Monday, March 14, 2011

Final Blog

Throughout the course of this term my studies in Media have broadened. Not only have I learned a variety of ways that media can be used to inform and communicate, but I have put it to the test.

Just yesterday I received a  friendship request on Facebook from my biological father who I have not had any communication with since I was five or six years old. As soon as I saw the name I immediately fell to tears.
Mike is his name and he immediately commented on a picture of my brother and I . At first I thought....what a crappy way to come back into someone's life over Facebook......but that soon changed.

I realized that Facebook is the perfect outlet for a situation like this. Not only do I not have to interact in person (which could get me into trouble considered I have a few choice words for the man) but I have the ability to "creep" on him to see if I want to further any sort of communication with him. He seems like a totally normal guy who lives a somewhat normal life but the best part is this....

I have several brothers and sisters who still live in the Quad City area and thanks to Facebook, I finally got  to see what they look like. It is still very strange to me to think that there are so many questions I have that may not ever have answers.

The point I would like to make here is that although some people feel like social networks are stripping personalization and social skills away from human to human contact. I would have to agree...don't even get me started on text messaging. But in the case of my long lost dad.....Facebook changed my life and I plan on continuing my "creeping" sessions to expand knowledge of my potential family members. I may someday finally know what it is like to have sisters and more brothers. Had Facebook not brought my dad and I on the same page...I may have never known if he was still alive or not.

Save the media!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Virtual Caricature"

The article in the Chicago Tribune about Rham Emanuel's fake Twitter account  gave me a good laugh. It was set up by an anonymous source and it perhaps portrays the thoughts Emanuel is actually having in his head.

The fake account (@MayorEmanuel)l has 14,000 more followers than his actual account (@RahmEmanuel).That is no suprise considering the fake account posts much more interesting material.

Yes, it is good to know someone out there has a sense of "humor" you could say, but I wanted to find out more about the Twitter sniper! I found out that Emanuel is asking the poser to identify him/herself and come forward and in return, he agreed to donate $2,500 to $5,000 to the person's favorite charity.

Heck, now I'll consider making a fake account and asking him to donate to my favorite pocket.

I was glad to read that Rahm thought the posts were funny, although he is not a follower of the page, but this has me Emanuel offering the reward for the site to be taken down because it pokes fun at him? Or, is he making such a generous offer to attract voters? Either way, a charity is benefiting so I cannot complain. =)

In all seriousness, this is a perfect example of how easy it is to pose as someone else online. We all know the dangers of that in class so let's be cautious.....if you all plan on claiming prepared to bribe posers to take down their fake profiles of you!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's ten you know which site your child is on?

My phone is my baby. Without it I feel empty and when it has died or has been placed anywhere other than my hand I obsess about how much it sucks to have no connection to the digital world. I remember when I was fifteen I received a less than average grade on my report card; my punishment was the loss of my cell phone for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I went insane and never let my grades slip again. My parents had total control over the situation. Like my own, a lot of parents today are worried about the role of new media in their children’s lives.
            Media is taking over our youth and here is why… are getting older, younger. Marketers realize that the easiest way to make the most money is to advertise to the age group commonly know as the “tweens.” Tweens are children ages 8-12. People this age depend on their parents who make a substantial amount of money compared to them. Therefore, the parents are forced to satisfy the tween’s hunger for the most popular items all received through media.
            Parents should be concerned with what their kids are viewing and indulging in while online. Access to inappropriate sites, games, videos, and online communities are incredibly possible. Not only do kids harm themselves by drowning their brains with junk, they are hurtful to their peers simply because it’s so easy. For example, many young adults are burdened with cyber bullies and hate mail which should never reach the point contemplating life or death. The story of Megan Meier* will hopefully bring awareness to online hatred. Megan was teased and bullied online which lead to her ending her own life at the age of 13. Her parents were completely unaware of any sort of situation until it was too late.
There are several things online that we as consumers should do without, but I feel that today’s newest technologies are absolutely amazing and helpful in today’s world. The fact that people of such young ages can adapt to media only encourages and promotes a successful future financially. There are many teens out there that have made huge profits from their online inventions and discoveries. Mark Zuckerburg is a prime example.  Older people may hate new technology simply because younger, tech-savvy, college grads are taking over their jobs due to their lack of adaptability.
Parents are, will, and should forever remain concerned and fully aware of what’s happening on the keyboard. I fully support filter software and heavy surveillance, but at the same time our internet age should never be forbidden or frowned upon.

“Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks”

*An article on Megan Meier.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Filling teen's minds with dirty thoughts.

MTV's new show "SKINS" premiered last week. I tuned in only because I saw at least two previews for it during every commercial break during Jersey Shore and I knew it would be an interesting topic to discuss.

The main plot follows a group of high school students who like to party. In one episode topics of masturbation, narcotics, marijuana, copious amounts of alcohol, homosexuality, and the uncoolness of virginity were portrayed. In one scene a young male was set up to lose his "V card" to a devilish young female who demanded "good narcotics" in return.

Young people today are seriously influenced by what they see on TV. These young adults are our future and if we keep filling their heads with adult material they will continue to make bad decisions. I felt exremely uncomfortable watching the show and could not imagine myself partaking in these activities at my age let alone when I was much younger and dumber.

Above you see an "ad" for the soundtrack. This is nothing but a bunch of half naked high school kids tangled up in a mess of hangovers and drug withdrawl. Classy.

Here is my question to you, MTV..........


Also, I'll save this topic for a rainy day, but doesn't MTV stand for MUSIC TELEVISION? C'mon.

Below is an article from the NY Times about speculation that the show crosses boundaries of appropriateness. Many high school kids are not legal adults, and “Skins” may violate federal child pornography statutes. Check it out.

Click the link below to catch webisodes, pictures, and upcoming show dates.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Google is my best friend

Addicted to google? Why yes, yes I am.
Whenever there is a task I don't know how to do or a question I need answered I turn to Google. I'm not exactly sure how long ago I discovered the amazing search engine, but I'm glad I did. With Google the possibilities are endless. There could be thousands of websites to browse off of just one keyword.

It is quite possible that my reliance on Google has caused me to slack in not remembering things I have just looked up. I am depending on just searching it again if I need the same answers.  I do not use Google for my main e-mail nor do I take advantage of it's calendars and other accounts which may make me less dependent than others. But I am a huge fan of it's convenience when it comes to looking up movie times, restaurants, directions, and breaking news. The Google app for Android makes morning news so easy to view. 

I would never say that Google is anything but amazing. 

As much as we are addicted to Google, Facebook is also addicting. Luckily for us, there is a Facebook page dedicated to addicted Google users.

If  you have said, "Just Google it," you may also be an addict. 

To blog or not to blog.

After reading Megan Reardon’s interview, I have decided that maintaining a blog would be an excellent way to organize my life. My new year’s resolution is to take more pictures and videos of the college life I am living. Without these memories on file I may soon forget them!! A blog could help me motivate myself to take pictures and videos to post. I know Facebook has the ability to hold my pictures and thoughts, but in my opinion, Facebook is becoming too impersonal. I want people to read what I have to say instead of automatically seeing it on their news feed.
Megan keeps her blog simple without using fancy blog templates and I’m impressed that she answers all of her e-mail even if it takes her months. Her hate for writing papers is much similar to mine, but free writing is her niche which I too, enjoy. She has also reached out enough  to get some of her knitting patterns published in books so it’s evident that blogging can even advance a career.
Without getting too personal, Megan posts aspects of her everyday life that obviously entertains her followers. Whether it’s cooking, Christmas d├ęcor, clothes, or crafts she is holding the attention of 4,000 daily readers. Although I have not read many blogs yet, after checking Megan’s I realize that some of her ideas relate to me so why not start searching for blogs that have an even closer relation?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SPC 260

Hello Blog world. After undergoing SPC 118, Mass Media and Society with Prof. Macek I am looking forward to the newly aging digital era we will be learning and exploring this term.