Bradhuther’s Blog

Final Project: What drives/does not drive us to use Facebook?
January 14, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

What drives/does not drive us to use Facebook?

In this day and age, we are becoming more and more dependent on technology. With the invention of the Internet, we have enabled society to keep in touch at all times and contribute information via web pages. We are becoming very connected to technology and communication that we even engage in them in the comfort of our own homes. Facebook is a website in which people can create a free profile and stay connected with friends and family. It has enabled us to even take this further and gives us the ability to meet new people who share our interests, and even find our future significant other! Facebook was created at Harvard College by a student named Mark Zuckerberg and with help from him friend Eduardo Saverin. These two college students realized that a social network site for college students could be a huge hit and they could become rich. So they pursued their dream and created the site in hopes that it would catch on. Sure enough, Facebook started becoming recognized by many other Harvard students and eventually by the world. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college to pursue his creation and eventually became very rich and famous from the site. This short essay explains why Facebook is so popular and examines what really drives people to use Facebook. There are many benefits to social networking but there could also be many downfalls if used irresponsibly.


First, lets start with the benefits that drive people to create a Facebook account. The ability to keep in touch with people and old friends is probably the most important key feature Facebook has to offer. Everyone likes to see what other people are up to in their lives and Facebook grants us the ability to do so. We can go online at anytime, comment a friend, and receive feedback within minutes! Even if you live on opposite sides of the world. Before Social Network Sites (SNS’s) like Facebook, that was virtually impossible without paying huge phone bills. It lets us stay in touch with people and show them that we care even if we are not able to physically talk to them face to face.

Another benefit to using Facebook is the ability to meet new people. You can go on Facebook at anytime and search for people and use a special filter to find the type of person you want to meet. I find this pretty amazing that technology has come so far that we can actually filter what we want to find in a person. This feature even sparks crushes and relationships over the web. Some people might be shy and prefer to meet people first on the Internet They may not be comfortable going up to someone and talking to them right away. Facebook could help people get over the awkward first meeting time in a relationship and learn a lot about each other so they have something to talk about and see if they are really interested.

Facebook is also a great way for artists to show their creativity for free over the web. Photographers, painters, digital imaging artists, and even paintwriters can express themselves through Facebook by putting up their work of art for other to see. It also a great way to connect with other artists and share you work. This definitely drives people with an interest in the arts to Facebook.

I think another key feature that drives people to using Facebook is the way people can connect with each other. There are so many groups in Facebook you can join about practically anything. People join these groups to share interests and educate eachother about virtually anything. The ability to find groups that you “fit into” definitely inspires people to join Facbook. “If your bowling league, your PTA, or your fellow Red Sox fans have connected online, you can join and connect with people who share your interests” ( “” ).

Facebook is not only good for personal connections, but many businesses are incorporating it into their strategy. People use the site to network about job opportunities, promotions, or information about competing companies. Businesses even use Facebook for putting their advertisements on in order to boost sales. Facebook could be very beneficial to businesses and many business people use this SNS in their everyday life. “I use Facebook for personal and business connections. I find it very useful for communicating with my friends, family and business associates” ( Facebook could be a great tool for advertising, especially to the younger crowd of people who do not routinely check the newspapers and do in fact routinely check their Facebook.

Although there are many obvious benefits to using Facebook, there are also negatives if the SNS is not properly used. People have to realize that others are going to look at their page and learn information about them. Our Facebook profile is more important than people think and can have devastating consequences if not taken seriously.

The most obvious negative aspect of Facebook is the ease to stalk other people. As I said before, people do not think that other people could use their page to get so much information from them. One example I read in an active users blog was about relationships. When people break up they change their status to “single” right away. This gets people’s attention going and brings a lot of attention to you. This is just one of the many examples of how Facebook could be an invasion of your privacy. However, as I said before, people need to realize that this information is only readily available because they put it there.

Due to the recent change in Facebook, the website allowes anyone with a valid e-mail address to join the SNS. This could in turn lead to false identities since there is no longer any proof of identification to join the site. In the beginning of the Facebook operation, people were required to have a .edu address. These addresses were only available if you were enrolled in college. The new method Facebook is using to allow users to join could in turn, lead to false identities on the site.

