Media Technologies: A Codependency [P8]

The relationship of media and technology is, as the title states, a codependent one.  Media is a broad term.  It can be a book, a website, television, a movie, music videos, CDs, and the list goes on.  However, most media couldn’t really exist or be disseminated to a larger audience without technology.  Yet technology can live on its own.  So really, media is a needy partner.  Technology is what allows media to be shown, heard, and used.  Without technology, we couldn’t listen to a song on our iPods, or watch an acting performance on a little flat box in our living rooms.  We would probably have to go see a live performance… Except that we probably wouldn’t know about it without technology!

Here’s a list of all the media technologies I can think of:

  • iPhones
  • iPods
  • iPads
  • TVs
  • DVD players
  • VCRs (remember those?)
  • CDs
  • Tapes, even!
  • MP3s
  • The radio!!
  • Cable, as in cable boxes
  • Recording devices
  • Records
  • Record players?
  • Walkmen!
  • Laser discs (too bad about those, by the way)
  • Blu-Ray players?  Blu-Ray in general?  I’m not even sure what Blu-Ray is yet to be honest.
  • USB cords
  • Computers, laptops
  • The Internet!
  • “apps” like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  • Digital cameras

Some commonalities among these different media technologies are:

  1. CDs, MP3s, records, tapes, etc. are all forms of technology that music can be heard on.  These technologies have made it easier for people to listen to music.
  2. Radio and television are forms of technology that allow programming to be spread across large amounts of people.  Because of this, advertising plays a huge part.
  3. DVD and Blu-Ray players as well as Walkmen and iPods allow different forms of media to actually be used, and in the case of Walkmen and iPods, also allow for mobility.
By anabhani

Individual Thoughts on Media & Technology [P7]

Technology, media, information, communications, science, art, culture

Here are my definitions of what these words mean:

  • technology: anything that has been created by man in order to make life easier and/or more progressive
  • media: any form of a broad means of communication, such as television, the Internet, and/or newspapers
  • information: knowledge made to help one understand a subject better
  • communications: the subject of communicating, or delivering information from one party to another
  • science: a man made set of information and guidelines about nature humans use to explain phenomena 
  • art: a form of self-expression
  • culture: a society’s rules and traditions 

As a society, we consider technology things such as iPhones, elevators, or nuclear energy.  Often technology is helpful, but its use can be questionable.  In my daily life, technology is a life-saver.  As we deal with this awful heatwave, I would probably lose my mind if it weren’t for air conditioning.  

Media in a broad sense can dominate a society.  It can teach them the values the media-controllers believe.  Because media can be entertaining, it is all too easy for this to happen, and it happens everyday.  In my daily life, I do look at media as a positive thing.  I’m able to do a lot of things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do without it.

In terms of society, information can be a very helpful tool.  People from different societies can learn from each other with new and improved information.  In my daily life as well, I appreciate information, and want as much of it as I can get!

The term communications from a societal standpoint can be the means in which large groups of people can communicate.  In my life, communications means the phone, the Internet, and advertisements I see every single day!

Science is important because it’s the universal language of society.  Every country, every inventor, every doctor, must learn the basics of science in order to achieve or create.  To me, science is interesting, although not my strong suit.  It’s too intricate and requires far too much time to fully understand.  Although at one point, I did major in Biology and want to become a doctor… :/

Art is another hard-to-define term.  As far as society goes, it could mean music, paintings, sculptures, etc. yet has no real meaning.  People often misuse the term art.  This graffiti?  This is art.  This dead bird?  Art.  So it’s really in the eye of the beholder.  I would personally define it as a means of self-expression… Whatever that means.

A society’s culture is what makes them specific to them.  Let me explain.  In American culture for instance, it is understood that you hold the door for someone who is behind you, to which that person would usually show gratitude, and that would be the end of that.  In Persian culture, this entire exchange is defined by the term ‘tarof’ which is hard to literally define in English, but basically it is the exchange of pleasantries, to which the most polite is a “winner” of sorts.  The person holding the door would instead be met by someone who took the door from them, and exclaimed, “No you first!  It is my pleasure!  No really, you go first!”  It’s odd to us as Americans that a simple exchange of politeness would have an entire term and definition, but that’s just a cultural difference between us.

By anabhani

Me & Eve [P6]

I have a best friend named Eve.  She comes with me wherever I go.  Sometimes she’s really helpful, other times not so much, but nevertheless, I treat her with the utmost respect, and I absolutely love her.  I play with her constantly, and sometimes use her incessantly.  She knows a ridiculous amount of personal information about me, so should I ever lose her, I’m screwed to say the least.

