OUR VERBAL COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN SILENCED

You are probably questioning  what is meant by this title. Developing on what is said in that statement, the new error of digital media and the wide range of technology we have today, you can argue has some way caused the loss of communication verbally. What makes me say this?

Social media has reached an epidemic proportion where it is used across the world by a variety of age groups. And with the development of technology we have today, social media can be accessible In many ways. For instance through our phones, laptops, iPad’s, computers etc.  And the success of social media has brought most people to rely on that or replace it with verbal communication. For instance how many of your parents have said that you spend too much time on our phones, laptops or spend too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and all other types of social media? I’ve seen that we can be physically present with people, for instance family or friends but not always verbally present due to spending time on our phones interacting with others. So would you agree that verbal communication  has been effected with digital media?

Quoting Albert Einstein, he argues that it has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity, with this what other disadvantage would you say technology has among us?

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Should we keep private?

Throughout the journey of understanding the media and internet, what really stood out to my interst was the debate whether we should keep private on social media or not.

I have always been one of those people who didn’t really mind what people saw and was quite neutral about the whole topic. However, reading more in depth about the disadvantages and dangers having an online profile open to everyone I completely changed my mind.

I will be focusing on the Facebook, as it’s the platform that has been online for the longest and has developed the most. Not many people realise that Facebook allows others to track whereabouts you are through the GPS unless this option is disabled. I don’t think I even have to say how dangerous that could be.

One of the big disadvantages for the future is that many employes will want to know much more about us, things that are not visible on CV. The first thing they will do is look for us on social media and see what kind of things we post etc. Even if we delete something, it is essentially there forever.

Even if you have ounces of gold, there’s something you don’t own

First of all, I am grateful to this module because it gave me the chance to improve my knowledge about how networking modified actual society, which is a basic skill as a PR student and as a (hopefully) future PR practitioner. Moreover, this blogging experience was completely new to me and I had the chance to familiarise with something out of my comfort-zone.

digital-privacy

The most relevant aspect that has emerged from this module is how our personal data, thus privacy, is traded by companies to companies.

We are not people, we are now an asset of commodities. What we search, our likes, our tweets, they are not mere personal preferences or opinions, they are what coal is for a powerhouse.

But there is a radical difference in this simile from reality. Right now we want to be a part of this cycle, we are not dragged in, we want to drag ourselves in. The worst part of this circuit is that we cannot live without social networks or search engines (apparently) and we do not even care about anymore about privacy.

However, companies could choose not to collect our data but we would have to pay to get access to these services as no one does anything for good.

How much would you offer for your privacy monthly? Or would you get paid for your already renounced privacy?

Soft tactics or Manipulation?

“The FBI said it had, “this past weekend”, been shown a way to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Rizwan Farook.”, said Dave Lee, in an article for BBC, yesterday. This Apple – FBI case have been very interesting for me to follow, as I believe its truthfulness, as much as I believe sheep can fly. I believe that, whenever such an issue becomes visible for the public, there is something beneficial in it for both sides involved.

I have always been interested in Apple’s advertising and why is it so successful. What I found out is that the company doesn’t rely on traditional tactics. They are attracting customers using manipulative, non-visible methods. Let’s take this case for instance; Apple is represented in the news as a hero. They protect their customers’ rights and care about them. And this is so clear and so visible for everyone. Apple has been telling their corporate story for years. They made Steve Job’s story a buzz; they generated a huge interest and managed to engage their customers with their existence as a brand. They let us be a part of their development.

What about FBI then, they are not interested in generating sales or customers? Their case is similar to the climate change or the racism. We are aware of them, but we got used to them. FBI is creating awareness of the surveillance they are doing and surveillance they are able to do. They are making the public a witness of their power and softly make us get used to it.

Overall, I believe every news story, makes someone benefit from it. Whether a company, a government or an NGO. What we should do, is that we should learn how to think critically and evaluate everything for what it’s really worth.

Did this module change my online presence?

While attending the lectures I obtained a deeper knowledge about how the information I share online can effect me. I was shocked by the things I learnt in the lectures, however, as soon as I left I returned to my old habits. Or did I make changes? I used this open post to think through how everything I learnt has changed the way I use the internet. Surprisingly, it did quite a bit. The lecture that shaped the way I use the internet, especially social media, the most wast the one about surveillance. I find it shocking how much they actually know about us based on our online activity. As Edward Snowden stated, “arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you don’t have anything to hide is like saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you don’t have anything to say”. This quote is very helpful in understanding why all of us are affected by surveillance. Even though it wasn’t intentional, I changed the way I use the internet as a result of everything I learnt. Firstly, looking at my Facebook profile I noticed I barely ‘check-in’ anymore, I write comments under open posts only after think about it twice and I have deleted friends whose requests I don’t know why I accepted in the first place. Secondly, I’considered changing my Instagram account to an open one but now I’m sure I won’t. Lastly, I deleted people who I don’t consider real friends from Snapchat.
Clearly, this module has affected the way I use the internet. Did you experience the same thing? In your opinion is this a positive or a negative change?

