The Current Medium

When I was in fourth grade I remember being assigned a research project on the person we were most infatuated with in history. I chose to write my paper and do my project on Neil Armstrong. I was thrilled to start my first independent research project, so that weekend my dad allowed me to use the home computer to write out my paper and cue cards on Neil’s life and accomplishments. I remember waiting for the internet to load up and then gawking at the all the options I had to help me learn about Neil’s life. I felt like I was looking at a digital library.

When being asked what my first experience was using new media, this instance came to mind because I remember sitting with my eyes glued to the computer screen in my family room, tediously trying to understand what was and wasn’t important about this American heroes life. I also remember being taught how to hold my fingers over certain letters in the middle row of the keyboard, along with how to access and create a word document.

After reading Gitelman and Pingrees’ article it’s hard to believe that at one point I had to wait for the computer to dial up and that I had to take a basic typing and computer functions classes. When I think of “New Media” today I think of Google Glass, the iPhone 5s, Siri, and tablets that have disconnecting keyboards. In Gitelman and Pingrees’ article I liked how they described New Media having different mediums throughout history. Throughout time “New Media” has had a different definition to everyone; whether it be a typewriter, phonograph, record player, DVD, or iPhone, media is constantly being improved and updated.

Media will continue to be new because of this constant need to make things easier and more accessible. I can’t believe how within ten years my whole perspective of computers and life has been altered just through the improvements of electronic technology. It also somewhat saddens me to see kids be so comfortable using tablets and smart phones. Technology is useful but can be so detrimental. I feel like it challenges everyone to choose between a virtual reality and the reality we actually, physically live in. Regardless, New Media now has, what I would consider, a new medium in 2014 than it did in 2004, but who knows how long it will be till this current medium is replaced.



Jen Steichen


One comment

  1. New media has certainly changed and transformed over the years into better and more advanced pieces. It has upgraded to a point in which being linked to not only one another, but to the world is a finger tap or a click away. Things will continue to develop and transform to suit the demands of people and how efficient they need their new media platforms to be.

    One point that really caught my attention was the point in which you said that kids now are too comfortable with new media. They do heavily rely on it to help rid or curtail their boredom (for a little while at least) or to just stay up-to-date with what’s going on. I do agree with you though, that they are too comfortable with it, they are using it way too much to the point where they abuse it. Kids nowadays are straying away from actual interactions with others and that is hurting them in the long run. Sure they may be great at expressing their idea on a blog or through email, but once they are put on the spot to present something to a teacher or potential manager/work place they cannot articulate themselves.

    There needs to be a balance between new media and interactive communication on a physical interaction level. Using new media is great, but being able to use that to one’s advantage is even greater. One should certainly keep themselves updated on what’s going on, but they should certainly not let it consume his or her life.

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