Eve is what I named my iPhone.  You know Eve, the cute, white robot from Wall-E!  I’ve never actually seen the movie but that’s advertising for you.  Either way, I adore her, obviously.  Call me crazy, but just because everyone doesn’t name and personify their phones doesn’t mean they don’t love them as much as I do.

I do absolutely everything on my phone.  I have a banking application, social networking apps, and even a period tracker!  That way I can factor — to the day — when I’m getting my period… crazy, huh?  Regardless, I’d say I use my phone at least once or twice every waking hour.  And why wouldn’t I?  This thing cost an arm and a leg for a girl like me.

So I guess you can say my cute, thin, smart, white iPhone 4 is the media technology I use the most… as well as my current BFF.

By anabhani

Evolving Creativity? [P5]

The Internet has allowed its users to create another world.

The BBC article made a good point by saying that the 90s let you read, but now we’re in a read/write mode.  Most of what you see on the Internet is user-generated.  It’s free labor.  It’s an exchange of knowledge, of art, of creativity.  It’s (almost) free advertising, too.  On almost any article you read on the Internet, you can comment.  Heck, for the Huffington Post, you can write articles!  You can be a “published” author for free!  While your ideas are getting out there, you’re not making a dime, but the company is.  Either way, it seems as though most people don’t care, because they continue to contribute.

It goes to show you that most of us feel the need to be heard, no matter by whom or how.  We want our opinions out there.  We want strangers to watch our YouTube videos, and like our Instagram pictures.  Who cares if they’re filtered?  Now I’m an artist and a photographer, all because I can Instagram!  In a way I feel as though the Internet nourishes our creativity, and allows us to evolve, but on another hand I feel as though it’s trapped us in this endless cycle of “watch, like, post, repeat” in which we’re not really creating anything at all.  But I guess it’s better than watching TV.

Another thing to note about evolving creativity is when it comes to the microbial video games.  I don’t get this.  I don’t understand why it’s interesting to play a game with living organisms on the computer.  If you want to play with living organisms, go play with living organisms.  It just doesn’t make sense to me, and is another reason why I’m not sold on the fact that we’re necessarily evolving our creativity.  Hence, the question mark.

By anabhani

Identity & Internet Social Networking IDs [P4]

Usernames and IDs are interesting because everyone needs them yet they must all be different.

For example, my very first AOL screen name was GiRLpower9786.  From that alone, you can tell a lot about me, can’t you?  Seeing as how it was probably around 1997, and the Spice Girls were popular, you could assume I was into them.  Also, that I was a girl.  And maybe you could even pinpoint exactly just how old I was, seeing as how my entire birthday was a part of the screen name (September 7, 1986); I was nearly 11-years-old.  Eek, I was hoping I’d be younger with that kind of name.

Anyway, not all my friends’ usernames were as blatantly obvious as mine was.  Or were they?  I had a friend whose screenname was literally her first initial followed by an abbreviation of her last name, with the last four digits of her room line telephone number (remember those?).

Boys typically had screennames reflecting their favorite musicians, cartoons, sports, or superheroes from what I remember.  I guess I even fell into the “favorite musicians” category myself.  Almost always followed by a birthday or a telephone number.

Things are a little bit different now.  While we don’t all have screennames anymore, we certainly have Facebooks!  And bank accounts!  And online photo journals!  So sometime, somewhere, we’ll need to create usernames of some sort.  And you know what?  I find that not much has changed in terms of how we choose them.

You have the people who use their basic (and personal) information like their first and/or last name, birthday and/or telephone number.  The people who use their favorite sport, team, or band.  But now we have the option for the third party — the laziest but probably smartest of them all — the computer-generated party.  These people don’t like to think, and the select few who do, don’t like their personal information handed out on the Internet for all to see and be privy to.

My favorite people are the ones who have a million different e-mail addresses and Facebook accounts.  Of course, I am one of these people.  I’ve had three Facebook accounts so far.  One more private than the last.  And forget about e-mail addresses, because I have a million.  A million I don’t remember the passwords to.  Why do people like me exist in the Internet biosphere?  Well, we’re the people who have big egos.  The ones who can be the only Jane Doe in the world to own the address  We’re also the people who want but don’t want internet identities.  Sometimes I want people to find me, sometimes I don’t.  I’m wishy-washy, what can I say?