Another main problem many people believe is that Facebook, along with other SNS’s can cause is the isolation of people. Many people would rather just talk to someone online rather than face to face. This in turn could lead to isolation of people, lack of connection, and laziness. A lot of people argue that Facebook is taking away from the personalities of people because we are not “verbally” engaging in conversations. “These days, we are more connected than ever with our cell phones, computers and social networking — so connected that we use technology rather than talking to each other face to face”( “” ).

People using Facebook need to realize that Facebook could in fact, ruin their reputation. I read a story about a guy who had a wild night of drinking with his friends and next day called out of work, lying about the reason, saying he was naturally ill. In reality however, the reason he did not go to work was because he was too hungover. Sure we have all had nights like those but you may be asking yourself, “how does this relate to Facebook?” Well, this guy’s friends took photographs of him partying and posted them on Facebook and he also posted on his page he was throwing a party that night. Since so many people have Facebook, these pictures got back to his boss and he was fired on the spot for lying to the company and displaying irresponsibility toward his job. “He was an intern who called in sick, only to be caught lying to his thank to pictures of himself attending a party posted on his Facebook page. Calvin was famously called out by his boss, and then fired, leaving many shaking their heads and wondering how someone could do something so stupid” (


The last negative of Facebook I will discuss has to do with the facebook “beacon”. This beacon basically invaded the privacy of Facebook users by monitoring what they clicked on to the benefit of advertisements. When they clicked on these links, not only were they monitored and recorded, but their actions were sent to their Facebook friends. Many Facebook users did not know this was actually happening and when they found out they felt like their trust for the site was violated. This is an example of how Facebook users do not know everything that goes on behind closed doors. This example also illustrates how Facebook could make users feel a sense of mistrust and invasion of privacy without any knowledge.

Whether you are considering joining Facebook or are already on Facebook, there are many thing to be taken into consideration. There are many different things that attract people to Facebook, but at the same time, there are also many factors that make people not want to join the popular SNS. Facebook has many benefits but also many downfalls. It is important that people use Facebook responsibly or they could suffer from many repercussions. Your Facebook experience is what you make out of it and the information you decide to put on your page is essential to you experience. Facebook could connect lost relatives and friends, or it could get your fired from you job. People need to consider every extreme result with what they do on Facebook.

Sources attention/ command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9050698&pageNumber=1


Readings 10: Democracy, Politics and Technology
January 13, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , ,

Flickring here, twittering there

This article discusses how technology has been changing politics recently. It starts off by telling about the different politicians that use the Internet to get their name out there. McCain has his own YouTube channel where people could go on and see what he had to say and previous clips of him discussing his policies. Obama is very involved with the Internet and has tons of sites supporting his presidency and views on certain topics. There are so many people on the Internet everyday and thats where tons of people get information from. In this day and age, the Internet plays a large role in the economy and politics. People can go on a politician’s blog site and discuss things involving his presidency or the economy with other people who share their interest. Also we get a lot of our new from the Internet which is also why it such an important tool in politics. Even with our mobile phones, Obama had a contest to text a number and a guess who his running mate would be and a prize would be awarded to the winner who texts the right answer first. I think its very important for a politician to know how to navigate through the web, use the Internet, and incorporate technology into his work.

Obama Uses Text Messaging With Eye on Nov 4 (listen: 4 min)

This short clip was very interesting to me and at the same time surprising. I did not know that if you texted that number, they had the right to text you about information whenever they please and encourage you to go through your phonebook and get other people to join. Basically at a rally for Obama, he encouraged people to text a number proving that they were supporters of his party and they were willing to receive information on their cell phones via text message from time to time and encouraged to get more voters for Obama. I don’t really like the idea of a number texting me sometimes that I don’t even know telling me about statistics and policies of Obama’s campaign. I would rather receive my information on my own such as through the Internet, newspapers, or television, not through a text message on my phone. If I were running for a political position I would probably not adopt this strategy and try to get my information out there more through the Internet, television, and newspapers.

How Much is YouTube Worth to Obama and McCain?

I think YouTube is a great tool in political campaigns. At one point in the article, the author describes how people are not FORCED to watch it as they would be on TV but they have a choice whether to watch it or not. Since the Internet is becoming such a popular online tool, I believe if politicians put their videos on the website, they would receive more views and popularity which in turn could lead to more votes.

