Revisiting technology, social media, and our department.

I am truly fascinated by technology. I own an Android phone, an Android tablet, at one point in time I owned an Android Wear watch. I have always been fascinated by various forms of technology, current as well as that which has yet to come, both in terms of hardware and software. I have also always been interested in how we use technology (including social media) as well as why. This is one of the primary reasons that I was lured into the Communication department. I took intro to media studies and immediately knew that this is what I wanted to study; that these conversations were the conversations that I wanted to have. Our most recent class period especially contained some of the most intriguing conversation for me personally, as I have always been interested in Google Glass and its future. I share many of the same concerns that many expressed, and while I don’t really think I’ll ever own a pair for interpersonal reasons (I think my phone is more than enough…) I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate and dialogue that took place.

I remember earlier on in the course, we discussed aspects of social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, and the debates we had concerning them. Some criticized them for being media pedestals upon which people simply sought out ‘likes’, and while there is certainly truth to that, I found it interesting that these mediums cannot be summarized so easily with blanketed statements. I remember responding to this critique by pointing out that my sister (who lives in LA, about as far from here as you can get while remaining in the U.S.) shares much of her life on Facebook, and while it’s not ideal, I am still able to keep up to date with her events. While my sister is more than 3,000 miles away, she is still one of my closest friends and that is in part due to our ability to connect more easily, even if not on a tangible, physical level.

One of the parts of college that I have always resented, are people scorning me for ‘not doing anything’ in college, because I don’t exactly produce tangible or exact results, but this department has given me the skills to take something, examine it in context, take it out of context, and create a dialogue for more abstract thinking and intellectual thinking.

During my freshman year of high school (all those years ago!) I took Latin. My teacher was actually my father, who is quite an eccentric, but fun educator. During the first class period of every academic year, he walks into a classroom full of shy and quiet 14 and 15 year olds and he is dressed up as one of the Blues Brothers, with a saxophone, and he literally jumps up on desks while pretending to play and dance to Aretha Franklin’s ‘Think’. The point of this was not only to immediately grab his students’ attention, but to also impart at least one piece of knowledge: that critical thinking is one of the most important qualities one can have in life. Being a part of the communication department for these past four years, it’s certainly hard to describe what I’ve learned, beyond a lot of rhetorical and theoretical bits, but this ability to take things apart and break them down with research and intellectual conversation has most definitely been worth it.

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