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Reflection on Technology and Social Media

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

After weeks of class and many interactions with media and technology, I now feel like I am in a position where I can  really assess how technology is affecting (good and bad) my life.

Just from this class alone, my tech and computer  literacy has sped up faster than I expected. Not only can I type super fast, navigate the world of touch screen, and balance multiple social/interactive websites, I can also think in very short, twitter-like sentences (I am not so sure that is a good thing). However, I am struggling in the sense that I do not know how to (or can't at all) balance between my "worlds," as lugones would say, in school, personal, and social/online life. In some ways it is uncomfortable to have the three merged because there is no sense of identity. Part of having an identity is knowing that there are distinct "sections" of myself and I feel like they have all become one, muddled pile. Is it at all possible to make clear distinctions between identities once tech and social media is involved? Do we have control over these distinctions now that sites, like Facebook, can be left to the viewer's interpretation?

Another frustration is not necessarily the tweeting and the blogging but the fact that in order to be thoroughly engaged (partly because it is classwork) one must have the necessary devices to make interaction easier. Not too long ago, I had very minimal interaction with technology for a long period of time---I had no cellphone, still had dial-up (yes, I was that old school) and didn't own any smart devices. Fast forward to now, I am in possession of an android tablet, an iPad, I have a Facebook, a blog, a twitter and a phone. With that said, I don't like that I now carry around this pressure of having to prove that I am not what is assumed with these objects. I know that when I see others with these things I think, "Wow, that person must be wealthy and a social magnet O.O!" Well, I am not wealthy, I do not care about being known by many and I am tired of having to defend myself, particularly to people of my same economic background. I find myself opening or ending each convo with "The tablet was awarded to me in high school, I don't get to keep the iPad, it is for a project,'s not a freebie, no, this twitter doesn't mean I will be on FB more, it is part of a project...stop playin' they ain't givin' me a smart phone...-.-"

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the exposure and I think it is important to be knowledgeable of all tech advancements, I am just realizing that I know that I can live without it and, in fact, I want  to live without it. I don't feel like I am being innovative or that tech is a vital part of my life, and most others, like it is for many "third-world" countries. Therefore, after this 360, I intend on taking a much needed, and hopefully, permanent break from this relatively new "world." Only then will I actually have the time and, most importantly, the attention to reflect on my questions and experiences with media, tech, and it's literacy.


alesnick's picture

time vs. tech or time in tech?

I hear your sense that you would like to break with computer-mediated experience (cme).  I am intrigued by this and want to hear more.  I respect refusal as an important form of agency and creativity.  At the same time, I wonder if you are interested in using cme to invent what you desire . . . or not!

Riley's picture

hey Esteniolla! Your idea of

hey Esteniolla! Your idea of "multiple identities" in the context of technology really resonates with me. I understand the "identities" you're struggling to maintain: one in the real world versus one in a technological world. I completely understand the feeling that these two have become a "muddled pile." I feel the same way in a lot of ways, because for me, too, integrating technology into my daily life is not something I can do with ease like so many others.

I think a lot of the discomfort comes from the lack of hierarchy and social circles on the Internet. Public and private life are suddenly a click away from each other, and many people suffer consequences for this (screenings before being hired for a job, etc). I think we think of technology normally in a leisure context, and in this course, since we're being asked to use technology in an academic/professional context outside of class, it's a new perspective that can be a little disorienting. I have a hard time knowing when to "switch off," because I feel like I always need to be "on," even outside the classroom. I'm still working on wading through this frustration--I think we all are, on different levels, because this is a new thing for most of us.

I had a similar experience in a past ed course when I was disoriented by the amount of technology in the classroom--blogging, twitter, et cetera. All I can say is that it's a learning experience and perhaps after the course you'll see how your opinion has changed and how your ability to multitask has grown.