First of all, these books both are very intriguing to me in the way that they sum up to transgression of social media. The reviewers respectably respond to talking points in the books with their own judgements and connections which adds to the overall theme that Social Media is beginning to shape not only our own lives, but the entire worlds. I personally have witnessed so much that is talked about in these books ranging from family members posting baby pictures of me 18 years later to scrolling through reddit reading about political social media and wikileaks. Just before I began college here my mom posted some sappy thing on Facebook with pictures of me as a baby and moving into my dorm, all with the intent of personal gratification and a mechanism for coping with change. Obviously I don’t blame my mom and am not bothered by this in the slightest, but this occurs so often in the social media realm where people post with the goal of emotionally attracting others to make them feel better about themselves. This is why like counts exist; my own theory is that if likes and follower totals did not exist, then social media would be a dead trend. Everyone is looking for self approval whether or not they believe it. This crosses into my next point in that people are constantly fantasizing about social recognition. I mean that by how people, young people in particular(such as myself sadly) always are planning on a good photo opportunity or caption while at a social event or destination. This is the first instinct of the millennial class. It is now more important to show other people how much fun you are having at a party or how good you look at the beach. It has even turned into a viscious cycle, in that people no longer judge themselves or others based upon genuine experiences and stories, but rather through like counts and post recognition. This to me signals that social media is no longer just a method of mass communication, but a form of lifestyle direction. Social Media is alive and growing, and in time all people will realize this. This is what I interpreted from the articles as well as personal experiences.
Read these reviews of two books about social media:
- Geert Lovink, Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media (heads-up to the easily offended—the review is on a site called “Bookslut”)
- Jacob Silverman, Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Then write a blog response based on these readings and on your own experiences with social media. Some possible issues and approaches:
- Do you recognize your own experiences in the claims of these books (or of the reviewers)?
- Do you take any steps to avoid some of the pitfalls these writers suggest?
- What do you use social media for—and does it give you what you want?
- Have your own social media habits changed since you came to UGA?
At UGA, the media ecology is diverse, yet incredibly similar to that of other universities.
First off, here, GroupMe Is the most relevant form of communication between large groups. Dorms, majors, and organizations use GroupMe. It’s convenient and rather effective for communication.
Secondly, e-mail is incredibly relevant. Professors communicate with e-mail far more than anyone else of campus. Of course, students don’t latch onto the seemingly too slow rate of e-mail communication. We prefer the live, up-to-the-minute coverage of a text message or social media post.
Speaking of social media, UGA is also trying its best to become more relevant on social media. From changing our logo to updating more frequently on Instagram and Twitter, UGA is trying to connect to their students any way possible. It is even possible to read play-by-plays of football games on Twitter now.
Ecology media of UGA is somewhat diverse, but also incredibly similar to other universities.
I believe that the media ecology at my high school was pretty similar to the media ecology here at UGA. In high school, our primary media that we would use was “spartan net” and website almost identical to UGA’s elc. On spartan net, we had all of our classes listed and our teacher would post assignments, power points, or announcements just like the elc. However, this website was a somewhat new media ecology for my high school, as it only started my junior year of high school. It is odd to think about what we used before the invention of spartan net, because it is so convenient to have all of your classes and assignments on one website. This is also why I am so grateful to have the elc at UGA, because it makes everything easier when you are trying to study for a test or checking your grades.
Another similar media ecology between my high school and UGA is email. As I talked about in my last blog, email is the primary source of communication between students and professors. It is also a way for professors to get in touch with their students quickly if they have a short announcement or need to cancel class etc. All in all, I think that technology is evolving, and school systems are constantly changing their media ecologies as new medias are created. The media ecology of my school ten years was completely different than how it is now, just like the media ecology of UGA is going to be completely different in ten years as well.
Overall, the media of college in 2016 is shaping the experience and the content of my studies and my life as a college student in multiple ways that I would not have foreseen five years ago. As innovative advancements in media continue to be created and all the different forms of social media have become increasingly popular, I have found myself interacting with media, specifically the technological forms of it, at a much more frequent rate than I ever would have imagined in 2011, or at age 13.
The reason that 13-year-old me would be surprised at how much technology I utilize today mainly has to do with the fact that I have always considered myself behind on the latest devices and social media as each have evolved. In other words, while I’m not completely out of sync with the times, I did definitely start using some aspects of technology much later than my peers. Therefore, the evolution of the role technology plays in my life is definitely existent, but it has been slightly delayed when compared to other people my age. Today I consider the frequency of my use as somewhere in between moderate and high.
As a result of my past interaction with media, I found this week’s topic to be very intriguing because it was one that I had never heard of, yet it is something that poses a very important question for me in my everyday life. From normal day to day phone and laptop use for social reasons, online access to textbooks, eLC, email (both school and personal), and other online resources for homework and in regards to my education, there are so many ways in which I utilize media, without thinking twice about the process of it.
However, I do believe the frequency of my use is something I need to be more aware of. I honestly have no idea how many hours of the day I use both my phone and laptop for non-educational purposes, but at this point I can say it is too much. When I consider my social media use specifically, it’s difficult to say whether or not I need to be using all the different kinds of accounts that I have (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) as much as I do.
As I think about how others use these apps, and the frequency with which they use them, I can’t help but compare my usage to theirs, thinking “well at least I’m not as bad as so-in-so'” when social media becomes a distraction from schoolwork and studying. It’s in scenarios like those that irony is present, especially when I know I may actually may have a problem myself, and could in fact be a hypocrite in my own right.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that there are many awesome advantages to having social media and other forms of media as such a present part of my own college life. However, I definitely think that I need to start analyzing and considering how much usage is too much, when it’s useful or necessary (for both for the social and educational reasons), and what the best balance is for me personally when it comes to the amount of time I devote to each part of my life.
Media ecology is defined as the study of media as environments, and the media ecology of UGA and my high school differ greatly. I think it’s mainly because the drastic size difference. I graduated in a class of 89 people. The small class size made it easier for students to communicate with their teachers personally and rendered websites like eLC and Emma practically useless. If you needed to talk to a teacher or do an assignment, it was much easier to doit in personally or over email than use some special website.
The main similarity in my high school and UGA’s media ecology is the use of email. I talked about this in my last blog, but if I had to communicate with my teachers outside of school or turn in an assignment, it was usually via email. One reason being that this was the fastest form of communication, and another being that my high school wasn’t very technologically advanced to where we had various websites to use. I also used GroupMe now similarly to the way I did in high school. It was mostly for clubs or a group project.
I went to a public high school, so I think it was important to the teachers that every student have equal opportunity and making something be turned in electronically wasn’t always fair to every student. Some didn’t have computers or wifi at home, and I think that was a major factor in choosing to not have a lot of media used at my high school. You were able to use the technology if you had it though, which is similar to here. Not every teacher allowed technology, but most tried to be as modern as possible and allow it.
When I first came here and tried to grasp the multiple websites I had to use, I was overwhelmed, and I’ve grown up using technology my whole life! I mean seriously, I’ve never had a phone with buttons on it, just touch screens. After getting used to it, it’s not that bad, but I wouldn’t mind if all my classes used to same website. Not the five different ones I have to check daily.
I feel as though the media ecology of UGA and my former high school are very similar. One of the first things I noticed was how similar eLC is to what my high school used, MYeClass. The set up of the two websites are pretty much exactly the same, and they are used in the same way and frequency at both UGA and my high school. My high school teachers would post notes or PowerPoints onto their page, so students could access them outside of the school, just like the professors here do.
GroupMe is also a form of media that was used often at my high school and here in college. In high school, I mostly used it as a way of keeping in touch with the different clubs that I was in, and the teachers actually used it too as a way of communicating with us; however, here, it’s used as more of a study tool or to talk to people I’m doing a group project on, so the professors haven’t caught on to using it yet. I still use it just as often as I did in high school; the reasons have just changed a little.
One thing that is definitely different between the two ecologies is the absence of the smart board at UGA. My math and science teachers were mostly the ones who used them, and I never thought much about them. I didn’t think, “Oh this is saving so much time and making learning so much easier!” I just went with it. But when I’m sitting in my math class here, I find myself getting really bored and almost agitated because I feel like so much time is being wasted as the professor writes down almost every single word he says, as opposed to my high school where the teachers could prepare a PowerPoint, and project it onto the Smart Board, and then write any additional notes they wanted onto the Smart Board itself.
