A blog that really got me thinking was done by jg5670 and basically stated that we are, in this time of crisis, solely reliant on media for our interactions. With our face to face interactions limited to our family unit, there is little to keep us connected to our peers, professors, or potential employers. As I thought about my use of media, I realized that, previously, my experiences were superficial at best. I interacted with friends on game sites and occasionally commented on sites like Instagram or Facebook. I Snapchatted regularly, but never really thought about media in terms of how it kept me dangling on the fishhook of society – bait for any passing challenge or sensational story. As this virus has us now limited to our homes and using media as our lifeline, I see that I need to approach it all with a lot more skepticism. There are people, organizations, parties, and special interest groups who seek to influence our thoughts and decisions. I can’t merely accept the constant barrage of media input; rather, I need to apply a lens of discernment and make informed decisions based on multiple sources from a variety of perspectives so that I am not simply led to believe what I already tend to believe. Many news outlets reinforce what our beliefs already are rather than challenge them. We have to be wary of that or we can all become complacent sheep.
Over the last month, many changes have gone on throughout the world because of COVID-19, many of these changes will affect us for the rest of our lives. If you don’t know much about the spread of COVID-19, this will help. I previously thought of media as an alternate way aside from face-to-face contact to communicate with friends. I didn’t really use it for anything informative or educational aside from seeing the top news headlines of the day.
Since the transition to online classes and COVID-19 being declared a pandemic, media has become my primary source for not just communication with friends, but also for real news about the virus and its effects around the world. I’m also using media for all of my coursework now, but before, I used it only as needed or assigned for class readings. There is now virtually no way to communicate with my friends or hear from my professors without using media such as Zoom, Canvas, SnapChat, or Instagram. This break from personal interaction has caused my friends and I to resort to other forms of comedy like community forums about games that we play on the Playstation like NBA 2K. Community forums are the modern-day version of the old MySpace. We join forums because our friends are there and we can hang out. Boyd (2007) noted that “the popularity of MySpace is deeply rooted in how the site supports sociality amongst preexisting friend groups. Teens join MySpace to maintain connections with their friends” (10). I think the virus and the impact it has made to our collective online presence reflects Boyd’s ideas that young people join certain networks to maintain and foster personal connections. This certainly reinforces my personal change in attitude about the way I use media.
Boyd, Danah (2007). “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life.” MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 10
Lesure, Jackson. “A Wunder-Ful Sunday for Odell’s 4: Odell’s 4 End All Be All: Welcome to the Deciding Factor of the Best 2k Player in Odell’s 4.” A Wunder-Ful Sunday for Odell’s 4, Jackson Lesure, 2020, http://www.recleague.net/leagues/odells4endallbeall/posts/5032.
“What You Need to Know about Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Cdc.gov, 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf.