Blog Post #6

I think that the biggest challenge of new media, specifically social media, going forward is the number of hours spent on those sites, and the effects on kids social relationships and health. Generation Like gave us a real look at how much social media and interaction with celebrities is prevalent in the lives of children today. A few of the kids mentioned being on their computers or devices for over five hours a day. They also mentioned feeling like they had a relationship with certain celebrities. While an increase in time spent on social media makes sense with all of the options now, this time kids spend online can have harmful effects to their well being.

Kelly Wallace, from CNN.com, reports, “on any given day, teens in the United States spend about nine hours using media for their enjoyment, according to the report by Common Sense Media.” That is more time then an average adult spends sleeping. All this time on spent using media, such as Instagram or Facebook, displaces other activities. In 2012 Pea et al. found a relationship between spending more time watching TV, on YouTube, and playing video games, and difficulty making and keeping friends and also having fewer friends. Spending all this time online takes away from real meaningful conversation. While some findings report that the Internet can help people make friends (Wolak et al., 2002), they are only online friends. In reality someone you only know online isn’t really a friend. They are not going to be there for you in a moment of crisis or when you want to get dinner and hangout. So is all this time spent making social relationships online really meaningful? My answer is no. New media needs to find a way to make those 9 hours spent online meaningful.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.42.43 AM
Depiction showing the prevalence of devices children have to access media.

Another negative issue with all this time spent online is obesity. According to Vandelanotte, Sugiyama, Gardiner, & Owen’s study on the Associations of Leisure-Time Internet and Computer Use With Overweight and Obesity, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors: Cross-Sectional Study, “the main finding of this study is that leisure-time Internet and computer use is strongly related to being overweight or obese, whereas it is largely independent of leisure-time physical activity.” This is alarming and a major cause for concern. In a country already plagued with obesity issues media is only worsening that effect. This is a major challenge new media is going to have to overcome. Currently interacting with media usually involves sitting in front of a screen and passively watching or pressing buttons. This is a sedentary behavior, you are not moving. In order to be healthy one must partake in physical activity. Besides inventions like the WiiFit and workout TV almost all media is considered sedentary. Children today are growing up spending hours leisurely using the internet, which could have major impacts on their health.

Considering the rise in technology use in today’s world new media is going to need to find a way to combat these negative, harmful effects with a new approach to creating content. I think this will be a big challenge for new media to have to realize and overcome.

References

Koughan, F., & Rushkoff, D. (Writers). (2014, February 18). Generation Like [Television series episode]. In Frontline. PBS.

Pea, R., Nass, C., Meheula, L., Rance, M., Kumar, A., Bamford, H., . . . Zhou, M. (2012). Media use, face-to-face communication, media multitasking, and social well-being among 8- to 12-year-old girls. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 327-336. doi:10.1037/a0027030

Vandelanotte, C., Sugiyama, T., Gardiner, P., & Owen, N. (2009). Associations of Leisure-Time Internet and Computer Use With Overweight and Obesity, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors: Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research11(3), e28. http://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1084

Wallace, K. (2015, November 3). Teens spend 9 hours a day using media, report says. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/teens-tweens-media-screen-use-report/

Wolak, J., Mitchell, K. J., Finkelhor, D. (2002). Close online relationships in a national sample of adolescents. Adolescence, 37, 441-455.

Advertisements
Blog Post #6

Blog Post #5

Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, and I thought the only thing one had to do was get your degree. Now as an adult I am realizing how necessary it is to self-brand myself to stand out in the crowd of teachers applying for a job. As we talked in class on March 31st, “authenticity is an important concept in self-branding.” I think authenticity as a teacher falls under the balance idea we talked about in class. One needs to manage their authenticity through finding a balance in including personal information with their professional content. I think this because your personality will be on display 24/7 when teaching students. You will need to be authentic in your brand you create because it will be easy to see through that when observing you in your classroom.

