Week 8


Week 7

When MySpace was popular it was ‘important’ to be in someone’s top friends. Now Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have taken over and everyone is trying to see how many ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’ they can get on their posts or pictures. They think that if they have 200 likes on a picture that it automatically makes them cool. Teenagers actually worry about these things.

They believe that if they get a lot of likes that they will have more friends. I don’t think that they fully understand that someone does not have to actually like you in order to like a picture that you post. Just because someone is your ‘friend’ on Facebook doesn’t mean that they actually like you. They could of just added you because they wanted to be nosey or they could be spying for someone else.

I do think Marshall McLuhan would be surprised by the development of technology and how it is being carried out. He knew that technology would progress as fast as it did or affect us as much as it does.

In the “Generation Like” video I found it interesting how they talked about Social Media basically being an advertisement for businesses. When you post pictures of something you like other people see it and want it.

brandingI have seen some of the things discussed in “Generation Like”. I know someone who posts videos of themselves and their friends to try to get noticed. I did not realize this was as extreme as it actually is until I watched this video.

On social media people will ‘brand‘ themselves no matter what it takes. They will do anything that they think will help them gain ‘likes‘ and followers. They may be embarrassing themselves but they do not care as long as they are being noticed.

It worries me that this is a top priority for the younger generation. Growing up my goals were to beat my height in high jumping, or to place top three at my gymnastics meet. I wanted to work hard and better what I could do. Today’s generations goals are to get the most followers, or to get the most likes.


Week 6

Marshall McLuhan’s Theory of Technological Determinism divides all human history into four periods. These include a tribal age, a literate age, a print age, and an electronic age. He also says that the changes between each age was neither gradual or evolutionary, new developments in he communication technology pushed the world from one era to another.

McLuhan believes that we are living at the end of the print are and near the beginning of the electronic age. I would have to agree with him. As I was growing up technology seemed to be increasing at a fast rate. When I was in grade school and high school we used the library for everything. There was maybe one computer per classroom, and we never had computer labs. I went back to visit my old school and they had computer labs where classrooms used to be, and students had classes where they had to be on the computers.

This figure in the reading shows the progress of each era and what sense we relied most on in each era.

In the tribal age, the acoustic community, we were reliant on hearing, touch, taste, and smell. We were an oral culture and we had to rely on each other for information, we HAD to listen then. There was no way around it. We were dependent on the spoken word.

Then the alphabet was invented, and we entered the age of literacy. McLuhan says that the alphabet helped sight become our most used sense. He also believed that the alphabet lead to mathematics, science, and philosophy of ancient Greece. Because we were learning to read we were becoming independent thinkers. We no longer needed to rely on someone else for information.

And along came the printing press that moved us right into The Print Age. The print age improved and expanded us as a visual culture. The book was created, and we were able to be alone with our thoughts.

The telegraph was invented and just like that the printed era is almost over. Our books are now online, or on tablets. Welcome to The Electronic Age: the rise of the global village. McLuhan insists that communication is returning us to our oral tradition where sound and touch are becoming more important than sight.

McLuhan stated “We shape our tools and they in turn shape us.” I have never thought of it this way before. We invent something and then all of the sudden we are reliant on it and it becomes something we are unable to live without. It is an interesting concept to think about.

I would say the Internet and mobile devices are in the middle of hot a cool medium. McLuhan says that the telephone is cool because of its personal and demands a response. Mobile device and the Internet can be personal, but they do not necessarily demand a response at all times.albert

Week 5

Net neutrality is an issue that I believe to be overlooked, or not thought about as much as it should be. Where I live it is not much of a concern, but I think it will be when I finally move next year. Is it really possible for everything on the Internet to remain neutral? It may be but obviously not without there being a price to pay.

The Internet is becoming more and more crucial. We use it in our everyday lives. I use the internet for communication, paying bills, online banking, and shopping. I also live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so finding decent Internet is difficult. Currently in our area there is only one company that provides Internet. The downfall to this is everyone is using the same wifi company, so the more people who use it the slower the Internet access is. Just yesterday our Internet was down, and I needed to be on to pay my bill that day. I asked my neighbors if I could go over to their house and use their Internet but as it turned out the whole town was out of wifi.

So as far as different companies charging for each others traffic, I do not have much of an opinion. I do believe that if I was placed in that position where I had to pay more for my Internet access that I would be okay with paying a little bit more than I am already paying.

Although, if the price was too excessive I do not really know how I would go around paying the excessive amount. There are places that offer “free” wifi. But is it really? You usually have to purchase a product. Unfortunately, like I said I from a small town in the middle of nowhere and we have no places near us that even offer “free” Internet access.

Week 4.

It makes me a little nervous knowing how easy it is for the government to access our information, and how they are able to monitor us pretty much no matter how we are communicating with eachother. I believe it takes away from the “freedom” factor we have. The government can access anything we put online; social media, online banking, blogs, emails. All of these can be monitored by the government no matter how secure we think we set our privacy settings.

