All posts by Aly

Media in Education and Theatre

Honestly, after fourteen years of school, I thought I knew everything about media usage in education. However, I am constantly being introduced to more and more creative ways to use a common phenomenon in school. This year of college, I was introduced to Menti, the interactive polling method that is really convenient in a lecture class. In a class full of 300 people, it’s easy for students to feel lost in a crowd, but Menti allows everyone’s opinions to be heard. A media that I still continue to use in college is Kahoot. This fun game promotes review and learning in a challenging and competitive way. One media in education that I no longer use is Edmodo. Edmodo is the school version of Facebook. Teachers would post homework assignments, support, and handouts and students could comment if they needed help. Additionally, schools are taking to social media to try and be interactive with their students and the community. I still follow my high school’s Twitter account and they do tweet often.

Because Theatre is such a fluid department, we always have to be ready to go with what society is doing next. Therefore, people involved in theatre are incredibly media savvy. There are famous theatres with social media handles. UGA’s University Theatre even had a snapchat filter for one of their shows. Additionally, theatres can use these new media like online polls and using cell phone screens as tickets to sell their shows. Media is and has been a large presence in theatre.

Not So Against Media

chartgo Well, I suppose I’m not that against media. I’m really just busy. After doing a third day and comparing all three days, I realized that I don’t hate media or I’m an old lady, I’m just really busy. Almost too busy to use media. The red line on the graph (since the key disappeared) is Friday. My media usage isn’t too shabby. I’m using it for a little bit. I also tend to wind down at night by scrolling through Twitter. The green line represents Saturday when I didn’t do anything except go out with friends that evening. Once I woke up, since I wasn’t busy, I was able to be on media. The very sad blue line represents Tuesday, a day when I have class and work. Even when I get off work, I’m so busy that I don’t even have time to properly wind down with social media. Honestly, social media just does not fit into my very busy schedule. I seem to always be doing something related to school that I don’t have the time for anything else to distract me.

With that being said, when I do allow myself to not doing anything and focus on social media, I am able to thoroughly enjoy reading what everyone else in the world is saying about everything (particularly the current events in politics). These comments that I see make me feel more human and not so busy and demanding. It reminds me that it’s alright and that I’m going to be alright.

Media Probe

Goodness, I must not be a young person.

I say that because it seems that stereotypical young people always seem to be on their phones. Whether they’re on social media, taking pictures or doing research (this is actually a thing), they’re always on their phones.

I, on the other hand, pick up my phone when I’m around other young people. So I guess I’m only a young person when other young people are around. Honestly, I only get on Twitter  when I’m eating in a dining hall around young people, or when I’m at home with my roommate. Other than that, I don’t ever get on social media much.

Apparently, I’m just not a young person until I’m around other young people. And realizing this made me want to use my phones more. I would find myself trying to get a lot of data to analyze. Because of this, there is a lot of data that is not generally applicable to my normal everyday life. For this reason, it’s interesting to see that apparently I’m actually somewhat self-conscious about my media usage.

Optional Post: Social Media & Politics

When I saw that the two presidential candidates should be avoided, I was immediately hit with a roadblock. I’m not incredibly enticed by politics. Honestly, this country is seemingly run by idiots with a few smart people woven in between. Sure, I know a few politicians, but honestly, I try to focus solely on myself and not about the increasing decline of the US.

I thought of two completely random politicians and googled them. The first was Senator Corey Booker, from New Jersey and the second was the mayor from my home, Mayor Kasim Reed.

I had no idea that Senator Booker had a Twitter, but then again, why wouldn’t he? Additionally, he has a snapchat. Not sure what a Senator would snap, or if he would snap on a daily basis, but he certainly advertises his snapchat with a wonderfully heroic picture of him in the snapcode. All of his pictures on his Twitter show him being out and involved with either a genuine smile or a serious concerned listening face. Overall, he seems warm but also concerned about the issues (including the presidential election).

Mayor Kasim Reed, on the other hand, didn’t seem as welcoming and friendly. His avi (the profile picture) is a dramatic and intentionally lit picture that makes him seem unobtainable and cold. Not many of his pictures show him smiling. Even when he seems to be encouraging the public, he seems more like a stern father than a kind, encouraging leader. Even in a picture at Atlanta’s Pride Parade this year, he seemed stiff and uncomfortable. Overall, he seems stern and unapproachable.

I had no idea that just from the delicately picked pictures on their social media that a political candidate can be made out to be any way the public can perceive them. It’s interesting to see the different politicians and just how their media presence has affected the public’s perception of them.

Binge Breaker?

First off, I’d like to acknowledge my extreme delight in how social media was compared to junk food and how this overload of social media was like a junk food binge. That was rather clever.

Secondly, as I’ve stated before, I truly don’t see an issue with my social media usage. Honestly, I don’t binge it; I use it in moderation. This article made me realize just how addicted to their phones people are. There are actual people who constantly check their phones. They can’t go a single minute with checking to make sure that they aren’t missing anything. I, on the other hand, only use my phone when there’s not much else to do. In fact, I accidentally messed up a fifteen day long Snapstreak this weekend because I forgot to check my phone all day. I was with my friends that I was streaking with, so I completely forgot to snap them back. Because I was so engrossed with reality (and also sleeping a lot), I forgot about the world of social media.

Because I’m not addicted to social media, having to pay for it would anger me. I use it honestly because everyone else does, but being forced to pay for things even when everyone else is using it, is pointless to me. When new phones come out, a lot of people want to buy it, but I’m not buying something just because it’s popular. In that case, I won’t use anything at all.

All in all, I’m certainly not a part of the group of people who binge social media. Truly, I find it rather pointless and annoying to invest so much time into something that may not matter later.

Social Media Interview: Different, Yet the Same

First off, doing this interview was one of the most introspective experiences I’ve had. This interview made me realize that even when we think that other people have different social media preferences, we all tend to use it the same. It’s a universal concept. We all use these media in different, yet similar ways.

I interviewed a friend of mine who definitely doesn’t use social media as frequently as I use it. Personally, I’m typically on some form of social media if I’m on my phone. I don’t always use it, but I do often use it. My friend tends to use it less frequently than I do, but he definitely uses it in a similar fashion.

Some of the differences between us include how often we use it, why we use it, and which media we use. My friend reported that he accessed social media hourly, but mainly when he would hit short periods of boredom. He reported only using Instagram and Twitter, with a stronger interest in Twitter. He mainly uses it to keep up with current events. Additionally, on Twitter, he tends to retweet tweets that involve his interests, but he rarely posts unless it’s something meaningful.

Some similarities that we shared were our specific purpose for using the media, how we accessed the sites, and our views on our social media usage. We both use Instagram to keep up with friends. We both mainly use our phones to access the sites. We also don’t believe in using the privacy settings on social media because “It’s social, it’s all out there anyways.” We also believe in the need to keep work and personal separate, particularly on social media.

All in all, we definitely have differing ways that we use social media, but we also have some similarities as well. I appreciate looking at other people’s usage because it makes me not seem out of place. Sometimes I feel like my social media usage is slightly overkill, but seeing that I measure up to everyone else makes me feel normal.

Social Media

After reading these reviews, I did the same thing I always do when people complain about the adverse effects of social media: I rolled my eyes and proceeded to scroll through Twitter.

Quite frankly, I am a strong believer that social media is only as bad as one makes it. If one allows it to be too prevalent in their life, then of course it’s going to be bad. That goes for everything in life. If one overuses chicken nuggets, then of course the world is going to say that chicken nuggets are horrible and should be regulated.

Now of course, there are those people who choose to overuse social media and said people must be addressed. However, not everyone is like this. Punishing everyone and making us all seem like social media addicts is absurd. Even so, some of these addicts see that there is a problem and proceed to try and fix it. My boyfriend only uses Snapchat and he rarely ever posts anything. Before we were dating, he had an Instagram and Twitter and his followers scaled into the thousands. He would post constantly and since he is a rather attractive male (I’m not just saying this because he’s my boyfriend, I swear), he would have fans commenting under his pictures almost ready to start a war over him. He realized that the situation was getting out of hand and decided to delete everything. He created a Snapchat, but never gave it to anyone except people that he knew personally. He could see that social media was inflating his ego and that that truly was not the way it was intended to be.

In a complex social society like college, it is easy to get wrapped up in being social, both url and irl (that is, both online and in reality). I personally have a problem with wanting to visit and stay in my friend’s dorm rooms rather than stay in my own room and study. Being social is a part of the human experience. However, it is incredibly important to remember that there is a fine line between simply being involved in the social scene and being too wrapped up in it.

I truly think it is unnecessary to put so much emphasis on how social media is negatively affecting our society. Sure, there are moments when social media should not be used (it’s probably not appropriate to Snapchat at an uncle’s funeral). However, it is a part of our society that we must embrace and learn that it’s not overriding who we are. It’s simply another characteristic of our complex society.

Media Ecology

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.

The Bridge Between New School and Old School

Over my eighteen year lifetime, I’ve seen my share of media. As a four year old, I would record movies off the TV using a VHS. I can remember having several VHS tapes of all my favorite Disney movies. I owned cassette tapes of sing-alongs. I remember using a floppy disk for a project in the second grade. My parents upgraded the TV to include a DVD player and we started buying DVDs. I was given a CD player to listen to my sing-alongs (and later and MP3 player). I had a flash drive by the time I was in the fifth grade.

Truly it is amazing to know that I am a part of the generation that lived through the shift in media. We were the ones who saw the changes in technology. We weren’t immediately born into it. We were introduced to different aspects of it and were able to appreciate them both.

Apple’s release of the iPhone 7 and wireless earbuds made me realize that corded headphones will soon become obsolete media. I personally appreciate corded headphones and their ability to not be lost or easily broken; however, Apple sees the corded headphone as a hindrance and therefore must be replaced by wireless ones. Of course, Beats made wireless headphones popular as well, but with the iPhone’s exclusion of a headphone jack, the wireless headphone craze is bound to pick up speed. Truly, corded headphones will soon become old media.

It is interesting to look at the shifts between new and old media and how they’ve been such an important part in this generation. We were the kids who went from watching “Hercules” on VHS to watching “Mean Girls” on DVD to watching “Twilight” on Netflix. Times are changing, and luckily we are that bridge to keep both the old media and new media alive.

Writing A Letter: Who Has the Time?

To begin, I’d like to apologize for this rather tardy blog post. However, my tardiness is going to further my point.

When Dr. Menke wanted us to write a letter, I was originally excited. I never get to send letters because everyone is typically used to text messages. Most of the people I talk to are just a click away so I tend not to send letters. However, given the excuse to send one, I was ready to jump at the opportunity.

However, I soon became consumed with too much work and stress from other sources that I actually forgot about the letter. When I realized I had to write a letter in a couple of hours before class, I freaked out. How in the heck could I have forgotten.

And that’s the point: In this generation, we’re so consumed with everything else that we forget to do the things that actually take time and are important. Even if we are originally excited about them, most of them soon take the backseat to other outrageous events that force themselves into precedence. It’s important to remember that the things in life that take more time and pay homage to those ways before us are still important. If they got our ancestors through life, they obviously aren’t too bad. Of course, we don’t have to go back to carrier pigeons or the Pony Express, but it is nice to know that we still have letter writing as an effective method of communication…even if it slips our mind until an hour before class.