Week 7 Discussion

Week 7 Reading Summaries:

Digital Dualism and Lived Experience: Everyday Ontology Produces Everyday Ethics by Stéphane Vial.

A Life Lived In Media  by Deuze, Blank, and Spears.

Google Glass represents the next-generation of wearable technology that aims to integrate our media experience more deeply in our lives. Photo courtesy of GlassAppSource

Google Glass represents the next-generation of wearable technology that aims to integrate our media experience more deeply in our lives. Photo courtesy of GlassAppSource

The two readings discussing new media in everyday life had conflicting views on what it means to live with technology. The first reading “A Life Lived in Media” focuses on how media has been so far integrated into our daily lives that it is impossible to distinguish our real lives from our digital lives. The second reading “Digital Dualism and Lived Experience: Everyday Ontology Produces Everyday Ethics”, disagrees with this point saying that humans are still very much aware of the digital world versus the real world.

“A Life Lived in Media” states that “we no longer live with media, we live in media”, essentially that humans have become completely integrated into their media. This is referred to as media invisibility. Media has become such an embedded part of every persons day to day life that it is invisible because we are often not conscious about how much media we are absorbing and using every single day. Everyday humans experience multiple types of media on their phones, the TV, social media and advertisements. Because of this invisibility it is, “dissolving the distinctions drawn all too easy between humans and machines […] between culture and computers”. “A Life Lived in Media” also mentions media creativity, there is now media literacy and a whole new form of communication. This creates a society of networked individualism. “A life in media is at once connected and isolated, requiring each and every individual to rely on their own creativity to make something out of life: not just to give it meaning, but to symbolically produce it”. This ties into their definition of media sociability. It is now necessary to brand yourself online or someone else will brand you through good and recording your information, which brings in a strong issue with privacy. This creates the perception that our youth is a very narcissistic generation because of their obsession with socializing and creating themselves online. In summary, this article believes that, There are extensive societal and cultural repercussions occurring primarily due to the way media become invisible because media are so pervasive and ubiquitous that we do not even register the presence of media in our lives. The networked individualist and personalized information space in media that constitutes people’s everyday reality influences work, play, learning and interacting”.

In the second reading, “Digital Dualism”, the author strongly disagrees that media has become invisible, instead he believes there is still a strong and recognizable divide between the virtual and the real. “People really do feel a difference and even a conflict between their online experience and their offline experience. […] They’re not faking it. They’re expressing something important about themselves and their lives- something real”. The author argues that this divide between people’s real lives and interacting through media will always be distinguishable. For example, the telephone, it has been one century since it was invented and people still understand the difference between a phone call and a face-to-face conversation, we are just no longer conflicted about it and understand it peacefully. The author disagrees with the idea that some human experiences are being lost, but rather that the accumulation of technology only enhances them. In the end it is pointless to fear technology and what it is doing to our human lives because it is inevitable and it is just a matter of time before we learn to live with it and clarify it.

Discussion Questions:

Which reading do you agree with, has technology become invisible or are we still very conscious of its presence?

Do you believe that our generation is more narcissistic because of the “brand” we make of ourselves and invest time in on social media?

Do you think human experiences are enhanced or taken away because of technology? Or is it both?

Main Ideas to Come up in Lecture / Discussion

“Digital Dualism and Lived Experience”

– the difference between virtual and real as fantasy or fact

– the existence of “digital monism”

– how we experience the difference between online and offline experiences

– has nature ever existed with the presence of humanity?

“A Life Lived in Media”

– living with media vs. living in media

– the concept of a mediapolis

– the potential results of digital media proliferating faster than our cultural, legal, or educational institutions

– media’s invisibility increasing its power

– networked individualism

– media sociability and privacy

– media as a sole frame of reference

balance between free and mediated in media

Possible Additional Readings:

How tech is changing the way we think and what we think about” – Conner Forrest

Hong Kong protests highlight peer-to-peer mobile – could it be a really good thing?” – Ian Scales

Why a leading professor of new media just banned technology in class” – Valerie Strauss

Main Ideas from Lecture/Discussion

-how new media affects us in everyday life

-how we think of ourselves and our interaction with new media

-how can we be creative producers within media space?

-Strauss’ article: there is a tremendous skill in training yourself to ignore notifications, texts, messages, etc.

-our generation feels an inclination to be connected

-we’re trying to learn what the social limitations are, experiment with them, but we’re also being confronted by people who also don’t know the limits (there are no rules or laws of new media use)

-we only have so much control over our media consumption and use –> we have to respond to the network we’re in, or else there’s consequences (i.e., getting fired for not responding to an email in 24 hours)

-the “…” that shows up in iPhone’s iMessage feature, how do we turn those off?  Those types of features are designed to get your attention

-notifications are built in, built as “for your convenience,” but really it’s to make you come back more and more often (Facebook notifications lead you to check your FB more often, which allows FB advertisers to see your cookies and past browsing data more often, etc.)

-we all suck at multitasking

-we have shifted our values to meet the media landscape, but instead of doing one thing REALLY well at a time, we do a bunch of things at once mediocrely

-we watched a video about people being tested on their multitasking skills. take away?  people seem to like to be flooded with information, but we are worse at doing multiple things at one time.  “Multitaskers are lousy at multitasking”

Final Questions

-Who gets to judge how you’re actually paying attention? Some people study better with music, some people type better notes than handwriting them.  Depending on who you are and how you learn, it’s very individual.

-Do students feel like they need to be jarred from their new media use by their teachers and professors?


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