New Communication Technologies
Facebook’s or America’s Identity Problem?
Public apologies from companies are often necessary in order to “save face” in a controversy and retain as many consumers as possible. However we’ve seen that in Facebook’s recent identity crisis that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been reluctant to take the blame, even with it being such a sensitive topic that involves a counterculture group in the drag community. Facebook asserts that the real name requirement in the creation of its accounts are to reduce spam, catfishing, and harassment which is a understandable argument in today’s era where catfishing is rampant. The problem mainly lies with drag performers who would like to have multiple Facebook accounts in order to separate their professional life from their private life. This in itself also hints at a larger problem that society has been trying to grasp which is their individual representation on social media sites. Yes, people have the right to share what they want on social media, however, does this justify users creating a profile that is not fully them? Oftentimes people view social media as a chance to advertise the life that they wish they lived or to disguise their actual true self and lifestyle. Leaving out minor details from your personal account is reasonable; who really shares everything about themselves anyways, but having a completely other account with a different name, personality, etc is borderline catfishing in a sense. Before America looks at Facebook with problems we should look in the mirror and examine the problems of our own.
New Communication Technologies
Twitter and Tear Gas
In Zeynep Tufekci’s book Twitter and Tear Gas she goes in-depth as to how much the power has with the emergence of social media and its impacts on society in a major scale. The literature starts out with a brief flashback on how life was prior to the introduction of the internet, “Before the internet, broadcast mass media meant that millions could hear the same message all at once, but if you wanted your message heard, it helped if you owned or had access to a radio or television station or a newspaper. And so on” (Tufekci 6). As technology advanced so did the voice of the everyday citizen who wasn’t financially able to own a broadcasting station and their opinion was made public and could be heard through social media (more specifically Twitter). For example, the author provides a situation with an Egyptian lady named Sana who struggled talking to people about her political views cause she was constantly shunned by the public. In result, Twitter provided the escape from a judgemental society to a platform where she could freely express her thoughts and connect with like minded individuals. Furthermore, Tufekci argues that social media has been the source for many social movements including the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, arranging medical supplies during Arab Spring, and many more causes. However with great power comes great responsibility. Just as easy it is to use Twitter for a good cause like those mentioned, it can also be a dark place for racism, misogyny, and the organization of hate groups. Even today we see the power in Twitter as the President of the United States, Donald Trump, uses the site to make statements to the public. In conclusion, it is important to understand the power of one’s voice now especially since nearly everyone in the world has access to make their opinion known.
New Communication Technologies
Is Google Making Us Stupid?
As technology has become the forefront of human innovation so has the pursuit of information as well, oftentimes sparking the debate that Nicholas Carr made in his article Is Google Making Us Stupid? which expounds on individuals trading human intelligence for artificial intelligence. The world’s most powerful search engine, Google, has taken concentrated steps to take “what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want” therefore making the experience as effortlessly as possible as if we aren’t already in a hyper-enforced “supply and demand” era. Humans are spoiled. We have evolved to individuals who prioritize instant gratification and autonomous accessibility to all resources. With that being stated, is having endless information on-call from our fingertips worth the perceived detriment of human intelligence?
Personally, I believe individuals are accountable for their own growth and development despite external influences. Humans are ignorant in some fashion to something. Google’s objective is to attain all information possible and make it accessible to the masses. A consequence of this is by living in today’s era where media has been concised to short, consumable pieces of information that don’t challenge someone’s attention span it can be easily noticed how the future has a troubling outlook. However just as with every advancement there are positive and negative consequences in result. On the positive side companies like Google, for example, have opened the floodgates of information processing for society. This despite all negative consequences is still a major win for society.
New Communication Technologies
04 March 2018
Reflexive Essay – Social Media & Technology
Over years technology has become increasingly important in my lifetime which has become a shared sentiment of many individuals. Personally, I was born into the era that experienced how technology (more importantly social media) has skyrocketed in prevalence in society. Originally introduced as a way to connect with people, social media has expanded into many forms including dating services, employer hiring sites, information sharing, and many more uses. When I first started using social media it was more of a exploration stage where I was not quite sure if I was going to use it due to being a late arrival to Facebook. I was in 7th grade when I made my first social media account on Facebook, however I probably would have had an account earlier if it was not for my parents restriction on my internet access growing up. In result, as I grew older social media became a necessity for me as certain programs impact my life daily.