Media Ecology is defined as the study of the types of media used in a certain environment. Surprisingly, I think that the media ecology of UGA, in my experience so far, is less diverse in the classroom than that of my high school. In high school we used interactive forms of learning through games like Kahoot, class Quizlet groups, and class discussion posts in which we had to answer a critical thinking question online and respond to our peer’s answers.
At UGA, I actually have a class where the Professor does not allow the use of our laptops in class. She prefers the “old-fashioned” method of taking notes with a pencil and paper over the use of technology. In my classes, we haven’t really used many forms of technology (aside from this FYOS class). All my professors have used are PowerPoints for lectures. Some of my friends do use WebAssign, a tool that we also used at my high school, but that’s pretty much it. My math class is my only course that requires the use of ELC, a platform that is very similar to itsLearning, the program used by all teachers at my high school to post important documents.
Although we use less technology in class, students at UGA still use the some of the same forms of media as in my high school. For some classes, we still use GroupMe to keep in touch with classmates and for group projects (setting meeting times and delegating responsibilities). Social Media usage has also changed slightly. The first few weeks of college especially, I found myself not having time to check my phone as frequently. While in high school, it was easy to zone out in class and scroll through Instagram, college classes are much more rigorous. When not in class, there are also so many things to do that cell phones have become much less of a priority (Although, they are still a big one).
Media Ecology is the study of media as environments. During this day and time media plays a huge role in our everyday lives. The media ecology of my high school differs a little from the media ecology here at UGA. A few of my teachers in high school didn’t care if we used our phones in class but others took it very seriously. My high school didn’t really have a need for us to use laptops in the classroom unless there was a paper or project or something that we would use our laptops for. But other than that we just took handwritten notes at my high school.
The “tech” guy at my high school was crazy. Our administration were completely against cell phone use in the classroom and they were serious about it. Towards the end of my senior year they blocked Facebook, if you were using the school Wi-Fi, which you had to because otherwise you couldn’t access anything because there was no service in the building. One day, I was sitting in class and I heard this noise coming from the hallway that sounded like a metal detector. I figured out that our “tech” guy was walking up and down the hallway using his cell phone to see if there were cell phones being used in the classroom. And if cell phones were being used the sound went off. My high school took cell phone use very seriously.
Teaching strategies at my high school and here at UGA are similar. In high school, most of my teachers taught using a PowerPoint. Here at UGA, all of my professors teach using a PowerPoint and some make it accessible through eLC for studying purposes before and after class. Which I believe I learn better that way anyway. All of my professors at UGA allow students to use their laptops in class. At my high school it wasn’t allowed in most classes. Forms of communication differed a little in high school than they do in college but there was a similar thing used. In high school, I had several teachers who used the Remind1o1 app to send out like assignment, and test reminders. That app was only a one-way communication system though, as a student I couldn’t respond. At my high school, we did have a thing we used called Renweb, where we could access assignment due dates, tests, and our grades. This is similar to eLC. At UGA, professors use eLC to communicate with us on assignments, email and tests. The media ecology in some way differ for me from high school to college on the subject of laptop usage and phone usage in the classroom but other than that they are similar.
Even though the University of Georgia and the high school I went to are completely different, the media ecology of both are very similar when it comes to educational and social purposes. At my high school, we used email to communicate with teachers. Email was definitely the best way to communicate with teachers because they would respond very quickly and were able to include lots of information in the email. At UGA, I only use email to communicate with professors because it again is the best way to communicate. In high school, all of my teachers would post all homework and information for the class on a website called Schoology. At UGA, all of my professors post all information for the class on ELC, so there is only one website that I have to go to for class information. These similarities have made the transition to UGA a lot easier for me because I am very comfortable with these forms of media. I graduated high school in a class of 200 people, and the forms of media I use now make UGA seem as small as my old school. Even when it comes to social media, the media ecology of high school and UGA are basically the same. Everyone still uses Facebook to post the bulk of their pictures, as well as to keep up with people’s lives. Instagram and Twitter are also both used by most people to communicate with people and to post pictures.