So, like with anything else, people choose what they want to portray to others.  Then the rest of us are left to make our own assumptions about them based on preconceived notions.  Welcome to the world.


By anabhani

Marketplace [P3]

“Apps transform cellphone users into citizen scientists”

I see no issues with people taking pictures and uploading them onto a database with notes attached.  If anything, it seems as though this would be really helpful.  It’s basically user-generated, free labor and research.  It’s not exactly my thing, but hey.

“On Facebook, you’re for sale”

This, however, annoys me to no end.  First they get you to sign up for free, lock you and your entire family and all your friends in, then they do stuff like this, and make me want to scream.  Basically this allows spammers to pay to send you information, ads, whatever.  I understand how this can be useful for ad agencies and marketers, but it’s unfair to use their users to promote their products just because they liked a page.  It’s unfair, and it makes me want to delete Facebook all together.  A couple of months ago, my boyfriend asked me, “So you like Subway that much huh?”  Because apparently Subway was advertising to my friends on Facebook since apparently at one point, I had perhaps liked their page.  How embarrassing.

“Facebook’s Photo Sync, Verizon’s new patent, and the government’s Death Star”

This was equally annoying.  “Photo Sync” keeps all your photos.  Verizon’s new patent wants to watch you in your own home, via your cable box.  I’ve heard of something like this before, and it hasn’t happened yet.  But I can’t stand them for trying.  For example, if you’re fighting with your spouse, they’ll show you marriage counseling ads.  Rude!  Also, a bunch of people signed a petition for the government to create a “Death Star” so we can blow up other planets.  I’m speechless, honestly.

“Texting turns 20, U.N. group begins talks over Internet control”

Texting is now 20-years-old.  It was created 8 years earlier by someone who didn’t patent it.  Big mistake, buddy.  I guess I don’t have an issue with texting, not a serious one anyway.  I do kind of wish it didn’t exist sometimes, or that it was still expensive to text.  I remember when texting my high school boyfriend gave me a $700 phone bill.  If it still did, there is no way on God’s green Earth I would text anyone unless it was a dire emergency.  It’s so easy and cheap now that everyone does it.  No one calls anymore.  It’s impersonal, and allows people to be anti-social.  And of course, the government wants to control the Internet.  Yawn.  Before we know it, like most technological advances, it will be taxed, controlled, and filtered.

“Shutting off the Internet in Syria, resisting the smartphone craze, and celebrating Pong at 40”

The Syrian government is being blamed for shutting the Internet off for the entire country.  Thankfully, the US has yet to monopolize that industry, so we’ll be OK unless hackers do it anyway, which is a strong possibility.  Either way, Americans have different providers, so we won’t all be out at once… Probably ever.  I wish more people would resist buying a smartphone.  I wish I never started.  It’s kind of taking over my life, and the lives of everyone I know.  I’m spending my 20s looking down at a little glass screen, and so is everyone else.  And people are celebrating the birthday of the original video game — Pong.  That doesn’t bother me at all.

“The growing art of data dodging”

Of course there’s always vultures when things are hurting — that’s nature.  But in this case, that may not be a bad thing.  While we try to keep our online lives private, the big companies are trying to sell us, all of us, including our information, comments, and pictures.  Now the vultures are stepping in and trying to save us, at a cost, of course.  This is called “data dodging” and the four-year-old company Ghostery allows us to do just that.  Also for a fee, DeleteMe will remove your online information.  Thanks, guys!

By anabhani

“Modern Times” [P2]

This little snippet was definitely interesting.  It shows how technology can be intriguing and useful, but dangerous as well.  Especially at the ten-minute mark when Chaplin’s eating the corn off of the new invention.  It starts to spin out of control, like much of technology.

Another interesting part was when he was working at the factory on the assembly line.  It shows how one mistake could mess up an entire production.  The demand for more makes us work harder and faster, often causing us to trip ourselves up and do a worse job than if we hadn’t pushed ourselves so much.  He then has a nervous breakdown due to the pressure, but no job, as the film states…

I understand his dilemma entirely.

By anabhani

Introductions [P1]

I’m a kind-of-graduate of Ramapo College.  I walked in May’s graduation, but I have a few courses left to take this summer in order to receive my degree.  I majored in Contemporary Arts, concentrating mostly in Communications.  I am a pop culture aficionado, and while I’d always hoped it would take me somewhere, for now it just makes me fun to take to trivia nights.

By anabhani