Semester in review

This class has been more valuable for me than I originally thought it would be. I thought that I would take the class as just an excuse to add three extra credits to my semester. However, New Communication Technologies has turned into so much more. I never really thought about how I used social media to gain an understanding of the world around me. This is something I never really paid attention too. Taking this class has taught me just how integral social media has become to our day to day life.

Society has grown to depend on social media as a way for communication, education, and entertainment. Whether someone uses these technologies in these ways or not, they are still affected by them. It has become very rare that someone doesn’t have any form of social media, so these people who don’t are often seen as a minority and the regular media portrays them in this way. Some companies will look at people’s social media when they are looking at them as a potential employee. When it comes to people who use social media as their main way of receiving news, it’s important to remember that they will often get bombarded with a lot of various false information that gets spread by people either intentionally or by accident.  

How information is spread has changed a lot over the creation of the internet. Everyone has a voice and the unfortunate side effect of that is everyone has a voice, even if their opinions do not line up with your own. This has lead to a lot of arguments, and with these new clashes in opinion, there has been an increase in smear tactics used amongst everyone. People will spread cherry-picked, or even false information in an effort to discredit those who they do not agree.

Research paper

In the modern day, it is seemingly Impossible to post something on the internet and not run into someone with a different view. The fact that anyone can have a voice on the internet at least in-part contributed to this seemingly endless wave of people with different opinions. Everyone wants their voices to be heard so the dedicated a lot of effort towards getting the attention their beliefs, ideas, and opinions. It’s not just individuals who want to get these beliefs out there. Many companies, unions, governments, and all manners of groups use social media as a way to further their beliefs. When you factor in that anyone, or any group, it is only logical to think that some of these groups will have views that are more extreme than others.
Today, many people are choosing to forgo the traditional two-party system in America and focus on their own beliefs. This has lead to a decrease in the popularity of the parties, and a larger variety of beliefs that can range from the medial to the extreme. These groups of people are no different from everyone else and wish to get their opinions out there as well. Unfortunately for these groups, they might not always have the largest following, so as much as they try they will never get the same massive audience as those with larger groups. One way that these groups get around this is the creation of bots.
Bots, short for web robots, are an artificial intelligence that is used to create posts on social media. These can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from harmless to malicious. Governments and political parties are no stranger to the use of bots, and they use these bots to spread their ideas. These bots will do a variety of jobs including engaging with posts from real leaders of the party, talking about things or ideas to get them trending online, and even spreading misinformation about opposing parties. As an example in 2013, a Syrian group hacked the twitter of a popular new source saying the US was attacked and President Obama was injured. This malicious spread of information caused the stock market to fall the most it ever has in one day.
While this wasn’t a bot the same issue still applies. An outside political party was able to impact an opposing group by spreading misinformation. Bots are very successful when it comes to spreading this misinformation, but the one thing that we’ve been able to combat these bots are learning how they function in order to determine whether the bots are real people or bots. However, the bots learn, and as they grow they learn how to hide the fact that they are bots. It’s getting harder to tell who is a bot and who is not a bot, which means it is harder to tell what outrage is artificially created or natural.
The rapid establishment of these smaller groups and the political participation that they inspire has created an “us versus them” mentality. This has made it harder to create meaningful relationships with people that they do not share beliefs with. This is in part due to emotions playing a much stronger role in modern politics. We are bombarded with more information than we ever have before, this can lead to some people creating strong emotional reactions to current events, even if it doesn’t affect them in any way. With the sheer amount of information available it’s easier for people to spread false information that some people might latch onto and use as an argument to support their side. This can lead to an even further divide between the various groups because the false information is usually inflammatory towards other groups. This leads to mudslinging, which will often demonize the group in the eyes of the public should they chose to believe it.
Groups like these tend to have leaders who value the ideals of the group more than anyone else. These people tend to be highly treasured in their own group, however being at the head of a group tends to put a target on their back. These people will tend to have to deal with a large amount of scrutiny from the opposing group. This group will judge everything this person does, even if it has nothing to do with the beliefs that this person hold. This can be detrimental to the group as a whole. People will see what other groups are claiming as important and judge the entire group based on that one action.
All of these separate events work together to create a climate where opposing opinions are often seen as attacks and are dealt with by retaliation rather than conversation. People have become notably hostile towards people whom they disagree with and the best example of this is during the 2016 presidential election. During this election, many types of new communication technologies were used to combat the opposing party.
Memes by far were one of the most pronounced uses of new communication technology used in this election. With the rise of the internet culture, memes became more mainstream which lead to them being used by both parties to create a sense of connection with people who have immersed themselves in internet culture. With both parties using memes to interact with the public, memes became politicized. More primitive memes have been used politically before, but with the connectivity offered by the internet, memes have become a popular means to spread thoughts and ideas. This has lead to some memes being claimed as things that they are not. Pepe the Frog is a cartoon frog that has been appropriated by a right-wing group called the alt-right. They used Pepe the Frog in a negative way to portray minorities and people who they disagree with. This has lead to Pepe being labeled as a hate symbol, and this is both a negative thing as well as a positive thing. It’s a good thing that the people who used Pepe in a negative way had it ruined for them, however, it was not just ruined for them but everyone. So now whenever someone uses the Pepe meme they are associating themselves with the negativity created by the alt-right. This is just one example of many where an idea, object, or thought has been politicized by association with a political party.
This issue is taken even further by new communication technologies. Many social media websites and entertainment websites like to extrapolate your data to send you more items or info that will keep you on the website longer. If someone ends up watching one video that features one of these many politically appropriated memes, he or she will end up getting more of these videos. Eventually with all of these videos watched it will send them something related more towards the political side, leading to away from the entertainment of the memes. Should he or she chose to watch it they will gradually end up receiving more videos from that push the narrative of that party. Depending on what videos are watched, or what posts liked, posts that are purposely misinformative will then start to show up. Some people might believe the video as it may claim to be from a credible site, and they end up sharing it over other new communication technologies.
When people share things on the internet, simply put people who like it will like, and some might even take it further and share it. If people share something to the internet that is false, the first thought of the people who read it is not to check whether it’s true or not, but whether or not they agree with it. Someone may not like someone so if they see something negative towards that person, they’ll tend to believe it due to their own bias. This leads to even more sharing, and furthering of the belief of the false information. Over time the information may prove to have been false, but the damage will have already been done. Some people may not even care that the information is not true and continue to share it just to harm the reputation of those opposing groups.
These people help grow the divide between these parties or groups, which in the end only helps to further the contempt between them. People within these groups will take this personally, seeing all these people that they don’t agree with and take it as a personal attack. The fact that these people are taking general observations personally is not positive at all, and it will just feed back into the negativity and growth of the divide. However, if people are willing to learn and communicate with those of other ideas they have the perfect tool on the internet.
The polarizing nature of modern politics has become very noticeable in every faciet of daily life, it’s to the point that many people in the middle of the issues are getting very annoyed and frustrated with both parties. There has always been this group but along with everyone else the internet has given them a much larger voice. This group tends to be one of the more quiet voices, as their views tend not to make waves on the internet or in the media. These more ambivalent people have recently found their voices the same way as more extreme views have. Many YouTube accounts, Facebook groups, and subreddits have popped up to try and explain how in order for everyone to get along they have to talk to each other and work things out or else we as a country will not go anywhere. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in their ways, and will not do what these moderate people say they should, although some might understand what they’re saying and lighten up on their views.
New communication technologies such as the internet and modern telephones have greatly increased the availability of communication, to the point where we’re learning so much more than we ever wanted to learn. It also allows people who maybe shouldn’t say the things that they say to say it to an audience of potentially millions. Today, with everyone saying how they believe the world should work, people have been bombarded with more opinions than ever before. With this happening people have doubled down on their beliefs forcing out everyone else’s as best they can. This eventually lead to smear campaigns with the intent of discrediting those that they disagreed with in an effort to increase the popularity of their ideas. This was helped out by the introduction of social media websites extrapolating data in an effort to show someone articles that would leave them more likely to spend more time on the website. This has lead to them showing things that the visitor is going to agree with, which can include political ideas that they agree with, which only serves to shut out opposing opinions. This was not intentional and helped create the gap between people.