Like I mentioned above, self-branding can set you apart from other applicants. As Franchesca Warren from theeducatorsroom.com states, “teachers have to build their

4101e019b9c9981f7ed009da6f41e233
Franchesca Warren’s book on teacher branding.

brands so they aren’t dependent on a district to validate their professionalism.” It is important to build your own brand by yourself. Warren also explores the idea that as a teacher you are an expert in the classroom no matter how many times you are recognized by the district. One can create their own brand based off their expertise. To figure out what one’s expertise is Warren suggests writing everything you do as a teacher down, and then narrowing that list. As a teacher finding your expertise is a key way self-branding helps you get ahead.

Once you found your expertise it is important to let others know what you stand for. Warren suggests using resources like blogs, YouTube, and twitter with the big goal being “once you get a following you may be able to present at conferences or do workshops for fellow educators.” This is important because this could lead to another source of revenue for a teacher. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics on 2014 the median salary for a teacher is $53,760 per year. That is a livable amount of money, but when you have more expenses more money could be very helpful. If you create a brand and are able to present at conferences you could be compensated for that time. If you have a blog that becomes popular you could make money off people advertising on your blog. With a brand, as a teacher, you have ample opportunity to make more money.

The key with self-branding as a teacher is that you need to maintain this brand throughout your time teaching. John Williams of entrepreneur.com says the most important piece of advice he could give someone who is creating a brand is to be consistent. Creating a brand takes time, and once you create it you need to maintain it. Teachers are constantly learning and refining their skills. They are constantly trying new things in the classroom every year. With all of this happening it is important to tweak your brand or update your following on what you are learning or doing. In order to continually stay competitive as a teacher your brand needs to be up to date on the current happenings in education. The way to do that is by being consistent with your brand.

Self-branding as a teacher is important in today’s competitive digital age to set yourself apart. When a teacher creates a brand it is important for them to find their expertise and to be consistent with the upkeep of it.

References:

Miller, B. (2016, March 31). Personal Branding (PowerPoint Slides). Retrieved from https://ay15.moodle.umn.edu/course/view.php?id=12439.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: Summary. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
Warren, F. (2013, January 07). Teacher Branding: How to Get a Job. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://theeducatorsroom.com/2013/01/teacher-branding-101-whats-your-brand/
Williams, J. (n.d.). The Basics of Branding. Retrieved April 11, 2016, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77408
Picture: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/119556565085989497/
Blog Post #5

Blog Post #3

On May 28th, 2015 North West, the daughter of Kim Kardashian West, and Penelope Disick, the daughter of Kourtney Kardashian, were photographed by paparazzi as they left a ballet class in what looks to be a heated argument. As soon as those pictures hit the internet various memes began appearing. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” The idea of a meme pulls directly from Jenkins framework in Spreadable Media. The picture that sparks a meme can be seen as a producerly text, with options to be able to edit the text on the picture to a million different things. For example this group of pictures of North and Penelope. According to Ryan Matthew Pierson of lockergnome.com “the best memes out there are organic.” North and Penelope didn’t go out there with the idea of creating something that will go viral, they are just toddlers being photographed doing an everyday activity.

1433172559904

The pictures have been manipulated to fit different users experiences. These memes of North and Penelope, and memes in general, are available when and where audiences want it, portable, easily reusable in a variety of ways, and relevant to multiple audience. According to Jenkins these characteristics makes content more likely to be spread. A simple google search of North West and Penelope Disick Memes leads to dozens of different interpretations of this photo. They are easily spreadable through social media. According to Dennis from The Diary of Dennis, memes are so popular because they create connections between a subject and an audience. This audience could be one friend, your Facebook group of girls from college, all your Twitter followers, or any person who feels the  same way about whatever subject. In this case you can pull from the humor of a toddler expressing such emotions and how they relate to all people’s emotions.