Immediately after I created a Facebook profile the next social media site that I migrated to was Instagram which at the time was a shell of what it has grown to become now. I joined Instagram approximately six years ago as a freshman in high school curious as to what this program had to offer. Just like the majority of my peers I primarily used the site to just post pictures of myself and comment on the pics of my friends. As technology advanced so did Instagram update the capabilities of the program which allowed users to Direct Message eachother, post “stories”, advanced Timeline settings, Highlights, and many other features. As of today Instagram is a daily necessity because I use it to promote my music as well as a opportunity to connect with people around campus and other artists. My prior relationship can even be attributed to Instagram, I followed her at the beginning of my freshman year here at UWW and messaged her which sparked the beginning of our relationship. Admittingly, to this day I still use Instagram as a form of connecting with females around campus.
Computers have become a necessity for myself as time passed by, especially as my passion for music has increased. As a kid I was fascinated with PC gaming therefore I always had a close relationship with computers. Also at the middle school I attended the staff made it a priority to surround us with the latest technology and incorporated time for students to use computers under a daily basis whether it’d be for researching or for learning how to use various programs such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and basic functions of Excel. As stated before, I began producing music around 3-4 years ago which required me to go get a Apple laptop and learn programming software such as Logic Pro X and Ableton Live. Nowadays everywhere I travel I carry my laptop and my cell phone with me at all times in order to stay connected with society and friends. The theory of FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real in my life as to where I am somewhat afraid of missing out on information or what everybody is talking about. Also in my life (and probably applicable to the majority of college students) having access to a computer is not optionable in the pursuit of education as to where virtually all assignments require students to submit work in D2L, work in Microsoft Word and using other programs to complete various tasks.
As stated before, without technology my interest in music would not be able to come to fruition. Not only have I used technology to create music, but through social media I am able to promote it and share my creations with the world. In addition, my major here at UWW is in Journalism/Broadcasting. A major with this emphasis heavily relies on technology and social media as well due to how we as humans share information with each other under a constant basis. Social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram have become journalists primary form of exporting news coverage to the masses as older forms of communication such as newspapers have slowly faded out of use. Through the advancement of smartphones people are able to stream my voice anywhere as I have my weekly radio show at 91.7 The Edge WSUW Whitewater as well. Technology overall has become a necessity for myself as to all of my interests and pursuits would not be attainable without it.
New Communication Technologies – 01
22 March 2018
How dating apps make it easier for relationships to happen.
“Women are already hard to talk to in person, I’m not trying to deal with all that pressure either”, Kamien McLaughlin stated as he scratched the back of his head. Kamien is a 21-year old senior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater who is determined to find a female mate after a lifetime of being single. One of the ways he plans on achieving this is through dating apps, which have seen a recent surge in membership over the last ten years as people have adjusted to the possibility of finding love through the internet. Some of the popular apps that he is a member of are Tinder and Bumble which are both ranked in the top 5 of dating apps (Business Insider). In these applications dating is simply boiled down to connecting with those people that you find attractive (swiping right) and dismissing those that are not (swiping left). “Yeah it is superficial but that’s cool with me,” Mclaughlin states with a smirkish grin on his face.
In his high school years McLaughlin attended Marquette University High School, an all-male institution which he faults for his troublesome past with women. Pair him rarely spending time with women and balding at a extremely young age, he felt like his love life was doomed, “At that age I didn’t really have that self-confidence that I think is important in getting them (girls).” Dating culture in college is hyper-sexualized. Apps like Tinder and Bumble are often used for “flings” instead of actual relationship building which can leave individuals like Kamien caught in a whirlwind wondering how to approach women. Looking for mates has expanded past dating apps into other more traditional apps such as Snapchat and more notably Instagram.
“Back then we actually went outside and talked to people,” Donald Green said sarcastically. Donald, a 60-year old married man shared his viewpoint of how the younger generation is consumed with social media and it has deteriorated the youth’s ability to communicate face-to-face. “We would go to basement parties, the park, little ‘shin-digs’ where you were basically forced to talk to that pretty girl because you probably won’t see her again,” Green stated while reflecting on his 20s while looking at nostalgic photos. Perhaps social media has ruined this generation’s communication skills? Or has it elevated it into another form by making people more interconnected?
