the olden days, where social capital was earned at cocktail parties and the face to face connections with friends and family only, people will have a hard time with change and accepting a “like” as the new capital.

The article begins with the issue of loneliness and seeks to define it and give stat after stat to support it. The story of the death of Yvette Vickers was meant to serve as a wake up call for the loneliness we are heading for. With no one around her, no one to care, she passed away long before she was discovered.

Does Marche suggest this is where we are all heading? Even giving stats how one person house hold has dramatically incresed since the 1950s. Is Marche simply suggesting that we are all moving to a mindlessly zombie one click culture as higgled from the movie “social network?”

Is it change itself that is fueling the pessimism in to (use the term from Prensky,) “digital immigrant” population? One area based off the work of Moira Burke I feel is a solid view of what is really happening. Burke states basically, who ever you are, however you are in the real world, you will essentially be in the online world too. Popular kids will be popular, lonely will be lonely.

I also agree with the notion that social capital is that of follower, likes and comments. The idea of one click likes is good, but the more coveted response is that of the comment. That is reality in social terms, but also now in monetary terms too. Likes and views, and followers can and do equal cash, salary and opportunities.

Continuing on, the artifice explains how Facebook is a tool. with any tool, depending on what you do with it, and how you use it, will dictate your experience with it. The notion of what you put into it, is what you get out of it is spot on.

What i didn’t agree with is still the old school frame of view that real world is better. Even in the section of the tool, a statement was made saying Facebook is a great tool for getting friends connected to go play a game of football in real life, then shooting down the idea of connecting friends to play online or as a substitute for real world play.

Ironically as I engage with this article and write this blog post, I do not personally have a FaceBook. My first had experiences on the platform and the daily uses and maintenance of it I do not truly know, but understand how Facebook is the virtual world, some prefer to live off the grid, some would prefer to live on another plate (Platform or SMS) and some who are lost to both real world and online world experiences.


Digital Nativism, Digital Delusions and Digital Deprivation – McKenzie


“Digital Nativism, Digital Delusions and Digital Deprivation”

As I began to read this article the tone was foremost what stood out to me. It sounded like it was coming from a whiney pompous ass. Reading further the attempt to rip apart and complain about everything and everything became laughable. McKenzie attempted to shoot down thoughts and ideas they felt weren’t complete or viewed as old ways of thinking. Ironically doing the same with their own arguments.

In my head I heard McKenzie as the grumpy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to “get off my lawn!” McKenzie posting on the “from now on” .org website, which looks as if it is stuck on the 90s geocities template, is slighted as “the educational technology journal.” Granted this reply or honestly it seems more like a rant, was 6 years after Prensky, it still was able to trigger such a strong response is kind of interesting.

What was it that Prensky said to get old McKenzie so fired up? My guess is when McKenzie began reading and realized they did the things pointed out as laughable and old school. My guess is the printing out emails, so they would have a copy of it, or possibly having the secretary do it for you! I’m sure for such a strong mined and pompous person hearing that to which what they do puts them in the category of old or outdated was frightening.

So, frightening it seems that McKenzie just started shooting down anything and everything suggested, even falling victim to the same claims they were making! The part this was glaring obvious was in regard to the notion of video games as an educational tool. Having been a MAGD undergrad, the concept and education value one could get from being immersed in a world to explore and think can go way farther than reading from a text or even watching a video.

Yet, McKenzie, wrongly and naively jumps to the out dated and old school alarm of video games and violence. Showing how deeply the Digital Immigrant is imprinted in themselves, McKenzie foolishly assumes video games are all violent and or can only be seen or used in a negative connotation. That is just impulsively wrong and damaging way of thinking.

The use of video games in an educational environment has been shown to be enhance a student’s understanding and give a deeper comprehension of the idea(s) being conveyed when being actively engaged as a role-player rather than an observer. The notion of violence and video games is numbing. Obviously, the game can and will be tailored to fit the topic and educational need, the use of violence isn’t even suggested, yet that is what McKenzie focused on.

McKenzie’s approach to the work of Prensky was lost in the way it was presented. A rant isn’t a reply. Whining isn’t scholarly. Being called out as a Digital Immigrant isn’t the end of the world.




Twitter and Tear Gas – Tufekci

“Twitter and Tear Gas”

This article focuses on the role of technologies and advancements in helping connect people around the world and in the public sphere. The notion expands on the early days of writing as a way to help record, teach and learn about the ones we live close to and around.

The ever growing emergence of new technologies have expanded the words and reach of not just the ones around us but now all over the world. The use of this new way s and methods may have been overlooked at first, but with its growing use has now been highlighted as a threat to the status quo for oppressive and dictate regimes around the world.

It is no wonder that the ability of instant communication, and platforms that help connect people of like minded ideas and opinions would blossom into the online version of coffee shops and salons of the traditional physical world.

This article highlights how when a platform is used to connect people and easily and instantly relays the messages it become a force to be reckoned with, and not overlooked. Much like the ways of the old day, pushing down movements and restricting open speech was the method. Controlling parties controlled almost all media and messages the masses received.

These new sources and platforms have changed the way most people get and connect with others from all over the world. This is how movements like the protests seen in the middle east or of the Arab Spring uprising became so successful.

Even here in the states with the Tea Party movements tax day protests and messages being distributed on the social media platforms help drive a movement. The article acknowledges how import of a role these outlets and technologies have played in the movements of today.

Oppressive governments will continue to be threatened by open speech and opinion so they only real course for action is the restriction, censorship and flat out denial of its citizen the right to use social media sites all together.

