The New Media Parlour


“What Value Do Users Derive from Social Networking Applications?” Larry Neale & Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Neale, Larry & Russell-Bennett, Rebekah. What value do users derive from social networking applications? First Monday, Volume 14, Number 9. 7 September 2009

major-doushebagI had a difficult time relating this research on Facebook applications to personal experience since I do not actively use applications (apart from the occasional “Which Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia Character Are You?” quiz). But there were some useful, although elementary, results that could be useful if a company is trying to develop a successful (or “cool”) application for users.

There were two questions that Neale and Russell-Bennett wished to answer:

  1. What value do users derive from cool Facebook applications?
  2. What features of an application encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends?

After Neale and Russell-Bennett conducted the survey of Facebook application users, they discovered the following results:

  1. What value do users derive from cool Facebook applications? “The ability of the application to facilitate self-expression of interests, value, or personality” (more common for female users) and “the ability to facilitate competition/comparison with others” (more common for male users). In order for an application to be considered “cool” it should include a combination of emotional or social value in addition to having functional value. Some other key characteristics are high level of interactivity, level of creativity, linked with popular TV shows (such as “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), considered a time-waster (yet not a waste of time), or access to uncommon information.
  2. What features of an application encourage or discourage users to recommend applications to their friends? This question was answered with three categories which application characteristics were put into:
  • Symmetrical – “Some features can both encourage or discourage recommendations, depending on the user.” Examples: time, notification, competition, sharing, personality
  • Polar – “Different levels of the same feature either encouraged or discouraged.” Examples: Social Influence, social, novelty, positive or negative emotions, other or self focused, knowledge, interactivity, usability.
  • Uni-directional – “They either encourage or discourage but not both.” Examples: gifts, intrusive, rewards, cost, reminders, no relevance, immature, source credibility, commerciality, immortality.

The conclusion did give some useful ways in which businesses could use applications to engage potential customers, such as encouraging users to participate in the creation of the application and give feedback, ensure there is source credibility but without making it overly commercial, and ensure the application is easy to use and non-intrusive.

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“Social Media Revolution” Video by TheAnthonyMink

 

I will be honest, this video got my heart beating a little faster in excitement. Maybe it was the Fatboy Slim background music or maybe it was the term “revolution” in the title, or maybe it was seeing all the statistics flying by that solidify why I am following this career path. Whatever rhetoric behind the design of the video, it worked. It really showed the possibilities that social media has to evolve our economy, our interactions, and our culture.

An important area of change that I have seen that was touched on in the video was how the web is changing the concept of “word of mouth”. My roommate works for an advertising agency and we discuss all the time the importance of having a Facebook fan page for your business because when someone “fans” you, it shows up on their news feed. A friend of theirs is going to be more likely to use your business when they know that a friend of theirs has done the same and has had a positive experience. Sites like Amazon.com or Verizonwireless.com include an area on their product pages for customer feedback. As long as the business is not monitoring the comments to conservatively (taking down any negative reviews), it is a very useful tool for users to make their decision. I’ve found also in my personal experience that before I try any new business in Chicago I will look up the reviews they have gotten on Yelp.com before going there. User-generated content makes it more difficult for businesses to control their image. Theoretically it should force businesses to work on their customer service and product quality in order to improve users reviews, but such is not usually the case.

A second important area is how online content is replacing tradition outlets such as newspapers and books. The newspaper and book publication industries have been two of the hardest hit industries since the recession began. This is due in part to people not spending their money on unnecessary products but also because the sacrifice is not great since they can access news online for free anytime. Newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal have started charging for online content, but most newspapers would lose most readership (and thus advertisers) if they created a pay-for-content plan.

I think the statistics in this video are a powerful way to show how social media is changing the landscape of most industries. It gives the warning signs for companies that resist adopting these new ideas and shows how people who do accept social media can use these tools to advance their business.


