Monday, March 23, 2009

but they're so young...

So it has come to my attention how kids today are the most technologically inclined generation in society right now. Seriously though, as I walk down streets, through malls, and other public spaces I cannot help but see all these kids who stand no more than 4ft tall going at it on their Blackberry's, iPods and whatever other technological device that I am not even familar with. It is true that our society has become very interconnected, largely due in part to the power of wireless communication. However, how much is too much?

I remember when MSN, ICQ and instant chat in general was introduced. I think I was in grade 7, which means that would have been (oh jeeze...) about 9 years ago. As much as it was a very effective tool, I still was highly connected with the use of my telephone for verbal communication with my friends and family. Yet, as more chat websites and programs were developed, I found myself using less of the phone and becoming more relient on the Internet. And now that my cell phone has Internet, and wireless connections are found just about everywhere, I find myself only connecting through this technology.

The kids of today have only grown up with this technology. When we were kids, the Internet was just being developed into what it has become today. Therefore, we can still be familar with non-traditional (if you would even call it that) ways of communicating (for example: the phone, meeting up with someone to actually sit and talk with them, etc).

Does anyone else fear for the youth of today and generations to come? If we are so heavily relient on the Internet and other technologies now to communicate- who is to say it is not going to get worse. Companies are constantly finding ways to integrate the Internet into their products and devices- eliminating the need to interact on a more personal level. When people communicate in the public sphere over the Internet or text on their cell phones- they are losing all sense of personal communication. Messages and attitudes are mis-interpreted and it ultimately makes us become distant from society. If we are always hidden and talking to people over a screen of some sort and not making the effort to be with someone physically- we will lose all sorts of personality and social skills that we have.

I think it is scary to think that a 5 year old kid knows the ropes of the Internet better than I do. I think that there needs to be some regulation and child moderation in when they use the Internet. But is this even possible? Does anyone have any thoughts about this or am I the only one who fears for the youth of tomorrow?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twitter this, Twitter that...

So it has become apparent that the newest craze on the web is Twitter. If you haven't heard about it.. than where have you been?

Essentially, what the program is designed to do is keep your friends, co-workers and family memebers constantly updated with the answer to the question "what are you doing.. right now?". The site is a huge success, and everyone seems to be getting on board- well not me. I just do not understand the logic behind this website. It first started with MSN, where you could update the status in your msn name- which I understood. MSN is used as a public forum where you and your personal contacts instantly communicate and the status update, in my opinion, was a great way of communicating that you may not be at your computer. Than came Facebook, and their installment of status updates on people's profiles. To be honest. I NEVER use this function and if I do, it is not to update my entire list of people with what I am doing. For example, I was promoting a school event, and my status was reminding people to go purchase their tickets.

I just do not feel why people need to share with everyone that "so & so is taking a shower". Really? Is that necessary? I personally do not feel I need the image of someone bathing. But in a sense, this is exactly what Twitter is used for. It is just a constant feed of what you are doing. I did some research to try and figure out the logic behind the website, and the website essentially said: "Why? Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely"(

If they were that important- you should make the effort to make a personal call or message rather than a public broadcast. We discussed in class how Britney Spears uses the program, and how she had recently updated that she thought it was cute that her sons ate a cracker or something completely useless. Again- I don't care!

But is this what our society is ultimately coming to? We are so heavily relient on the Internet as it is, especially in terms of communicating with each other. Is it ever going to come to the point where we eliminate face to face contact completely? I feel that Twitter somewhat serves this purpose. I mean, if this program is constantly reminding someone's personal contacts of what they are doing- whats the need of going out and catching up on life? If someone sign's in and reads that their friend just got a dog named Daisy, than what's now the point of initiating the conversation of "hey whats up, whats new in life?" You already will have your answer.

I think that programs like this disconnect us from the real world. As much as I would like to think of this as a trend- I honestly feel it is where our society is moving. Twitter is Facebook's new rival, and with the new update of Facebook- it has become very clear that their main new focus is constant updates in a "timely fashion". This move is to keep up with the competition of Twitter. The constant updating of news feeds and status' relate to public media, because it is dealt with on a public sphere level. We are not just updating one individual, but a whole list of contacts who we have become friends with in a public realm.