On hollywoodlife.com they compiled a photo stream of the top 7 memes from that day they could find. When comparing stickiness and spreadability they do both. They are using the stickiness of the humor in these memes to touch of the idea Jenkins brings up about the migration of individuals. They want to get people to their site and go through their slide show of pictures. After the seventh picture it prompts you to their next slide show and so on. This could lead people getting stuck on their content and going over it again and again. They also allow for the flow of ideas Jenkins touches on by offering 4 options of ways to share these memes with your friends. They want you to circulate their content around to your friends, and they are making that easy with these buttons.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 4.36.29 PM

These memes of North and Penelope are quick and easy to interact with, which is good considering people’s attention spans are declining. For something to be spreadable these days it has to be a quick interaction. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute people on average have an attention span of 8.25 seconds. So memes, that are usually just pictures with captions, are easily spreadable because those take a few seconds to look at or attend to. This is a concept not touched on by Jenkins, but I think is important to keep in mind.

I think this picture of North and Penelope that has become multiple memes, all combined to one slide show by hollywoodlife.com, is a good example of Jenkins’ ideas. It exemplifies so many of his ideas of what makes content sticky and spreadable, as I mentioned above.

References:

Attention Span Statistics. (2015, April 2). Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/
Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J. (2013). Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York, NY: New York University Press.
Matthew Pierson, R. (2012, September 19). What Makes Internet Memes So Popular? Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://www.lockergnome.com/news/2012/09/19/what-makes-internet-memes-so-popular/
D. (2015, January 19). What Are Internet Memes And Why Did They Become So Popular? Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://diaryofdennis.com/2015/01/19/what-are-internet-memes-and-why-did-they-become-so-popular/
Penelope Disick & North West Memes — Pics. (2015, May 30). Retrieved March 07, 2016, from http://hollywoodlife.com/pics/penelope-disick-north-west-memes-pics/#!1/penelope-disick-north-west-fighting-meme-01-2/
Blog Post #3

Blog Post #2

What you see on your Facebook newsfeed and Google search result is not an accurate representation of reality. Thanks to Facebook and google’s complex algorithms, they filter and show us only what we want. This can have a large effect on our lives and even our political views in today’s world. According to an article written for HuffingtonPost by Megan Anderle in 2015, people take what they see on the internet to be true, so many may not even realize this filter bubble they are being put into. These websites also don’t make it very easy to get around the algorithms choosing. As we learned in class on February 18th, “Filter bubbles are created by algorithms that respond to our characteristics to create a reality just for us.” These filter bubbles are created by the Facebook algorithm. According to the study “Uncovering Algorithms: Looking Inside the Facebook News Feed,” 62% of people had no idea their newsfeed was created just for them. This lack of knowledge is a scary fact in and of itself. Anderle goes on in her article to discuss the algorithms effect on political views. Facebook’s newsfeed come from comment you make, timeline’s you visit, and likes you make. If you interact with only left wing politics and comment only on those posts, you are going to see posts about those views more then the contradicting. It is important that it more advertised that Facebook alters what we see via their algorithm.

facebook-news-feed-edgerank-algorithm
One example of an interpretation of Facebook’s algorithm. 

We need to know these filter bubbles exist because as humans we like to avoid opinions that don’t go with ours. We don’t like to engage with people who will pick apart why we are Republican and why that is bad. According to a Fortune magazine article written by Matthew Ingram, Facebook did a study in 2015 and placed the blame of the filter bubble on the individual, stating they choose what they want to see. However he points out that the algorithm and people’s choices are intertwined, and that these algorithms magnify people’s ability to avoid. Taking this back to what Anderle’s article, I think it can be said that even if people themselves choose to engage with their left-winged friends, Facebook’s algorithm further perpetuates that later and filters their newsfeed to show more of those left-winged posts. Which once again needs to be made more public so people are aware.

After discussing Facebook’s impact Anderle goes on to talk about Google’s impact on our political views. She reports “Google’s search algorithm can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more — up to 80 percent in some demographic groups — with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated, according to experiments by researchers Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson. This 20% could cause major repercussions and dictate an election. This could be really impactful because of the point that these filter bubbles are constructed and many people don’t have any idea they are individualized to them. According to google.com their “algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for.” These clues range from your region to computer type to recent clicks. All of these can alter someone’s search engine when they start googling things about an upcoming election. Anderle writes that while Google may not be as manipulative as Facebook, it is still something to be aware of. I believe filter bubbles will exist as long as the internet does, and that is okay. However internet users need to be aware that the reality they are seeing is created just for them and that there is more going on than they see.