Professional Investigation: Academic Disciplines, Courses, & Tech Training

Because I transferred into the New Media Studies program from Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse, I feel like I’m doing my degree progress backwards. I have taken all of my elective courses in the WRD program and am now working to satisfy my NMS requirements. When I started in the WRD program, my intention was to become a technical writer and perhaps do some freelance writing on the side. Because NMS works so closely with WRD, I learned quite a bit about NMS from my professors. After looking into NMS a little more closely, I realized that the technical courses and study of technology and culture could be a very good fit with my writing background. I transferred to NMS so that I could learn more about how I can use technology and media to highlight my writing and expand my skill base. I feel that understanding new media is an asset I can bring to an employer more so than simply writing. So most of my electives have been in WRD courses. I have taken:

            Modern Rhetoric

            Computers and Writing

            Writing for the Web

            Writing Workshop: The Short Urban Essay

            Strategic Communication

            WRD Proseminar

Now that I have a solid basis of writing, I would like to focus my second year in the program on learning more technical skills that I can use to turn my writing into something that I can distribute digitally as well as use to help with marketing and communication at a company. The classes I plan on taking are

            Principles of Graphic Design

            Usability Engineering

            Text and Images

            Portfolio

Because I focused so many of my electives on writing, I was very excited to see the links for technical training outside of DePaul that I can take in order to continue to gain skills after graduation. Lynda.com had some online courses on Information Architecture and Content Management Systems that could be helpful in working with company websites with high content levels. I have also learned from courses as well as in my internship that most copy on websites and in emails are not original but taken from various other publications that the company has produced. These training classes could help me use CMS such as Drupal to organize information and Information Architecture to organize the information on the site itself. Because I did not have room in my schedule for Web Design I and II, I think it would also be helpful to take more advanced Web Design training online to learn more about the tools for design.


Don’t Copy That Floppy

My friend and I were having a blast from the past and talking about the “Don’t Copy That Floppy” public service announcement from 1992. Turns out the same rapper made a new video in August of 2009 as a follow up. It’s amazing how out of touch the authority still is about copyright culture.

 


“Multimodal Discourse” Kress & Leeuwen

Kress & Leeuwen, Multimodal Discourse, Introduction

Kress and Leeuwen identify a potential problem that may come with the increasing multimodality of media today; the “desire for crossing boundaries” in semiotic arenas that is encouraging in multimodality could lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings, non-standard practices, as domains which have standard practices merge and play within each other. Kress and Leeuwen “aimed at a common terminology for all semiotic modes, and stressed that, within a given domain, the ‘same’ meanings can often be expressed in different semiotic modes.”

They introduce four strata, or domains, where meaning is primarily made and give us definitions and examples of each so we can better understand how each have distinct principles and yet they work together in many instances. They are discourse, design, production, and distribution. I am going to use the example of a photograph of the Grand Canyon to explain each strata.

  1. Discourse – The discourse of photography calls into question if the photo should be considered art or simply a snapshot to preserve a moment in ones life. This may be judged by who took the photo, or by the guiding principles of photography that define what makes a photograph high quality or not. It has prestige because there are very few famous photographers, yet it is something that nearly anyone with access to a camera can participate in. The discourse may be realized in a photography course or when your parents buy you your first Polaroid camera.181393998_tp
  2. Design – The design of a photo of the Grand Canyon includes the camera that was used, the angle, lighting, shadows, time of day, if there are other people in the shot, the sharpness of the quality. Depending on the photographer, these characteristics vary in importance. If there is a person that came to the Grand Canyon and took the picture to remember the scene, they may not consider most of these design decisions. Yet they may decide they want someone else in the picture or not.grand_canyon_colorado_river
  3. Production – Production of a photograph depends on what type of camera you are using, but is becoming increasingly instant. Polaroids and digital cameras instantly allow you to view the photo. But does production mean holding a physical photo in your hands? More often, photos may never turn into physical prints, but can be uploaded onto the computer to stay. If you are a more advanced photographer, you may use a dark room to develop your own photo. Although I am not a photographer and know nothing about developing photos, I have heard that this process engages you with the photo in a new way. You see the photo come to life, you can destroy it or change it if you like. You could distort the image so much that a viewer may not be able to tell it is the Grand Canyon anymore. This also brings into question the power of photo editing software. Could we be distorting our viewers’ perception of reality? The constant controversy of airbrushing and photoshopping model’s bodies in magazines brings up discourse beyond basic photography principles.5580_616093506711_20001516_36010628_6306290_n
  4. Distribution – Distribution of a photograph could be in an art gallery, in a picture frame in a person’s home, or online. Sharing photos has become much easier with the advent of sites like Flickr and Shutterfly. People can publish photos of themselves at the Grand Canyon for their family and friends to see. But the access of millions of people to photos done by professional has caused copyright infringement to become more prevalent. Creative Commons has worked closely with Flickr to ensure that their users understand the laws and protect themselves as much or as little as they wish. Also, Google Image Search now lets users narrow their search to only images licensed under Creative Commons.

