Digital Story

For my digital story, I researched the usage of the computer to watch television. As I talked about in the actual video, I wanted to see if there are others who use the computer exclusively like I do to watch television shows. Personally,

I also wanted to look at this topic, because of one of the questions I asked when researching my Capstone project. I surveyed fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender about their viewing habits and motivations for watching the show. One of the questions that I asked when it came to their viewing habits was “On what device do you most often watch Avatar: The Last Airbender?” This specific question interested me because I was surprised by how many people did not watch the show on the computer. Like I previously mentioned, I watch all of my TV shows on the computer, the only exception are live sporting games.

My previous assumptions that there are many other Millennials who watch most of their television on their computers was supported by the research I found. Not only was it supported from that data that I collected from my Capstone project, whose respondents reported that 61.2% of them use the computer to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was supported by other research. TiVo’s Millennial Study, found that 72% of Millennials use free streaming to access television shows which can be accessed through the computer.  These free streaming sites include Hulu, YouTube, and TV network streaming sites. Another popular way for Millennials to view television is through subscriptions such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and HBOGo which are video-on-demand solutions. I was very happy that my assumption about the high usage of computers to watch television was correct.

It was surprisingly difficult to find information on this topic. I had previously looked for research on this topic for my Capstone paper and was unable to find anything. However, the TiVo Millennial Study was extremely helpful and contained a lot of relevant information to both this project and my Capstone. Finding information was the most difficult part of this project. However, it may be because I am not the best at using key words to find research.

In my opinion, this research is important to advertising departments. Millennials are the upcoming generation who will soon define the trends in America. With advertisers knowing where the Millennials are gravitating towards to watch television, they will be able to adapt their advertising techniques to make sure that their products will be able to reach the biggest market. This information is important to me not only for the additional research I can use for my Capstone, but also for my future plans. I hope to go into marketing in the future. Even though marketing and advertising are not the same, knowing information about the Millennial generation is very important since they will be the main consumers in a few years. However, I do believe that more research needs to be conducted about Millennials’ viewing habits. Not only will this information be helpful to advertisers and marketers, but also to both the free streaming and subscriptions sites, along with all of the other ways Millennials are watching television. For example, cable providers will be able to recognize that their services are not being used as much as others. With new research, this information will help them where they need to focus their efforts on providing what their customers want.

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Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game, originally a short story published in August 1977 and now a novel is surprisingly still relevant over thirty years later. The novel was able to touch on a large range of topics including genocide, while it’s main characters are young children.

The use of technology in the novel was more limited than I thought there would be. However, I thought it was interesting about how they used battle stimulation to train the children in battle. This reminded me of Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. According to Bandura, “new patterns of behavior can be acquired through direct experience” (Bandura 1977). Based off of this, it makes sense about how the battle stimulations were able to more heavily influence the children. Guaranteed, when Orson Scott Card wrote this novel, he considered Bandura’s theory since the study was done the same year Ender’s Game was originally published. However, with all of the battles that Ender participated in, he adapted more and more to the battle stimulations and new patterns of behavior developed. For example, after completing simulation after simulation, Ender becomes more depressed. This reflects Bandura’s idea of new patterns of behavior after direct experience.

Another finding by Bandura talks about how people are able to observe the feedback from certain actions and develop their thoughts about which actions are most likely to help them succeed.  When applied to Ender’s Game, and the encouragement Ender received whenever succeeding during Command School, it is not surprising that Ender was so easily convinced participate in battle after battle without realizing what he was actually doing.

Even now, there are many theories about how violence in video games influence violence in children’s lives. The study that most supports this claim is Bandura’s. Applying this idea to the Ender’s Game relates it back to technology because of the similarity between present day’s video games and the battle stimulations. The battle simulations’ effects on Ender are really no different from the scholars who believe video games have a negative affect on children.

Another mention of technology throughout the novel is shown through Valentine and Peter, Ender’s siblings. Through technology, they are able to write and post political essays under fake names hoping to lead to a political career. The essays that they wrote and posted, soon catch the attention of the government. Through technology, both Valentine and Peter are able to hide their true identities from the world. Even in present day, this can be seen on online dating sites where people are often “catfished” because of a false identity.

It’s interesting to read Ender’s Game over thirty years after it was originally published because of the relevancy it still has in modern day. The ideas that Card came up with in the story were able to apply when it was written in 1977, now in 2014, and in the future where the story takes place. I’m interested to see in another thirty years if the book is still relevant when it comes to technology.

 

Works Cited

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory / Albert Bandura. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice Hall, c1977.