Twitter: An Antidote to Election Day Voting Problems?

This article was a little confusing to me but what I got out of it was that Twitter is basically a database that you can text about anything and people write things back on your post or text. It is basically a chat line where people can communicate to each other and ask others for questions or opinions. This could help voting because it could reduce voting ballot lines and can even sway someone’s opinion toward a certain politician. With this type of technology we can apply it directly to voting and people can even send in their votes which can in turn give the public an idea of how many people voted for who, it could be like a secondary way of telling how many people voted for who. For instance, say there was a really long day at one of the ballots to vote, one person can go on twitter and explain to people that the line is long and to go somewhere else. We could get more people informed and voting with Twitter.

The Daily Me

This article discusses the concept of filtering and personalization. There are many different ways we can personalize what we want to see, hear and learn over the Internet and with technology. Websites that enable our news and information to be filtered give us a sense of personalization and help us see what we want to to see. The upside to this is that we can share ideas with different people a topic of interest. We can get different views and ideas about something other than our own and get an outsiders point of view on something we care about. The downside to all this personalization is that we may not be exposed to as much stuff as we should. Because our world is so small and we made everything so personalized for ourselves, we don’t think or learn about other things. All this personalization leads to people being sheltered and knowledgeable only about the things they care about. The daily me refers to the concept that we choose to get whatever information we want and we listen and read things that only benefit ourselves.

Web of Activism (local politics)

I think local politics using the Internet to their advantage is a great idea. As I have previously stated, the Internet is really becoming a useful tool in getting people, especially young adults, informed. Politicians in this article described how videos and SNS’s helped them get their names out there and in getting them recognized. I think this idea is flawless because when these people put videos up on the Internet or make an SNS page, they don’t spend any money at all! What more can people ask for while running for a political position or in signing a petition? Free advertising defiantly will help their cause. However, with all these videos and SNS’s on these people, they have to be careful not to offend anyone or say anything wrong or offensive because that could really sway a lot of people’s votes. The main reason I think local politics using SNS”s and YouTube for advertising and getting their ideas out there is that they are reaching out to the younger crowd. I know when I was a kid I could care less about local politics and if I saw a YouTube or Facebook for a local politician I would be pretty impressed and might take a closer look.


1. Do you think the internet can be a useful tool for politicians? why or why not?

2. How do you think someone running for a local mayor position could use the internet to his advantage?

3. What are the negative and positive results of being able to personalize our information so easily?

4. How could our cell phones change the proccess of voting?



Readings 9: Time and Space

Metaphoris: Spacetime

Introduction – The introduction talks about art and creativity. Every artist has a different point of view, therefore, every peice of art will be different. Some people will view other’s art as beautiful and nice, while other will view it as something they are not really into. Creativity is a hard concept to judge due to everyone has different perspectives and points of view. However, the more work and real world experiences we are exposed to our world view may open up that much more. Creativity is people wanting to know the unknown, and by using their imagination and creating art, they can.

Spacetime – This article was a little confusing for me to read due its technical terms involving time and space. However, what i got out of this section was the author trying to explain different ways in which time and space are related and work together. He discusses the background of time and space and the scientists that studied them. One of the first examples has to do with the arts. He looks at painting and how the space is used and the time it takes to make a painting. He also describes how every peice of art is a space and it is set out to illustrate a specific time period. He than goes to analyzing movies, television, and plays explaining how time and space are related. Once again time comes into play because most they are supposed to be set in a particular time in history, the present, or the future. He also explains how space is used by camera editing and how different camera views can be used in order to skip between scenes with ease. His final example is the computer and cyberspace. He discusses how time and space place a key aspect in these two things. The internet is one of the best examples of time and space because of all the websites we can visit and the endless possibilities. We can navigate through webpages all day, buy things online, play video games, etc. Time and space can be related to just about anything in the world today.

Mythic Time – Many different religions and cultures have different views on time and space. Some people believe life will end, while others believe it is a never ending cycle. For instance in China and Japan, time was a combined perception of cosmic and mundane changes in a cyclical form based on nature. The way i interpret this information is that China and Japan look at the seasons, as we do, summer, spring, winter, and fall to put a time on everything. We have been doing this since the beginning of time and it is what gives us a perception of time and what to expect at a certain time.