“… If you really like somebody you should get to see how they act and you can’t do that through a social media site,” says Jacqueline Hargrove, a junior who also attends the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her preference is to meet prospective mates in-person rather than having a first encounter through a dating app or social media in general, “Some people actually do find people that they want to talk to or be around with (through social media) me personally I feel as though I have not… It hasn’t to me before but it might. you never know”.
Whether it is by swiping on dating apps on the internet or by mastering the art of in-person conversation, Kamien is determined to get the job done and find his true love. “It’s been a long wait, but it’ll be worth it in the long run,” Mclaughlin stated with a smile.
New Communication Technologies
11 April 2018
Amber L. Ferris and Erin E. Hollenbaugh: Facebook
Doctor Amber Ferris and Erin Hollenbaugh collaborated on a study in 2018 entitled A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Exploring Antecedents to Facebook Dependency. Different from addiction, dependency can be described as a persons reliance on a medium to accomplish their tasks. Reasons that led to this research included how Facebook motives relate to dependency and how variables such as extraversion/introversion, agreeableness, self-esteem, and social cohesion are also related to dependency on the social site.
After conducting the research their hypothesis was mildly supported. Those people who were extroverted were not more likely to be dependent on Facebook which proved their first hypothesis incorrect. Those who were introverts only partially relied on Facebook for their goals of meeting people.
This scholarly research has numerous weaknesses that need to be addressed. First, the participants in this procedure were not randomly sampled, which can present inaccurate information seeing that the results could not be generalized to the public. In addition the researchers gathered their data by survey. This can present multiple problems such as improper wording, false answers, etc. However in terms of the necessity of this research, there is much to be examined in the area of how social media affects users both mentally and emotionally and uncovering the relationship between the two. In examination of the article, it is well-written and all areas are fully detailed and thoroughly explained. In particular the abstract was written concisely and coherent as to where readers can get a full understanding of the research at hand.
Jian Raymond Rui & Michael A. Stefanone: Reality TV
Doctor Jian Rui and Michael Stefanone both hypothesized that reality television inspires the youth (mainly undergraduates) to use social media sites to pursue fame. A variable that also was examined in the study was whether viewers watched reality television with friends or by themselves and what are the effects from it. In their research entitled The Desire for Fame: An Extension of Uses and Gratifications Theory there is also much information detailing the uses and gratifications theory which essentially dissects why people utilize certain things to achieve their goals. Also Rui and Stefanone extensively examine the prior history of reality television shows as they grew in popularity along with social network sites, most notably Facebook.
Researchers concluded that when reality television is watched with friends they are more likely to have a stronger desire for fame due to conversations that reinforce the ideas behind those shows. However, the magnitude of the desire was smaller than hypothesized. Use of social network sites and pursuit of fame were positively correlated.
As far as the nature of the article is very professional in its format. The researchers spent an extensive amount of time explaining what the uses and gratifications theory is as well as dissecting undergraduates obsession with social network sites. However, in the conduction of the research I believe that Rui and Stefanone both failed in properly examining the hypothesis. The researchers just simply concluded that there was a positive correlation in the number of statuses and pictures/statuses posted, however, they provide no concrete evidence that there was a cause and effect relationship. Who’s to say that these users aren’t just active users on Facebook regularly? This study also fails to account the countless videos that users post in order to get a viral video and achieve fame. In conclusion, the study and methodology should have been much more sound especially in an era where reality TV and social media prominence is at an all-time high and users capitalize from using social media accounts to achieve fame.
Valenzuela, Puente and Flores: Twitter vs. Television
As Twitter grew in popularity and in result shifted the way in which people acquire information eventually its impact expanded into the television industry. Researchers decided to examine which topics were discussed on television versus on Twitter and also analyze the influences that Twitter imposes on traditional media. In their article Comparing Disaster News on Twitter and Television Agenda Setting Perspective they use the 8.8-earthquake that happened in Chile on February 27, 2010 as a case study and examine trends on social media versus television broadcasting.