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Final Learning Progress Report

Over this past semester, this class if anything has made me so much more paranoid about using technology. Both The Circle and Her showed technology as something both beneficial and negative. I had never considered that put those two adjectives together to describe something. However, I believe that is accurate. Even in Ender’s Game, the way that Peter and Valentine were able to portray themselves differently through technology made me paranoid. It was able to benefit the government but on the other side, it was negative because of the way that they were tricking the general public into thinking something that was not entirely true. Was this was some twisted version of Catfishing except with the government instead of dating? It is interesting to think about in the future how technology will be used. Already there are people using technology to their advantage to hide their identities and construct a type of person they want to be instead of who they really are. As paranoid as this class has made me when it comes to technology, I am not entirely sure how different my experience using technology will be. I will admit that I am more careful with believing certain articles posted online. Before this class, I would every once in a while confirm the articles I read with checking with other more reliable sources. But now after the CRAP detection concept, I have checked with more than two sources before entirely believing something or sharing it via social media. I also do not really believe a lot of the information that BuzzFeed posts since some of the posts are able to be created by users with accounts rather than just with staff members.

How much we depend on the computer is something that I found particularly interesting. Through our computers, we are able to visit social media sites, participate in Participatory Cultures, read news stories, along with many other uses. Our discussion on Participatory Cultures was much different that I expected it to be. I took a Participatory Cultures course with Dr. Henderson during my sophomore year. The main concept we discussed was Participatory Cultures in term of Fandoms. However,we did briefly talk about how Fandoms are considered. According to Jenkins, participatory cultures are characterize by “relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations and some type of information mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices” (Jenkins 2009). With the rise of technology, specifically the Internet, users were able to use the Internet for their own purposes like creating performance art projects, mash-up videos and sharing DIY tutorials (Delwiche & Henderson 2013). In my own experience, the Internet is used very heavily for all of these examples. These people in the Participatory Cultures centered around fandoms are also using the Internet to watch television show on which their originally content it being created based off of. I will be addressing this further in my Digital Story where I will be talking specifically about the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans and what device they most often watch the show. In the future, I believe that activity in these Participatory Cultures will just grow. As younger people grow up with technology, they will feel more comfortable with creating new content and posting it online. Our generation is known as the digital generation because we grew up with all this technology. However, thinking about my younger cousins who are nine and seven who were handed my uncle and aunt’s phones at dinner when they were two, what will they be doing? I consider myself pretty computer-savy but with the new generation of children who have literally grown up with an iPhone or iPad in hand, what will they be creating when they’re my age?

 

Works Cited

Delwiche, A., & Henderson, J. (2013). The participatory cultures handbook. New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: media education for the 21st century. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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Hoop Tracker

In the newest market of wearable technology comes Hoop Tracker. Hoop Tracker is a smart watch that was designed specifically for basketball players. It is able to measure training progress which includes shooting percentages and accuracy. You can either wear the watch or it can be put on the sidelines if the players already know the training programs.

The concept of this watch seems amazing. As someone who used to play basketball in middle school and high school, I can just imagine how helpful this wearable technology could have been. I’m really interested to see if this could be used with professional basketball athletes. It would make it easier for players to train alone and easier for them to track their progress. The watch is able to track how many shots the player has made in each location and reports where the player’s strengths and weaknesses are shot wise.

Of course, the watch will be able to share the information to Facebook and Twitter. Based off of our discussions in class, would you expect any less? This watch would be another way for people to update people on the News Feeds about the progress that they have made. There are currently similar applications that feed your exercise regime to Facebook such as Walkmeter. I personally, think these kinds of applications are great. Especially for people who need some kind of motivation to work out (aka me), it really motivates people to workout. But at the same time, are we getting too comfortable with our Facebook friends and what they can see on their page? I know at least for me, I am friends with people on Facebook from high school and even middle school who I probably do not want seeing my excise regime, yet alone, I do not think they want to see mine.

I was actually doing research today on my Capstone project about Millennials and found something that was interesting. Millennials consider themselves to be incredibly self-confident and independent but seek constant reassurance from family and friends whenever it comes to shopping, buying, and making purchases. Could this be similar to our workout regimes? Using Facebook as an outlet to get approval from our friends and family on how well we are doing on exercising. Or it could simply be that our generation is so used to sharing our lives on Facebook. I know at least for me, if I was using Hoop Tracker or Walkmeter, I would not post it on Facebook. I am very picky with what I post on my Facebook page, however, if my workout was awesome, maybe I would share it on Facebook.

Works Cited

Goldin, M. (2014, April 27). Hoop Tracker Helps Basketball Players Take Their Best Shot. Mashable. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://mashable.com/2014/04/27/hoop-tracker-basketball/

PR, N. (2014, April 1). Study Refutes Myths About Millennials and Reveals the Motivations Behind Their Brand Loyalty and Buying Power. PR Newswire US.