Fixed Space – Fixed space basically discusses the difference between space the ends and space that never ends. For example, fixed space could be something like a shoe box. It is a completely enclosed box and we can see all its sides that hold inside what is known as space. Fixed space is anything thats has an end to it in other words. The author also discusses neverending space which can clearly be shown by the sky and space itself. We can not see the end and its boundaries are endless. Personally, i find fixed space alot more comfortable than endless space because i don’t like not knowing what is in front of me or in the case of space, over my head.

Taylorism – In the late nineteenth century, Frederick Winslow Taylor wanted to help the average hard working man. He decided he wanted to help companies get their work done more effieciently. He came up with the idea of the assembly line which in turn would make the worker’s job easier and more efficient. He set out to help people and provide them with a less grueling job. However, companies did not think of their workers and the only thing they saw come out of this invention was more business. This article also goes on to explain another experiment where workers were dotted with lights against a black background and were recorded while they worked. These two experiments or inventions saught to improve time and space. The efficiency factor is the time and the physical laborers and machinery is the space.

Einstein – This section of the page discusses the history of different theories. Time and space have been studied by scientists for so long and the first example he gives has to with planets and the sun. During the time it was said that the earth was the center of the universe and all the planets revolved around it. However, Galileo proposed that the sun was at the center of the universe and all the planets revolved around it. The Catholic church was outrages by this because it was challenging what was already thought as “right”. This goes to show how morals and culture judge what people believe and that seperates us from each other. At this time, it could be very dangerous to challenge a previously “thought to be known” theory and the church or society might look down upon you for doing so. This aricle also explains Einstein and many others theory of gravity and the speed of light.We have a knowledge now for gravity and light thanks to these scientists who took the time to study them first and make a set of “rules” that explain what happens and why in regaurds to light and gravity.

Acoustics and music – Music is another great depiction of time and space. Historically, music has almost always had rythm which is basically the use of notes combines in a certain time. If notes are closer they sounds faster in time and if they are further away from each other, they sound further away in time when played. Timing is music and without it it would not sound right. The article also decribes how music is related directly with space as well. Different types of music are played at different places. For example big bands like KISS moved their music into stadium which is a very large space with tons of people. Because of its size, people might not be able to be as close to the musicians as they would normally. Hip-hop can be heard from stoops in New York or other urban areas and this explains yet another space in which certain music is heard. Finally church music is said to sound best in a cathedrial. Cathedrials have big domes typically and are rounded and hard surfaced, giving the music the ability to bump around the room. The organ and singing work together to make a beautiful sound in a large cathedrial.

1. What are some things you learned about space and time from this reading?

2. How do you think time and space are related?

3. Do you think our perception of time and space would be different if it were not for people like Einstien and Galileo?

4. How do you think music is related to time and space?

Virtual Hunting

I think the idea of people being able to go on their computer and go hunting is different than the sport of actually hunting. if anything, From what i got from this video, a hunter is basically hosting a website in order to give fellow hunters a chance to practice hunting and do what they like to do virtually. I think alot of hunters prefer the traditional meathod of hunting and are reluctant to adapt to virtual hunting. If anything, i think virtual hunting would help train hunters for the real thing. Its a great meathod for teaching people how to hunt if they are interested and get a better feel for it before they commit to it. Guns and hunting gear could be very expensive and if you commit to it, you have to go all out and buy the materials. This could give prospective hunters an idea if they are willing to invest the time and money in the real thing. Video games are really adding to the experience of different activities and give people a better understanding of the experience, especially simulators such as the virtual hunting one. This game is basically a hunting game from a hunters perspective and because it is different than the traditional ways of hunting, it recieves a good amount of criticism. The video was even saying that this virtual hunting simulator might even soon be required in order to do the real thing. I don’t really see anything wrong with that because it trains people and gives them an idea of what they are getting themselves into, it can also teach them how to use the equiptment and teach them hunting safety. However, the game is controlled by the computer and you can actually kill live animals. With this said, as far as morals go, i think virtual hunting is not much morally different than real hunting because either way an animal dies. I can see why experienced hunters would be apposed to the idea because it goes against what they are used to. Traditional hunters like the whole experience of hunting: waking up early, climbing into a small tree hut, and waiting for animals to come out.