Activism has saved lives

This blog post can be about whatever we like, so I want to talk about something that I think Doug missed from his lecture this week. I feel like, in fact I know, that activism using social media has changed the world we live in for many minority groups. In 2013 the bill for marriage equality was passed, allowing same sex couples to marry from March 2014. I’m not saying that this wouldn’t have happened at all without online support, but it wouldn’t have happened when it did. In response our world and society has become more accepting of the LBGT+ community. Depression is a huge problem for our community (see here), and while this legalisation has not solved the problem it has absolutely helped. Social campaigning and activism has saved lives.

I continue with the story of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender girl who posted her suicide note on tumblr with the wish for us to fix the world we live in. Again while the attention this brought did not solve the problem, we are all aware and pushing to make changes in order to save others from the same fate. Without the internet this would have been swept under the rug, pushed out by people who believe that gender and sexuality is a choice, and consequentially forgotten.

We lose too many souls to the discrimination and phobic attitudes of the world we live in, and without online groups, petitions and awareness we would not be able to take steps to solve the problem. We have built a community and a safe place using campaigns, including Pride events and huge social media awareness campaigns. Give twitter and tumblr and every social network the credit it deserves for helping us take steps towards saving this generation.

The Impact of the Network

While investigating the various topics within Network Media and Society I have become very interested in the subject as a whole. I have been able to learn a great deal about the different media forms both old and new, the developments in digital medias and the pros and cons to them existing in our society. Even though I found all topics interesting and engaging I found Media Convergence, Audience Participation and Online visibility to have a large impact on our everyday lives and have both positive and negative elements to their existence.

Just to recap, Media convergence is the combination of new media and old media within a single piece of media work and usually can be seen in the coming together of different media products/technology. The rapid development of a franchise like Star Wars is a classic example of Media Convergence – from a film series to merchandise to comics to novelizations to TV Shows to video games.

Audience participation is the communication between the media and its audience. It allows the audience to take part, communication and manipulate the media form to exist in a way that pleases the users. Examples of this would be the TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing which allows its audience to vote for their favourite contestants. YouTube is another form of audience participation as it is an online space that allows audiences to view other audience work.

Online visibility is the amount of information a person launches online about themselves. Their name, date of birth, whereabouts, likes and dislike etc. Social Media sites such as Facebook are very good at requesting to find out more personal information about the users.

These three topic in particular can interlink have had a massive impact on our everyday live and how society is forming. However, there are pros and cons to their existence and they can affect the users live in different ways.

Thanks to modern digital media forms such as the internet many of the topic in Network Media and society interlink with one another and devices such as smartphones and tablets allow audiences to constantly expose themselves to the topics within Network Media and Society.

Media convergence on one hand has allowed specific products and technologies to grow and develop. It helps to keep a concept alive and even allows it to evolve and branch out to create new concepts. It allows creators to better connect with their audiences though developments in technology. And has become another form of advertisement.

However, is media convergence another way of allowing media professionals to make more money off just one popular concept?

Me being a Star Wars fan have often used media convergence by looking at information within the story that was not given within. Without this product evolving into games, books and comics I would not have been able to find my answer. Also, if the movies did not evolve into online content I would not be able to learn be other concepts that branch from this idea.

Audience Participation has allowed users to be heard especially since the development of the internet. For me without audience participation I probably would not be able to find entertainment on sites YouTube or blog discussion. However, on TV shows that use voting I may not always agree with the decision made by the audience. Online audience participation has created a new way for people to communicate and socialise and allows audiences to be in control to a certain extent.

Online visibility has shown me the importance of my information. However, it puts me risk and benefits me also. Information being placed on social media can allow unwanted users to view my information. However, for other uses such as online shopping the distribution of my information allows me to easily meet the product I am buying.

When looking into Meetup, the online community, a user’s online visibility was kept restricted up to a certain level to avoid any unwanted communication. This keeps the users safe from one another. Meetups also contains audience participation as users can decide to join specific groups that fit their interests and speak to many others on how they feel. Meetup also contains media convergence to it can be used on a number of digital devices. This makes it easier to use for the audience.

I have really enjoyed learning about the topics with Network Media and Society and now can identify these elements and the pros and cons they have in our society.

How did you guys find it?