Class, Wed, 3/08

Media Feeds/Concepts in 60/ Questions

Mission Statments/Profile Statements

Fastwrite: Drawing on the advice that Fenton and Lee offer about writing Mission Statements (pp. 22–25), write a profile statement for your WordPress, Twitter, and/or Facebook account.

Using Twitter to Respond to boyd

Read the series of tweets that Nicole, Molly, and Graham have posted in response to boyd. Pick one that you’d like to add to with a tweet (or retweet, or reply) of your own. Be ready to talk about what interests you about what your classmate has to say about boyd.

To Do

  1. Thurs, 3/09, 10:oo AM: Post your Twitter response to boyd.
  2. Fri, 3/10: We will hold class in Room B of the Student Multimedia Resource Center in the basement of Morris Library. Bring your laptop with one or two minutes of video on it that you would like to play around with in class. (This does not have to be video that you are thinking about using for your Concept in 60, but it might be helpful  if it is.)

Social Media – Friend not Foe

As digital natives, it is in our nature to defend the digital world we live in. In contrast to Carr’s The Shallows, dana boyd takes our side and gives us detailed arguments for justifying and supporting something as prevalent as social media within her book It’s Complicated. Social media is not the end of humanity but simply a form of communicating and socializing. It is true for most teens including myself that social media channels can be simple outlets for expression. However, as the days go on, it is becoming increasingly evident that these different social media mediums/channels are the tools we may use to our advantage in order to fulfill a specific objective.

In Chapter 3 on Addiction, boyd talks about all the opportunities social media provides for all and how teens can gain the most knowledge from it. I heavily enjoyed all her points specifically on page 95 where she states that “…teens need to learn how to engage in crucial aspects of maturation: self-presentation, managing social relationships, and developing an understanding of the world around them.” We can do and gain so much more from social media outlets such as Instagram and Twitter instead of effortlessly posting the meal we ate that day. It is up to us to take control of our lives and realize how lucky we are that we can legitimately put ourselves out into the field of work we choose to work in by promoting ourselves online. Our presence/presentation of ourselves on social media can make or break future job prospects and it is up to us to know how to strategically maneuver ourselves around the online social presence.

Within the Look and Listen audio post, on The Anthropology of Social Media it is discussed how social media provides greater control in communication. Everything we post onto social media is purposeful. The audio post also touches upon the fact that we feel a pressure to have a social media presence. Similar to the high school student boyd interviewed, Amy, whom felt that technology was her way of connecting to a world expanding greater than the constraints of the walls within her house. Aside from our personal pressures and desires to have a social media presence, we must acknowledge that there is so much you can do with social media and the minor things where and when to post could actually be major in the long run. An easy example of social media being used for more than just a frivolous purpose is how we use it in our class. We have a class hashtag and with that we can attain and gather all sorts of information with any regards to our class. We must take control of our social situations and the platforms that are so easily at our fingertips.

My Mind is My Oyster

Carr’s point on the mechanical clock is enlightening. His short passage on page 43 has helped me understand the impact of tools and devices in my life. Carr argues that the qualities of technology have a profound effect on our way of thinking: in the way we see ourselves. The power to change the state of one’s mind is a power worth having. In understanding how devices in my life may shape me, I can make better decisions to mold my mind as I see fit. Just as Carr says technology is an effort to shape the world around us, I find it inadvertently shapes ourselves.

The qualities of technology quietly impart a change on our mental state. Take for example the tools that measure time. The precise, constant ticking of the mechanical clock is sequential. It is logical. The mechanical clock has a mathematical focus as it tells time with numbers while dividing time in halves and quarters. The result of technological qualities is an educational effect on the user: an emphasis on understanding sequences, on action relative to time, and on seeing the flow of time as physical movement. This leads to a change in how the user of the clock thinks. Technology has a different effect even within the same concept or task it attends to. A mechanical clock gives quite the different concepts and lessons to the user than a digital watch does. There is no visual aid to see the quarters and halves of time, or to see the ticking of the hands on a digital watch. It is a simplification of time. On the other hand, one must read a mechanical clock by being aware of the positioning of the hands and seeing physical movement. But a digital clock is simply lights. It is essentially like looking at a still television or a screen-saver on a computer.

How does technology facilitate changes in my mental state? What impact does Twitter have on my way of thinking over time? Some notable qualities of Twitter: the main page is covered in pictures with tweets from celebrities, and significant institutions. Information is conveyed in short blurbs of 140 characters. That is not an abundance of space to make a serious case for any argument or claim. The most prominent aspect of Twitter: the space limitation, causes the user to condense complex ideas. Perhaps, in some cases, Twitter causes us to forget how to form complex thoughts and processes. When I look at tweets from Donald Trump, I see broad sweeping exclamations that are inherently baseless: there is no in depth explanation or linking of external texts/resources. Context is forgotten, ignored, or left a complete mystery. In a Nordstrom Tweet it is nigh-impossible to understand the motives of Trump, unless the tweet is taken at face value: even then different perceptions arise. Use of Twitter causes change to one’s mental qualities and values. Twitter values speed of information discharge and absorption. It leads to a mental value that baseless claims or exclamations are acceptable or even desirable. It causes context to become obsolete and absent in information and communication. Technology affects the mental state of us all. Our choices of technological use have profound and far reaching effects that we struggle to perceive. I look to the future with a greater awareness of how the devices in my life may impact my thought process and mental state. I will take the utmost care of my oyster!

Class, Mon, 2/13

Media Feeds

In groups: Review our course feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Pick one post that you’d like to talk about with the larger class—that either makes a interesting point about the issues we’ve been discussing, or makes an effective use of the platform.

Lakoff on Trump on Twitter

lakoff-2017-trump-taxonomy
George Lakoff. 2017. A Taxonomy of Trump Tweets.

Writing: First Response to Carr

Questions About Course

To Do

  1. Wed, 2/15, class: Read Carr to p. 114. Before class, tweet one passage from the book you’d like us to discuss. Note the page you’re quoting, and remember to use #e397dr. Please also read Fenton and Lee to p. 9. Note any ways their advice might help you with writing your first response to Carr.
  2. Thurs, 2/16, 10:00 am: Post your first response to Carr to this site.
  3. Fri, 2/17, class: Read and write a brief comment on the posts from each member of your group. You’ll discuss each other’s writing in class.