References:

Algorithms – Inside Search – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/algorithms.html

Anderle, M. (2015, October 15). How Facebook and Google’s Algorithms Are Affecting Our Political Viewpoints. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/megan-anderle/how-facebook-and-googles-_b_8282612.html

Ingram, M. (2015, May 07). Facebook ‘filter bubble’ study raises more questions than it answers. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://fortune.com/2015/05/07/facebook-filter-bubble-doubts/

Miller, B. (2016, February 18). The Shallows (PowerPoint Slides). Retrieved from https://ay15.moodle.umn.edu/course/view.php?id=12439.

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #1

Instagram is a unique social media site in it’s characteristic of being solely visual based. In order to post something on their site one must upload a picture or video with their thoughts or caption. Their message comes through their medium in the sense that the visuals give the consumer the message. In our lecture on February 4th on “The Medium Is the Message” we learned that hot media are generally visual in nature, Instagram would fall in to this medium. Thus that the visuality of the medium (Instagram) creates the message that the consumer experiences. Instagram creates a social space where people can share visual glimpses into their lives through an app. It is easy to follow a random person, celebrity, or friend. A better understanding of the purely visual, easily searchable, and connective characteristics of Instagram help us better understand that the content produced can range from the glitz and glam to inspiration. This readily available social media effects our culture both positively and negatively. According to Marc Rinosa, writer for HuffingtonPost, Instagram “provides an open forum for opinion through images in a world saturated with text.” These can lead to images circulating Instagram and connecting our community and culture. For example when terror broke out in Paris people took to Instagram to show their support and solidarity, for Paris in their time of need. Time Magazine reported that in the 24 hours following the attack over 70 million people shared their prayers and concerns for Paris through various pictures, such as the ones posted below.

This uniquely visual platform reinforces the power an image has. However that great power can have negative consequences. These consequences include, but are not limited to posts like “thinspiration” on Instagram that can cause great damage to our culture. Thinspiration is a word used to promote anorexia and eating disorders. In an article written for abcnews.com, they interviewed an anorexic girl to try and better understand the trend. She talks about how toxic the content is and that girls see it as their ticket to happiness. She also states that “Thinspo is dominated by photos, many of them of them depicting skeletal young women and girls with prominent ribs, twig-like limbs and sallow visages.” A medium like Instagram is the perfect platform to keep this trend going strong. However Instagram attempted to combat this negativity by banning the use of #thinspo. According to Lauren Duca, and entertainment reporter for HuffingtonPost, Instagram banned the hashtag thinspiration, in August of 2012, in hopes of preventing the harm those pro-anorexia posts can do to our culture. However given the medium is visual they can’t totally ban “thinspiration” from their site. With a quick glance through various popular Instagram’s (such as Kendall Jenner and other models) it is obvious what our culture deems to be ideal, and that is skinny, thin people. Instagram is still full of “thins” just without the use of the hashtag. Like Rinosa pointed out, our world is saturated with text and Instagram is a visual platform, not textual, so banning a word or phrase is not going to keep it off this medium. This open forum can positively bond as a culture, but it can also effect our culture in negative, hurtful ways. This medium is a unique forum that poses new ways to express what our culture deems important.

Duca, L. (2013, August 28). Can Thinspiration Really Be #Banned From Instagram? Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-duca/thinspiration-banned-from-instagram_b_3829155.html
Laurent, O. (2015, November 16). 70 Million People Shared Their Prayers for Paris on Instagram. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://time.com/4114288/paris-instagram/
Miller, B. (2016, February 4). The Medium Is The Message (PowerPoint Slides). Retrieved from https://ay15.moodle.umn.edu/course/view.php?id=12439.
Neporent, L. (2013, March 1). Anorexics Weigh In on ‘Thinspo’ Internet Sites. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/thinspo-internet-content-promotes-anorexia-experts/story?id=18622088
Rinosa, M. (2013, January 26). 4 Ways Instagram Has Redefined Teen Culture. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-rinosa/4-ways-instagram-has-rede_b_2500057.html

 

Blog Post #1