Work Cited


Ferrara, E., Varol, O., Davis, C., Menczer, F., & Flammini, A. (2016, July). The Rise of Social Bots. Retrieved May 5, 2018, from


Bennett, W. L. (2012, November). The Personalization of Politics: Political Identity, Social Media, and Changing Patterns of Participation. Retrieved May 5, 2018, from


Bennett, W. L. (2012, November). The Personalization of Politics: Political Identity, Social Media, and Changing Patterns of Participation. Retrieved May 5, 2018, from

Field Work Experience

My fieldwork experience was fairly average. I knew I had an idea of the people I wanted to interview as many people are torn on this issue in the Media Arts and Game Development major. A lot of students feel that with the addition of New communication technologies, professors are relying too much on them to teach classes. some people believe that it has started to feel like we pay to watch online tutorials. While some students really feel the value of the addition, and that the ability to learn outside of class bolsters the learning experience. So the two views really interested me so I got one student from each different side of this issue, but I also wanted to get a professor who I knew used various new communication technologies while teaching his class. I feel as if these interviews were useful, but I believe that they would have been better and more insightful if we were allowed more time. For the audio, I took audio clips from the video and introduced the question, however, the file was lost and I could not recover it. With the pictures, I was trying to show various students using new communication technology to work on a 3D modeling project. This issue is one that really interests me because it affects me directly, and I see things from both sides of the issue. It would not be too much of a stretch to say that I chose this topic because I was still confused on where I stand on the issue.