1. What do you think of virtual hunting?

2. Why do you think hunters might be against virtual hunting?

Virtual Iraq and PTSD

I think virtual Iraq is a pretty neat groundbreaking experience but im not exactly sure if it will help people get over their post traumatic stress disorder. I feel like the soldiers that come back from Iraq with this disorder have a hard time remembering Iraq and don’t really want to be reminded of what happened. What this virtual reality program does is basically makes the soldiers feel like they are back in Iraq but they are not fighting or being aggressive. They put on virtual reality goggles and hold a fake gun and as they look around, they can see the images of a virtual world which is known as Iraq. As they go through the game, they can hear the sounds of war, see people fighting and dying, and even smell the smells they would smell in Iraq. With all these senses going on and not being able to fight, this virtual reality game sets out to give the soldiers a sense of peace and NOT a sense of revenge. From my perspective, if i was a soldier in Iraq and saw my friends die to the hands of Iraque soldiers, i would be outraged to be brought back into the moment. If anything i feel like it would give me more anger and rage to see the things going on that i saw when my friends or fellow soldiers died. However, contrary to my belief, the spokesman of this video said that they have had success with this treatment that really surprises me. But i guess it would be hard for me to be able to tell if it would work or not because i have not been through a traumatic war experience.

1. Do you virtual Iraq is a good tool to helping people with post traumatic stress disorder?

2. How would you feel if you went through something traumatic in war and experienced this virtual reality simulator?

Readings 8: Technology and the body
January 8, 2009, 2:43 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , ,

Duncombe, Stephen Play the Game: Grand Theft Desire

This article described the game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. The game features a young black man who goes back to his “hood” and has to earn respect from the streets in order to get a crew together. Many people argue that the reason this game is so successful is because of the character you can play. Because most people are not young black gang bangers and their life is considered dangerous, we like to pretend we are them. I know from my experience I like playing games where i can be someone i could never be. That is what makes video games so fun to me: the ability to do things you would never do in the real world and still be safe and suffer no consequences whatsoever. People also at the same time argue that this game was a hit because of its free-roam ability and its freedom to whatever you want. I have played all of the Grand Theft Auto’s from start to finish and i have to say the more important thing to me is the ability to do whatever you want with a character who you would never immitate other than in a video game. People also argue that kids playing these video games will change their actions toward people. I actually agree with this statement but and i am all for the rating system for video games. If kids are easily influenced by their peers, movies, television shows, and bands, they can defiantly be influenced by the games they play. Basically what this article is describing is what makes people like Grand Theft Auto, the effect it has on people, and the controversial behind the game. It is a very controversial game because you do things a typical black gangster would have done living in Los Angeles in that early 90’s. Many of these things people would find offensive so i think the people who are easily offended should stay away from this game, like many other video games. We like living in virtual worlds becasue we can play around and be something we are not.

1. Do you believe grand theft auto influence kids to do bad things?

2. Why do you think Grand Theft Auto was such a successful game?

Alter, Alexandra Is this Man Cheating on his Wife?

This article was like no other article i read before. I had mixed emotions about it; feelings of sadness, laughter, embarassment. I didn’t really know what to make of it. i think its pretty sad that someone would get so involved with a game about a fictional life that they ruin their own. It was very creepy and weird to me that people do this. I can understand however why they do. My understanding is that they are just not happy with their real life so they make up an identity that never gets fat, out of shape, etc. and live their lives through their avitar. Before reading this article i knew what second life was but i had no idea of the extent that people play it. I have been into games like world of warcraft but its more of an action video game that has an interactive world. You complete tasks and fight fake animals and at the same time meet people doing the same thing on the way. Maybe they aren’t very much different but i can’t really relate because i did not make the game the center of my life. It seems like this guy makes second life more like his first life. Its very surprising to me how much time and effort people put into second life. I feel terrible for this guy’s real wife and hope he realizes that he needs to stop worrying so much about his second life and concentrate more on his first. Another one of the main topics of controversy is this guy having cyber wives in second life. Is this cheating or is it acceptable? I don’t really see it as cheating but i do see it as pathetic.

1. The article states “A typical “gamer” spends 20 to 40 hours a week in a virtual world.” where you surprised with this statistic?

2. Do you think people who have a real wife but wives in second life are cheating? even if they don’t communicate with them in real person?