Am I the only one who is so against Twitter.. or am I missing something that others see? If anyone has a comment please let me know, and maybe I can re-evaluate the program and try to see the logic in it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hacker's to the.. rescue?

so i have unfortunately been slacking on this whole blogging thing, but not to fear, i am back in full force.

most recently in class, we have been discussing the topic of hackivism and their influence in the media. in my personal opinion, i feel that hackivism can be a very effective form of addressing a certain issue and presenting it to the public, but as a whole i do not feel that they can make a substantial impact on the world.

sure.. the internet serves as a public forum where everyone can freely express their feelings and protest against issues that they strongly oppose to. it is also used as a place where people can become influenced based on the given knowledge they acquire throughout the web.

however, not to long ago in my communication and globalization class, we came across an article that argued that the new information age and the era of hackivism could essentially change the world. through google bombing and web-blogging, they would eventually be able to take down the dominate hegemony. the article argued that these people have the advantage of connecting with smaller-niche markets in developing a collective idea or position on a topic. but as much as we rely on the influence of the internet, i DO NOT feel as if they can take down the hegeomic power. looking at protests in general- sure these people get their point across but is anything ever done about it? NO! because those in power ultimately get their way. there is always going to be forums where people can express their ideas, values and beliefs, but i do not think it will ever get to the level where individuals words can create a 180 in the way the world us run.

for those who are interested in reading the article on the future of web-blogging, it was called:
"Oppositional Politics and the Internet" by Richard Kahn & Douglas M. Kellner

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Wonderful World of... YOUTUBE

I think it is common knowledge that youtube became an instant success the minute it hit the Internet. I can be the first to admit that I find myself wasting hours of my time filing through different videos of what sometimes ends up being some pretty random, yet interesting material. I feel that youtube is an excellent source that allows people to publicly display their interests to the world. It allows for individuals to highlight their talents or just simply have their 15min of fame. The website allows for users to post their views and opinions through videos, allowing the site to essentially serve as another realm in the public sphere.

About a week ago, a video on youtube called "David After Dentist" was released, and it became one of the most popular videos of the week instantly. With over 6 million hits and a ton of comment postings, this 4 year old kid after the dentist has easily become the talk of the public. Because youtube offers an open forum for people to publicly display their videos, users of the site are therefore technically allowed to take the video's posted and create their own version of it.... right? For example, after "David After Dentist" was released, another user of youtube created a remix to it.

My question to you, or anyone that is interested, is whether or not "remixing" previous youtube videos are a form of copyright. I mean, everyone is well aware of how public the site is and how easy it is to share and comment on videos posted. Take a look at the two links below. The first one is the original "David After Dentist" video and the second is the "remix". In my opinion, I feel that the person who created the remix is just further expressing their opinion through participatory media. Simply, if you do not want your content tampered with, I suggest not posting it on something like youtube.

Any other thoughts?


Monday, January 26, 2009

Citizen Media.. huh?

Now in my 4th year of communication studies, I have heard the term "the public sphere" thrown out I don't even know how many times. But the term citizen media- well that one is new for me.

So let's explore the realm of citizen media. According to everyones best friend, Wikipedia, the term citizen media refers to "forms of content produced by private citizens who are otherwise not professional journalists". In other words, you and me. It involves both participatory and democractic media.

I think that the best example of how exactly citizen media works, is through the use of the Internet. Technology has essentially taken over our lives, and hence has given us more opportunity to voice our opinion. This blog, though made for the use of a seminar class, is among just one of the many examples in which the Internet allows for citizen media.

Facebook, is also seen as a way in which we can explore citizen media. And although I can see how it serves as an example, Facebook does still restrict people from posting specific content on the open website. Facebook, has the right to remove specific photos if they are unacceptable, delete groups and events based on their content. In addition, the profile user of each Facebook account has the ability to delete any given post someone may leave on their wall (a post in which someone may be voicing their opinion) therefore sheltering the opinions of the poster.

So that's citizen media in a nutshell. And as I continue to use this blog, I will further explore and provide the example of how one can voice their opinion using a medium such as the Internet.