Is the Internet Making us stupid


   With today’s ability to access all the information that we could ever use, we have run into the predicament of not needing to know anything. At the click of a button, we can have any information that we need, so this has led some people to believe that the internet is making us stupid. It’s not a stretch to say that the ability to retain information is related to how intelligent people believe that we are. However, that doesn’t really show how intelligent we actually are. This brings up the question of “what is intelligence?”. Is intelligence just remembering things that we’ve learned, because if that is the case then the internet might be making us dumb?

   For the most part, I disagree that the internet is making us dumb. I think that we definitely do not have to memorize the same things that we used too, but I don’t think that memorization of facts isn’t the only thing that influences intelligence. In addition to that, we have so much information that we could learn that if someone was interested in a subject they’d be able to learn more about that subject. This subject could be a very small thing that doesn’t really matter and won’t have any effect on their life, but they still know a lot about it. Does that not make them smart, if only in a small way?

I support Clay Shirky in banning laptops from his classroom. There are a lot of distractions on the internet and while somethings are constructive there are a lot of things that can just be considered useless. In addition to that people might not be paying attention because they think that they could always google it later.

Whether or not the internet is making us stupid or not, it’s staying. There’s really no point in arguing that the internet is making us stupid because people will only ever have more access to the internet. The future is going to be filled with this kind of information technology, more powerful and bigger. Perhaps people in the future will think, “We used to be smarter when we had the internet, we didn’t rely on computers embedded in our brain to know things. We’d type out entire sentences in search engines, and search through the first page of Google.” In my eyes, this is just a “back in my day” argument with a little more substance than just blind nostalgia.

Is Facebook making us lonely or not?

With the connectivity that we get from the internet, we can talk to pretty much anyone in the world, friends, family and even complete strangers. We get constant updates to what they’re doing, multiply that by however many friends you have and you get blasted with a stream of information about their daily lives that is pretty much unparalleled to anything that we as a species have ever had before. People will share aspects of their life that you’d never think to ask about. We get to see what people are doing every night, and what do we do when we see our friends having fun every night? We look at what we’re doing, scrolling through Facebook alone in our room.

Speaking from personal experience, Facebook doesn’t make us feel lonely, but rather it’s the vehicle of information that we compare our life too. In a sense it makes the lonely lonelier, we compare our life to the life that we think our friends live. No one unironically shares that they are home alone, instead they only ever share what they think would be interesting and what people want to see. We only ever see the good in people’s lives, and when we only see the good in other people’s life we start to think that they don’t have any bad parts. It’s this comparison that makes us feel like we truly are not as well off as our friends.

We still have the access to our friends that we did before, better even, but seeing it through the wall that is Facebook makes it seem that we don’t have that connection. I get the connection to my friends through social media, and I like that. However It still feels that every time I go on there all I see are my friends doing these awesome things, and I’m just sitting at home checking Facebook. I guess one simple way to put it is when you’re not actually producing content online, you’re consuming it, and producers are busy producing to consume. This logic is slightly flawed but I feel that it’s based in truth.

The Future of Reputation

The Future of Reputation goes into detail about a story of a Korean woman getting the public’s wrath through the internet. She refused to pick up her dog’s poop, and because of the escalation of the internet, she dropped out of University to avoid the publicity. The article then goes into the ethical questions related to this event.

Some people will have this problem more than others. This relies heavily on what the person has to hide or what is said about them, and what the person has to lose. Someone who doesn’t have anything to lose will not be as bothered as someone who has the same thing said about them and something to lose.

   We should only ever know what the person is willing to tell us, as well as what we are able to gather from observations of the person. In this way, we can still form our own opinions about someone, but if they really want to keep something hidden we won’t be able to find what that is. This way people will have privacy.

One way we can allow people to control their personal information without curtailing free speech or stifling freedom on the Internet is just be above it all. This is something that has more to do with personal responsibility than anything else. People should know not to spread false rumors or believe that they are true. On the other hand, people should know that they shouldn’t share personal information online, and they should not do anything that they know they’re going to have to keep hidden. However, much like it’s impossible to have a perfect world, it’s impossible to have a perfect internet.

People’s social transgressions should not follow them on a digital rap sheet that can never be expunged. This can be detrimental to not only their social life but their overall health. People should not be tethered to their mistakes, but the internet never forgets. This can make the internet a dangerous tool for those that choose to use it in that way.

It’s a possibility that the ease of inciting moral outrage create a mob driven police state. However, This is an unlikely event, While it’s definitely easier to create moral outrage unless someone takes advantage of people’s willingness to get outraged it will never get bad enough to create a police state.

   The Biggest question that this Article has made me ask myself is: how much privacy are we allowed?

Love Online

This short article is a personal story from the author about how he joined his son a trip to Omaha Nebraska to meet a girl that his son has been online dating. The author seems to be open to the idea of online dating, he compares it to how his grandparents would communicate by mail due to being separated due to World War 1. He also goes into detail about how they would interact online, and how it’s mostly stuff normal couples would do. The main point of the article appears to be that online dating is not that different to how normal dating works, but due to the internet, we are able to meet people that we would have normally never been able to meet. We are more likely to meet people that we would be more romantically interested in.