3. Do you think Second Life is taking away from alot of people’s real lives?

Kunzru, Hari You Are Cyborg

This article was about cyborgs and machines that are used to help people and complete random tasks. The thought of robots living among us scared me and im not too comfortable with it. I believe when the author refers to cyborgs, he refers to machinery around us and things that work to help us. He also discusses robots and the inventions that led up to the cyborg which was never really created fully. In the 90’s the cyborg was starting to be created from what i understand and it failed due to lack of funding. This article was very hard to understand for me maybe due to technical terms. I am all for machinery helping us live better, healthier lives, but i am not too comfortable with robots who see and act different around us. I don’t know if we will come to see them in my lifetime, but i am sure someday they will be invented. However, i am all for mechanical devices designed or implanted in people to give them a better quality of life.

1. What is a “cyborg” according to this article?

2. Are you comfortable with the idea of cyborgs walking among us?

Fackler, Marti In Korea, A Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession

Personally I never really thought of the internet of being such a serious addiction till after reading all of these articles, especially this one. If kids are playing games and going online as much as this kid was, something has to be done. I don’t see a problem with having camps to help kids stay off the internet. It can be very tempting to stay on the computer all day, I’ve even had days when i didn’t want to leave my room due to playing video games or doing stuff on my computer all day. Being addicted to the internet is just like being addicted to anything else. This article reassured me of how the youth is changing and how technology is changing it. When i was a kid, all i did was play outside, go in the woods, make forts, ride my bike, etc. All activities a kid my age at the time i grew up did involved outdoor activity. i have cousins who rarely ever go outside or even want to and all they want to do is go on the computer and play video games. I can really see how technology and the internet has made people addicted and i blame all of it on the parents of the children. The parents needs to become more active and assertive in kids lives and regulate what they do. I know for one if i had a kid, i would defiantly regulate his internet time to an hour a day and i would want him to go outside and play with his friends. i think its very unhealthy for kids to be on the computer as much as they are and its the parents or guardians that need to step in to help their children’s addiction, because i believe it was them who started it in the first place.

1. Do you think there should be camps and recovery places set up to help people with internet addiction?

2. Do you think internet addiction is a dangerous addiction? why or why not?

Readings 7: Mobile Technologies
January 8, 2009, 12:04 am
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

The Camera Phone

The camera phone is an invention that can be used for both good or evil. This article explains how the person who created the camera phone first used the invention. his baby was being born and he wanted to record it so he simply just took out his phone, snapped a picture of her, and posted it on the web for his family and friends to see her. This would be an excellent example of how the camera phone could be used to something good. An example of something bad that happened due to the camera phone found within the article was the example of women in Saudi Arabia. Women would unviel themselves in weddings or other events and someone could snap a picture of them with their viel off which was a form of disrespect to their religion. They could be shunned from their community or looked down upon by society if this image were ever to get out. I think no matter what the invention is, people will find flaws and ways to turn it into evil. Although camera phones can both help and hurt us, they are still a ground breaking invention that has shaped society today.

1. How do you think camera phones could help the world?

2. Are camera phones just another invention to contribute to our invasion of privacy?

A World of Witnesses

This article was very interesting and made me think about cell phones in a different way. It begins by explaining how text messaging is becoming a very important tool in the technological world today. People use texts to inform other people, form groups, and even make plans to meet up. I learned the world of text messaging is even more in-depth than that. This article showed me all the numbers around the world people can text and recieve so much information from pollen counts to weather reports. I didn’t realize that there were so many different numbers you could text and recieve so much information until reading this article. It also discusses the camera feature on phones and discusses the Rodney King incident. I believe camera phones can help people in distress and uncover many things that a bulky video camera could. The cell phone is a very popular techonological device with many features and is shaping the way we live and recieve our information. I feel like every week there is a new feature for cell phones and i can only imagine what they can do for you in 10 years.