When this happens the voice of the people will be and their ability to connect, share and demand change is greatly diminished. These new technologies  should strive to be free, open and widely accessible for all of the public sphere to use and engage in, to ensure all voices are heard and acknowledged.

Future of Reputation – Solove

“Future of Reputation”

This article is much like that of the “Village Phone” by Shirky of my earlier blog post. Again, it surrounds the notion of social crowd sourcing “justice” for a “crime” against public opinion. In this case it was that of a commuter on a train who let, and or didn’t pick up after their pet when it defecated on the train.

The suspects behavior again, I feel fueled the response of the immediate people around her into action and then ultimately the reason for the online responses. Her flat-out refusal to be accountable for the cleanup of the animal waste and snarky attitude toward the bystanders was her downfall.

The outcry started on the train with pictures and comments ending up off the train and posted online. This quickly spread as social media users began to seek retribution for the suspects behavior. The efforts again focused on calling out the accused and sought to identify and humiliate the suspect for the “crime” against public opinion.

The episode of “The Orville” from my previous post might actually be better linked to this story in regard to the calls for social justice. Ultimately the crowds focus did in the end catch up with the suspect, with alarms of safety, privacy and reputation all at odds.

While one could argue that the suspect was the target of a vigilantly type of social justice, and she paid the price for her in actions or really inactions that day on the train, her humiliation, privacy issues she suffered was that of the moment.

You could compare this event with an infamous Bartman Cubs fiasco. The victim of public opinion was released on a fan for a questionable interference call which many blamed for the Chicago Cubs losing the game and playoff series. Yet over time, the issue faded and with the Cubs winning a World Series a few years later many do not hold the same view as they might have before.

The suspect in the train story could also be seen as the victim. Either way, most people would have moved on from this issue and really the impact of the event just a moment in time.

Love Online – Jenkins

“Love Online”

The article is a comparison of his teenage son’s online courtship of love today, with both his grandparent’s and parents of days ago. The premise is simple to understand. When distance is a factor and the face to face option isn’t practical or available, love will still find away.

Jenkins states that much like his grandparents and even parents love seeking courtships of handwritten letters and affections, the use of the online platform was basically the same in the function of communication between both parties. In fact, the online instant communication was still just serving as a supplement for physical notes and gifts sent traditionally.

The teenage son still experienced all the same nerves and butterflies when crafting his terminologies and responses as one would in face to face meetings. Yet this online connection seemed to enhance the courtship with the instant communication and responses from one another.

This article was written over 15 years ago now and really addresses the courtship in the online worlds infancy. The enhancement of internet speed and bandwidth as well as the explosion of mobile hand-held communication has caused the online romance and courtship to advance even further opportunities, yet still simply serve as the function to one’s message.

The interesting idea to me was the fact the author decided to fly his son out to meet with his girlfriend in person. What point in a relationship that stared online do you say this is real enough to allow such a bold and costly venture? What was the other cost to his son’s potential emotional state if over the top feelings arose or worse had been struck down all together?

I think it was the fathers romanticized days of old view of his son’s courtship that ultimately allowed the investment of a face to face meeting to happen. As like most teenage love stories this one ended and his son moved on. Yet the idea that courtship is fundamentally the same as when his grandparents did it and his parents, his son was to have the same chance.

That chance was based off the technology available at the time. New tech and new platforms have grown so that long distance relationships and courtships are still possible and even growing as the members of these sites grown as well.

Village Phone – Shirky

“Village Phone”

This article was an engaging one as it sought to explain the story of a missing / stolen cell phone, yet it also explored the idea of online social vigilantly justice that today’s new technology can give. The article addresses how a simple post on a little blog erupted into a true CSI drama style story which captivated an online audience. Again, even the author acknowledges how the new technology of today was the key part in the telling and engagement of this event.

Looking back, I wonder if it would have gathered the amount of passion and attention from the blog viewers if the behavior of the suspect would have been different. Did the suspects taunting, racist and violence threating responses and attitude fuel the effort for justice? If she (the suspect) simply explained her story truthfully would even the victim of the lost phone been sympathetic toward the suspect and perhaps not even have followed up trying to have the old phone returned?

Either case, what ultimately happened was the public crowd sourcing of resources and ideas that led to the phones return and the suspect, her friends and families social humiliation as well as possible criminal charges.

This social outing and online community vigilantism has happened since this story. With the protest and counter protests of racists groups, people began using footage of attendees of these racist rallies to post online and call for companies that employee these people to fire them. To which these calls in some cases did happen, and people did get outed and fired.

The trend of social crowd sourcing justice was actually a storyline from the new TV show called “The Orville.” Much like that of the legendary Star Trek TV series, Seth McFarland of Family Guy fame stars as the Captain of a space ship patrolling in outer space.

The episode I am referring to is about a planet where they are judged and sentenced based of community social media type engagement. A “crime” is captured via a cell phone type device and after enough social backlash or outcry, the subject in the video is put on public trial, voted on in a like or dislike button push based solely off the subject’s talk show style appearances on TV in-order to “win” their rights back.

This is an interesting take on a possibility that social media and todays new technology could truly be enacted here on Earth. The badge like system of approve or disapproval is only a display away, and with a push of a button from a public who tends to overreact or jumps to conclusion could pose a serious issue.

Luckily for now social justice is limited to outing and humiliation of a wrong doer and not yet the able to cast a sentence of lobotomy or death  as in “The Orville.”