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Current Issue Reflection

I remember when I found out about the Heartbleed bug, like I said during our Current Issue, I found out through Tumblr and their advice to change our passwords. For some reason, after reading about the bug for the first time, I was not too concerned. I personally put a lot of trust into Internet sites, probably too much trust, and believed that none of my information would be used by others. Maybe it’s because I do not include too much personal information that could be used on my social media sites. However, before our discussion in class, I had not thought of the smaller sites that news websites had not reported on. If you check out some of the news reporting sites, such as the article that Dr. Medina sent out, the only sites they report on are the main ones such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail. Not all sites have been as proactive as Tumblr, I don’t remember Facebook saying anything about the bug, without researching the Heartbleed bug, I would have never known about what sites had been compromised.

Does that say something about our generation? At least for me, the only way that I had found out about the bug was through our class. I have not seen anything on my Facebook or Twitter feeds about it. Our generation trusts so much with the Internet and is so dependent on it, and so many people did not even know about the bug. I know that the bug is not as big of a deal as some of the news sources are making it out to be, but I was at least expecting some kind of outrage from people. Guaranteed, I know about the bug, and I have not changed any of my passwords and it seems as though I am not the only one to do so. So many people on my Facebook timelines love their privacy, they hide all their photos that they are tagged in, their profiles are very private to anyone who is friends with them, etc. I saw more outrage about the Facebook layout changing than the Heartbleed bug. Are the majority of people becoming more relaxed with the idea of the Internet now that is such a huge aspect of people’s lives? There are always going to be those people who are very obsessive about their privacy, but have people just accepted that because of the Internet, some of their information will get out eventually? I know at least for me, I have Googled myself and I have gone through all of the information that comes up whenever I search myself. I have had Internet profiles for as long as I can remember and because of this, I am not very surprised by how much of my information is online now.

Mashable. N.p., 10 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. <http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link&gt;.

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Google’s April Fool’s Day Joke

Every year of April Fool’s Day, I always tell myself to stay away from social media, I’ve fallen for way too many jokes in the past. So on March 31st, not April Fool’s Day I would like to add, my brother sent me a link to Google’s newest video titled Google Maps: Pokemon Challenge. My brother and I both love Pokemon since we grew up with it and I have no shame to say that the majoirty of the time we spent together when he came to visit was spent on the couch playing Pokemon. In the video it talks about how Google is hiring a Pokemon Master if they can complete the challenge by catching all of the Pokemon through the Google Maps application. in the video, the concept seems so much cooler than what they actually came up with. Guaranteed, I’m still happy that they made this their April Fools Day Joke because I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t downloaded the Google Maps app and gone around trying to catch Pokemon. Once you upon the Google Maps application and go to the search bar, you can tap the icon that looks like a Pokeball and it will take you to the Google Headquarters. Once there, you will see a building that looks like a building that could be seen in the Pokemon games located on the island of Cinnebar.

In two days, there have been over nine million views. I’m really surprised that the Google Maps app isn’t one of the top downloaded applications in the App Store considering how many views that the video has received.  What I’m curious about is what the people who are not Pokemon fans think of this. I do not think the Pokemon show up unless you click on the Pokeball shaped icon in the search bar, but what if they were curious and cannot make the Pokemon go away. I think that Google did a great job with their April Fools Day joke this year especially with the resurgence of popularity Pokemon has received in the past few months. The episodes of Pokemon have been posted on Netflix and the “Twitch Plays Pokemon” idea has garnered a large amount of attention.

Basically what this blog post comes down to is that I’m very upset that I fell for Google’s April Fool’s Day prank because I really wish it was real and I could run around and catch Pokemon and get a job at Google. I have however caught 20 Pokemon and I’m sincerely hoping that the Pokemon stay up the in the Google Maps forever.

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Digital Story Pitch

            For my digital story, I plan on studying the Millennial’s dependency on approval on social media.  I never realized how large of a dependency our generation had on social media and our peers approving what we do on our personal pages.  After discussing this in class and also watching the Frontline documentary about it, I began to realize how often I see this in my everyday life.  For example, whenever my brother would post a photo on his Instagram account and I did not like it within an hour or two, he would text me, “Like my insta.”  I want to do research to what extent Millennials look to social media to approval and why this has grown into such a large concept.  In my own personal life, I do enjoy approval on my social media accounts, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the 108 “Likes” on my Facebook profile picture of me riding a broom at the Harry Potter studios or my 55 likes on my current one.  To me, the “Likes” on my pictures mean they not only like the photo, but also me as a person. The majority of people went through a phase where all they wanted to do was belong and social media gives people that opportunity to belong and be approved of.

            I believe that this project will be worthwhile because I believe that as the years go on, every generation will become more dependent on the approval through social media.  Studying this concept now can lead to more studies in the future to see how things have changed since now.  It would be interesting to see that because our generation was the first to grow up with these social media sites like Xanga, LiveJournal, and Myspace, that since day one, we have been obsessed with approval through these sites.  To see if these original blogging sites influenced how we interact with social media would be interesting. Since our dependency on these sites could have been observed by younger audiences, they may believe that it is the norm which is why they hold such a strong desire to have such a huge approval on social media. 

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