1. Did you realize before reading this article how many numbers there are to text to recieve different information?

2. What new concepts or ideas did you learn about from reading this article?

Always-on/ Always-on-you: The Tethered Self

This article was created in order to explain how our electronics are tethered to us and we are so dependent on them for everything. It starts out by describing a group of MIT student that carried around a portable laptop special electrical glasses and other electronical devices teathered to them. The author relates us and our cell phones and computers to them. We are connected to our cell phones more than ever and we use it for virtually almost everything. We can look up stock quotes, play video games, turn to bots for comfort, network with people, etc. However, with all these endless possibilities, it is hard for us to turn off our electronical devices. Because we do so much with computers and cell phones, we are very dependent on them and find it very difficult to pull the plug for even a weekend. The cell phone has changed the world so much even in the way we talk to people. When we talk in public say at a coffee house, we would turn to the person we are talking to and saying something quietly in his or her ear. However with phones, we often see people putting their finger in one ear and yelling into their phone without any recognition there are people all around him listening and being bothered. The article describes the virtual life we live in and how we are dependent on techonology in almost every aspect of our life and because of this, we are in fact, addicted. I myself find it nearly impossible to turn off my electronic devices or not use them for more than an hour. I am always on my computer and looking at my cell phone. I can even relate this article to our class by saying how dependent i am on the computer to fulfull a class for my major in order to recieve my bachelors degree! I bet if you said this to someone ten years ago they would think you were absolutely crazy, but its true. Technology has come a long way and because of that people stay connected and put it at the center of their life.

1. Do you think our electronics are too “tethered” to us?

2. Why do you think we are so dependent on our cell phones in this day and age?

 Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004, AND
Eight Reasons Why Blogging Will be Bigger Than Ever in 2009

According to this article, an opinion is voiced pertaining to the pointlessness of blogging. The author believes that if you have a personal blog, think about getting rid of it. People are more into business blogs and blogs involving current issues. The author also believes that blogging on other blog sites such as political sites is pointless as well. Since there are so many blog posting there is a small chance people will even see what you write anyways because as more people post, your post goes down the page making it difficult for people to see. I was a little confused as to what the author was trying to convey in this article other than blogging is pointless. From what i understood he explained that you have more of a chance to be heard or seen on Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, or Flickr. I think blogging is a good way to express your feelings still if you are into it. I don’t personally blog other than for the class but i can see why people do. Its just like keeping a diary, people don’t have to read it, sometimes people just want to get their ideas down. However, the second article disagrees with the first in every way possible. The author of this article explains that blogging will be bigger than every in 2009. They explain that you have to choose your blogging site carefully. They also discuss how blogging is the best way to creating an online identity. Obviously these people have two very different views about blogging and the future of it. This article relates to the previous ones on mobile technologies because it also shows how we are so connected to the computer and phones. Wether its on our phones or on our computers we can constantly update our blogs. Blogs are a great example of how we are connected to technology and use it for many different things, one of which is to keep the world in contact with our daily lives, which can be shown through blogging. It explains how technology has changed and is ever changing and how we are part of that change.
1. Do you think personal blogging will be more popular, less popular, or equally as popular in 2009?

2. Do you believe ideas, emotions, and stories are better expressed through sites like Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Youtube compared to blogs? Why or why not?



Readings 6: Privacy and Surveillance
January 5, 2009, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Assignments | Tags: , , , , ,

Readings 6

On the Record, All the Time”

This article on life-blog creeped me out a bit and made me think of what the world and technology is really coming to. I found it a bit uncomfortable that this researcher walked around with a recorder around his neck for such a long amount of time and a sign saying our conversation is being recorded. I know if someone came up to me with that around his neck and started to talk to me I would walk away without saying anything and think he was nuts. Why is this? Maybe because I feel like our lives should be private. When I am talking to someone I might say things I do not want anyone else to hear. I feel like the idea of life-blogging through audio recording is an invasion of privacy to the people around you and of the law itself. Another reason I am anti-life blogging is because what if something your experienced was not something you want to remember. The author discusses how his child was injured and how he could not even listen back to the tape. Some memories just should not be remembered. I can think of many things I am glad I don’t have recorded, probably more than I wish I did! It also breaches the law of consent. If we are recording everything all the time, including people in the public, how can we be so sure they would allow it? I can see how this can be argued through people taking videos and pictures, and I really don’t have an answer to how it is different and I think it could be a very questionable topic. My final point is that through life-blogging, people could have the tendency to feel like they are “on stage” or have to act a certain way or say certain things. When people are being monitored they act different. I think life-blogging could turn us into programed computers and make us feel like we can not act ourselves either because of embarrassment, shyness, or nervousness.

