Sunday, January 25, 2009

How much is too much?

What happened to the simple task of making a phone call? Or even writing a letter for that matter? Instead of a quick, easy, and efficient method of communication, our society (for the most part) prefers to use about six different types of technology to keep tabs on our friends and family. Drew Barrymore addresses this well in the trailer for the upcoming movie, He’s Just Not That Into You: “I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my Blackberry, and so I texted to his cell. And now you just have to go around checking all these portals, just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.” (Check out the YouTube clip for the full trailer, if you’re interested).
I suppose this is just a way that society is changing, but the question is, why? Why do we suddenly need so many different forms of technology? For me, it seems like things have gotten much more complicated in the four years I’ve been at university. I think it all started when one of my friends, who went to a different university, asked me, “Do you have Facebook?” I think I can pinpoint that seemingly innocent question to when I had too many technologies to look after. When I entered university, I was just getting used to having a cell phone (a graduation present), then along came Facebook. It was both a blessing and a curse. However, the marvel that is Facebook is a topic for another post at a later time. For now, I want to concentrate on how many different technologies we have to look after if we want to even think about having some semblance of a social life. When I am at school, I have to keep track of my home phone, cell phone, hotmail, school email, Facebook, and WebCT (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an internal site for our school where we can access some of our classes, and discuss with and message our classmates). Like Drew said, it really is exhausting. Yet I check many of those things several times a day. I have a roommate who doesn’t check any of her many technologies regularly (she has the same number as me) and it is actually frustrating to me, which is beyond ridiculous. There has been the occasional time where I have gone through all her emails and Facebook messages for her and acted as her secretary. Is this really the type of world we are coming to? I think my roommate actually has a firmer grasp on reality. Why should we feel compelled to check so many different types of technology several times daily? It is excessive and fairly absurd. However, this is the world we are now living in.
Technology is now such a big part of our lives (especially as a student) that we have a panic attack when our Internet stops working. We’re breeding a generation where the Internet and various other technologies are the be all, end all to their (our) world. What do you all think of how dependent we are on technology? I’ve got a mixed opinion about it. I am completely reliant on the Internet and my cell phone, but there are times when I wonder why on earth I care so much. This has been a bit of a rambling post, but my main point is that we have so many different types of technology to look after, and I don’t know if it is really necessary. Let me know what you all think! I’m really interested in finding out how many different types of technology you all use and how attached you are to them, whether you want to be or not. On that note, I will be signing off. Kstar is done philosophizing.

Special thanks to the article in the city magazine Will entitled, “do u c what i c & r u ok w it?: The (d)Evolution of Communication,” written by Derek Krismanich, which helped inspire this post.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Let the fun begin!

Welcome to the world of citizen media and the public sphere. I’m going to give you a little background about the creation and purpose of this blog. This blog is for an assignment for my fourth year seminar. Our class is required to create a blog that will discuss citizen media and new media and their social effects. What that exactly means has yet to be determined, and I’m sure that I am not the only one in the class who thinks so! Our class just started a couple of weeks ago and we are still all learning what some of the terms mean. Anyone who is not in the class who happens upon this blog, I have created a blog roll with all my classmates’ blogs. Feel free to check those out and compare what we are all saying about citizen media. It’s a learning experience for all of us and it is done in a way that I am sure no one has ever encountered in the four years at university, even in our program of communication studies. I’m really hoping this will be a great experience and will help me learn more about blogs, as well as getting more in depth about what we learn in class. I hope everyone enjoys my take on citizen media! :)