I believe there are benefits of the domestic spying program. Also, it is understandable that after 9/11 our national security become more active and aggressive. But do I believe that the benefits of the domestic spying program outweigh the loss of individual freedom and privacy? I’m not so sure about that one. If we are going to pride ourselves on being ‘The Land of the Free’ then we should be allowed to actually be free. People move here to be free, and to have the freedom they might not have anywhere else. They are not moving here to be spied on.

Social media is more understandable when it comes to the government ‘spying’ on us. We, ourselves, are solely in charge of what information we allow onto our profiles. We are always being warned that once it is on the Internet it is there forever. We decide what pictures we uploaded, what statuses we make, and what personal information we allow others to see on our pages. Whether the settings are private or not, someone will find a way to see it.

Bank accounts and emails are a different story. These two things are kept “private” for a reason. You do not see people posting all of their account information all over social media. The bank sites we use for online banking say they are “private” and “secure”. But they aren’t from the government.

Although, there are benefits to this program. Like trying harder to keep us safe, and preventing and future terrorist attacks. I just am not a fan of knowing that at any moment the government could be spying on me. I do not like the feeling of not having my privacy and freedom that I am promised.

Technology is amazing these days and it’s capabilities are always progressing. It makes me wonder what they will be able to do next.

Week 3.

Social Media is an up and coming trend. The amount of people who are now active on social media is skyrocketing. Something that I am noticing is that the age range of users is even expanding on on social media sites. With people of all ages participating social media is adapting and making it an easy thing for everyone.

In high school, I signed up for Facebook. At the time Facebook was more for high school and college students, you did not see parents or younger siblings active on this particular site. Originally, Facebook was for communicating with your friends while you are not with them. Now it is used to communicate with not only your friends but also your family who may not live near you. I personally use Facebook to keep up with my friends that I no longer live near, and my family who lives far away. Facebook is also used for advertising, more now than it ever was. If you are logged into Facebook and have other tabs open the social media site “spies” on you. It looks at what other things you are looking at on your computer so they know what sort of things they should be advertising to you. For example, I recently was online shopping and I also had Facebook open in another tab. Now when I am on Facebook there are advertisements for the stores I online shop at. I rarely click on the advertisements they suggests and it I do it is by accident. I find it slightly creepy how sites are able to monitor everything else you are looking at.

I also use Instagram. I love it, it is fun to share pictures and see pictures of my cousins who live far away. My Aunt lives in Colorado and has four boys, and she is pregnant with her first girl! Our family is so excited, and it is awesome to be able to use Instagram to keep up with her busy life! Instagram does not do much advertising as far as I have seen. One thing that Instagram does have is an “Explore” button. When you click ‘explore’ Instagram shows you about 21 ‘random’ pictures. These pictures may seem random to you, but they are actually based off of the pictures you like and the people you follow. So in a way Instagram is spying on you to offer you more pictures that you may possibly like.

I do have a Pinterest account but I do not log on often. I used Pinterest for about the first week, and I just kind of stopped. So I am not sure if this site in particular has an user-generated content. But I assume that it would, in one way or another.

Week 1

My name is Terra Easley, I am 21 years old and a senior at the University of Illinois at TheodoreSpringfield where I am major in Communication. I plan to graduate from UIS in December and go into Human Resources or Public Relations.   I was born and raised in a small town of about 300 in central Illinois.  I enjoying being outside, spending time on the farm, riding four wheelers and horses, or riding my bike.  Fair warning, I am absolutely obsessed with my kitten, Theodore.  Traveling is also a big hobby of mine, actually I will be spending the next two weeks traveling around Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.  The good thing about technology is I will still be able to continue with my online classes while I am gone.  But with all the driving it will definitely be more challenging.  When I have down time, I spend it watching Netflix or helping my grandma with her daycare.  Although, it does not look like I will be having down time any time soon.

The Internet plays a large role in my life.  Like I said before I am from a small town in central Illinois.  The nearest town with stores is about 35 minutes away, and our nearest mall is 80 miles away.  So I rely on the internet to keep me updated, and to do a lot of my shopping.  I am an Advocare Advisor, so the internet is essential for webinars, conference calls, and ordering products.  I also use the internet and technology to communicate with my friends and family, especially the ones who live far away.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all help me keep in contact and up-to-date with my friends that moved away, and my family that lives in Oklahoma.  As far as important work or school emails I use WebMail.

I believe technology is important in most aspects. But today it is becoming almost over used.  My two year old nephew knows how to use his mother’s iPhone.  He knows where to go to get to his games or movies.  It amazes me.  When I was two I could was not aware of any technology, let alone a cell phone.  When I help my grandma with her daycare I see the kids walking around with phones, and iPads.  I remember being their age and walking around with my Tamagotchi, even then I don’t think I really knew how to use it properly because my “virtual pets” always died.  I preferred playing outside over anything as a kid, and children these days hardly want to play outside.  I asked a few of the kids the other day if they wanted to go play baseball or kickball outside, and they all told me know because they were busy playing Candy Crush and games similar to it.  I remember always begging my grandma to let me go play outside, and now it is like pulling teeth to get the kids to.

Technology is very affective, and helps in many ways when it is used correctly.  But it also has the ability to make society as a whole lazier.  Who needs to go outside when there are games like the Sims that let you virtually go outside?  Technology should be heavily monitored especially when it is being used by young children.