At the conclusion of the study researchers founf that a positive, reinforcing influence was found in television broadcasting and Twitter. With this being stated, it was still found that Twitter influences television more so than the other way around. Researchers believe this study provides insight towards how media will be presented for future decades.
A vital critique of this study is the fact that it is marginalized to only the Chile earthquake as a source of news. This means that the results of the study cannot be generalized to other events in terms of how Twitter impact them and television broadcasting. In addition, the coders for this study only included people on Twitter that had “journalist” in their biography as well as their location being in Chile. If this is so, these results should only be reflective of Chilean broadcasting instead of being generalized to television broadcasting across the globe. Although there are flaws in this study, the researchers may have sparked the curiosity of how social media (Twitter specifically) has a imprint on how media is broadcasted now and in the future.
Valenzuela, S., Puente, S., & Flores, P. M. (2017). Comparing Disaster News on Twitter and Television: an Intermedia Agenda Setting Perspective. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61(4), 615-637.
Ferris, A. L., & Hollenbaugh, E. E. (2018). A Uses and Gratifications Approach to Exploring Antecedents to Facebook Dependency. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62(1), 51-70.
Rui, J. R., & Stefanone, M. A. (2016). The Desire for Fame: An Extension of Uses and Gratifications Theory. Communication Studies, 67(4), 399-418.
New Communication Technologies
08 February 2018
The article is a dissection of Marc Prensky’s assertions that there is a great divide between people he labels as “digital immigrants” and “digital natives”. Essentially he shames individuals who are middle aged and older (otherwise born pre-ipod era) and praises the newer generations who are much more adapted to technology. However this article authored by Jamie McKenzie is a critique of each claim proposed from Prensky.
One of the major routes in which Prensky believes technology benefits the youth is through video games which can be utilized as a learning tool. His reasoning behind this is due to the fact that students of this generation gather information differently than past decades and even hints at the fact that our brains could possibly have physically changed. However on the same token, McKenzie attacks this claim by explaining that Prensky uses questionable language that isn’t definitive such as “very likely” and “whether or not this is literally true”. In addition he challenges the credibility of the researcher that Prensky sites in his arguments. At the root of the issue is that Prensky misspells the researcher’s name furthermore deteriorating the professionalism of his assertions.
Continuing, McKenzie argues that Prensky skews the information in his article and possibly could be flat-out lying to consumers. Some of the details that Prensky fails to acknowledge is that video gaming is both negatively related to age and that it is clearly more favored amongst males than females. Specifically in regards to video games, McKenzie states about the negative impact that violent video games have amongst the youth although I believe this is a unnecessary argument because what school would implement violent video games for education anyways? McKenzie ends the article by warning consumers to be leery of false prophets and to always gain the full knowledge about various topics.
“The Future of Reputation”
- The article starts out with the story about “dog poop girl” which originally was supposed to be a private altercation that happened on a city train. However the event spreaded across the internet as the girl became the butt of many jokes worldwide as the article goes in-depth about how the internet exploded and blogs became extremely popular. In addition the author discusses the pros and cons of this internet era and tackles various topics that plague society from cyberspace such as invasion of privacy.
- Technology, especially social media, allows people who otherwise would not conversate be able to talk to one another about anything. In result, people are joined together worldwide and can form groups to discuss about everything. Twitter is a prime example of how groups form together through the use of a simple hashtag.
- This quote is very applicable to the article about “dog poop girl”, especially when you take into context the circumstances of the situation. Although the event happened in public, before the internet and blog sites this would be a ordeal that would’ve stayed between only the people on the city train, however, because one of the bystanders posted it on their blog site this event was know made public to millions.
- Personally I believe people share information due to the fact that we see that everyone else does it freely (known as the Jones effect). Secondly, as humans people want to feel interconnected with society and by sharing information you a sparking a connection and making yourself feel important in the world. As far as online dating, I think that people feel more comfortable exchanging information (especially more personal information) through their phone instead of face-to-face communication.
- Through this article I was able to get a better grasp on the power of the internet and how it truly connects everyone worldwide. Anything that I post could be viewed by literally anybody which is somewhat troublesome when thought about. Also the article sheds light on how the internet can start social movements whether they are positive or negative such as the public shaming of “dog poop girl”.