Hey! Please excuse my absence from my blog. It’s been close to a month since I’ve last blogged. It’s for a good reason. I just started my Master’s program at Bowie State University. I’m getting my Master’s in Organizational Communications: Public Affairs. Classes started on the 1st of September for me so I’ve been getting the necessary reading, writing, and studying done in order to start off well and prayerfully finish well also. You should be proud of me.
The information, concepts, and theories I’m learning about are SO AWESOME! I’m having a blast so far! One of the bigger reasons I’m enjoying my program so much is because I’m able to connect this information, concepts, and theories to what I’ve been doing for the last 3 years of my career and real life situations.
One of the latest concepts we’ve discussed in one of my classes was Mediated Communication. Mediated Communication speaks to how media and technology plays such a HUGE influence on the way we communicate. A perfect example I thought of relating to Mediated Communication is my birthday that just passed on September 8th. My inbox was ASSAULTED with HUNDREDS of Tweets, Facebook posts, and I received many text messages. All of SEVEN people actually PICKED UP THE PHONE called me/ left me a voicemail. I love Social Media (member of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin), however, I am aware of the drawbacks it has as well.
Three specific areas I’m going to touch on that are affected by the concept of Mediated Technology are Religion, Academics, and Socially.
Socially: In the aforementioned example about my birthday, it just goes to show that picking up the phone is “too much” nowadays. A point one of my professors made was you can tell the insecurity of a person who may be in a social environment yet they spend most, if not all, their time on their cell phone. Prior to the cell phone reaching the level of capacity it’s at today, those persons used to be called “Wall Flowers.” I was picking up a pizza from Ledo’s one night when I noticed a family of four sitting at a table to the right of me; Mom, Older Sister, Younger Brother, and Baby Brother. Conversation about everyone’s day? No. Mom pouring into her kids? No. Possibly asking how their days were at school? Not Even! All parties at the table were on their cell phones...INCLUDING THE BABY BROTHER WHO HAD TO HAVE BEEN ABOUT 5-6. Families are not connecting anymore, which in turn causes the parent-child relationship to suffer and, if not given healthy attention, fail.
Academics: I have fell victim to this particular area myself. The other day I had to take notes (handwritten) in one of my classes from a powerpoint created by my professor. WHAT A GRUELING PROCESS?!?!?! My penmanship has gone down drastically because I haven’t had to do much handwriting in comparison to how much time I spend typing on a computer. Flip-side, I can type somewhere around 60-70 wpm (i don’t even know if that’s good! lol). This does not just effect me, but it’s effecting our younger generation. I taught 5th grade a couple years ago and one of the main focuses was on students writing BCR’s (Brief Constructed Responses). What I noticed, as I scored the BCR’s, was a lot of text talk. Punctuation was missing, incomplete thoughts and sentences were throughout the BCR’s, and Ight (alright) U (you) 4 (for) were included.
Religion: This topic I find to be very interesting. A lot of my friends attend “Bedside Baptist” or tune into their favorite Televangelist quite often. So much so, some of them don’t even give it an honest effort to get up to give God His, as my pastor made it clear in a sermon sometime time ago, WORTHship (worship). In other words, God is worth WAY much more than we could ever imagine. The least we can do is make our way to church Sunday mornings. More of an effort is given to make it to work during the week or to see a friend, or even to a mall to catch that sale. “Well, I have a pretty difficult week ahead of me so I’ll just tune in online.” “I’m going to the Skins game today and it starts at 1pm and you know how that 202 traffic is?” “My week was so busy last week. I’ll just use this week to stay in bed and relax. I’ll watch the sermon online when they post it on Tuesday. Besides, I deserve it.” These are just a couple of the things people say to justify their lack of attendance on Sundays. Clearly, the bible speaks about forsaking the fellowship of the saints and how we need to participate in corporate worship.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful for all the convenience, interactiveness, and technological advances Media and Internet has given/is giving us. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing.
What advantages or drawbacks to you see or have experienced with Social Media or technology and in what aspects of life?