1. How do you feel about wearing a tape recorder around your neck all the time to record memories and discussions in your life?

2. If someone came up to you with a recorder around their neck and a sign that said “our conversation will be recorded, do you think you would act in a different way than you normally would? Why or why not?

Facebook’s Beacon Just the Tip of the Privacy Iceberg”

Like the first article, I found this article informative, but at the same time a bit “creepy”. I will be honest and say I really had no idea that on Facebook our “clicking” on link are monitored. It makes me feel a bit uneasy to realize that people are monitoring what I do on certain websites. It makes me think how many websites do companies really do this for? I am starting to believe its a lot more than we think. It also makes me question if we signed up for these sites, if we signed an agreement stating our information will be constantly monitored by someone. We all have done it before: skipped the 5 paragraph essay on the terms for a website and agreed to them. Could these terms have stated we will be constantly monitored? I understand the whole idea is a great marketing strategy and can tell a lot about target market behaviors and preferences, but I do believe it is an infringement of privacy. At the same time, I also believe it is the Internet, and everything we do could and probably is constantly monitored by some “greater being”. This article made that belief more evident to me and acted as a reminder. The internet could be a more dangerous tool than we think and many things can be going on that we don’t even know about.

1. Were you aware that when we click on links and ads for Facebook our activity is being monitored?

2. Do you think this is an invasion of privacy, a good marketing research strategy, or both?

Readings 5: Narrative
January 4, 2009, 4:29 am
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Article 1: Tone Language

I found this article to be very interesting because i learned something new. I had no idea that stories were being written on cell phones and am stunned by this new phenomenon. The stories written on cell phones are called Keitai shosetsu and are becoming very popular. This article discussed how people especially is japan have been going on their cell phones and writing about their lives and the lives of others. Apparently it is becoming pretty popular In Japan and their are websites created just for these stories. They write the stories as if it were a text message. By this i mean they use electronic emotional expression, digital slang lingo, and when reading them it sounds like the way they would talk. The stories are not in the formal, traditional form which is what really seperates them from other stories. I think its a neat idea but i would personally not due it. I feel like the only people that will really want to write these stories would need to have a phone with a full keyboard or else it would take forever to write a story.

1. What are your thoughts on Keitai shosetsu’s?

2. Do you think you would ever write a story on your phone? why or why not?

Article 2: Cross-Platform Storytelling

Cross-platform storytelling refers to engaging the audience viewing a tv show outside of the tv show. For example, there might be a certain book that a soap opera character wrote for purpose of the movie. Cross-platform story telling would enable the viewer of the show to go out and actually buy the book. Things like this make the show more enjoyable and the author of this article explains that cross-platform storytelling is important for a lot of shows. I think its a neat idea, but not really necessary from my point of view. One example i have actually been part of was for the show “Lost”. There is a character named Sawyer who seems to have funny nicknames for everyone on the island. The game i played was a nickname generator from Sawyer. You would type you name in, body type, hair color, etc. and click submit and you would have a nickname. It was a fun excersis but i feel like it did not really draw me to the show any more than i already was.

1. Do you cross-platform storytelling makes the viewer more “into” a show?

2. Can cross-platform storytelling be a useful tool for marketing tv shows and in turn making profit?

Article 3: Hill, Dan “Why Lost is genuinely new media”

Lost has done excelled in something most other shows did not, and thats interactiveness. There are so many sites on the internet that have to do with the show lost. This article really gave me a better understanding of why they do this and what the purpous is. It makes people feel like TV is more real and enhances their viewing experience. I was not aware of all the things television shows did to boost viewing enhancement. At the same time the whole concept is a little weird to me i guess because it feels like im “pretending” which is what i used to do when i was a child. However, if it enhances your viewing experience, i am all for it. I have not really gotten into any of these sites and activities more than a couple of times but I might take a look at it sometime now that this article made me more aware of how people really enjoy the show the better. I think interactive media is a great idea but it also at the same time, makes people become even more dependent on the computer than we already are. In turn i think that might be a good thing due to all the tasks we complete efficiently on a computer within minutes.

1. Have you ever experienced a website that makes the viewer feel like the show is more realistic?

2. Do you think interactive media will urge more people to use the internet to enhance their TV viewing?