“Remediation” Bolter & Grusin

Bolter & Grusin, Remediation, Introduction & Chapter 1

This reading explores the interlacing qualities of old media, new media, and evolving media and how these types of media affect the way we experience reality. They explore three types of media, which fall into different points on the spectrum of how we experience technology.

1. Immediacy –The immediacy quality takes form when a medium is transparent, when the user doesn’t notice the medium at work. Some examples of technology that is working towards immediacy in culture today are the Wii, Bluetooth phones, Dance Dance Revolution, or surround sound stereos. I read an article last week in Fast Company about a tabletop touchscreen monitor. The reviewer states that one of the reasons that this device is so well designed is that it uses inspiration from real desktop clutter and paper-shuffling in the interface. It mocks actions and forms of organization that people use in reality to help people better utilize a piece of technology. “The tool seems to recreate the experience of shuffling all the junk that litters your real-life desk”.

Bolter and Gursin use virtual reality as the basis for immediacy in media, making the experience as close to what you actually experience in your life as possible. Yet the pitfalls of virtual reality equipment (large, cover your head and eyes, strapped onto you, etc) makes the remediation of the medium apparent.  “Virtual reality is immersive, which means that it is a medium whose purpose is to disappear. This disappearing act, however, is made difficult by the apparatus that virtual reality requires”.

2. Remediation – When an experience is translated from one type of medium to another, there are characteristics that are lost.  The most basic example is the book-to-movie adaption of a story. Bolter and Gursin bring up this characteristic when discussing virtual reality apparatuses. I was watching the show “Shark Tank” on ABC tonight (people pitch business ideas to investors to get funding). One of the pitches was for a virtual arcade, VirtuSphere, where the player walks in a huge sphere with goggle on carrying a weapon, “shooting” other players in other spheres. The player may be experiencing something similar to reality on the screen in the goggles, but the huge sphere and equipment needed makes it less like experiencing a real chase or attack with another player.

3. Hypermediacy – Hypermediacy does not give the user the experience of being a part of an experience, but gives them information and support on an experience from all angles, from different channels. They give the user more information about an experience than if they were actually participating in it in reality. This experience has become more and more common with the advent of the Internet as well as the popularity of 24 hour news stations like CNN and MSNBC, who are always trying to top each other with how many types of technology and distribution they can bring into a broadcast. I love Jon Stewart’s tracking of the hypermediacy of the presidential primaries election coverage in 2008.

One point that was made in class was that immediacy may not be inherent in the design of a medium, but learned as the medium becomes a more common aspect of our lives. It was probably not natural at first for people to talk on the phone instead of talking face-to-face, but now we see talking on the phone as almost equivalent, or at least a respectable substitute to, talking face-to-face.


Professional Investigation: The Job Search

“Hey Unemployed Media Professionals!” by The Learned Fan Girl

This article gave some good points, if elementary, about a new media job search. I have spent the last year surfing job board to get an idea of what types of new media jobs are out there. Even though my love of blogging was one of the things that drew me to going back to school to pursue a career in media and writing, I learned early on that unless you have a Greek accent and your last name is Huffington you are not going to get paid to blog. I was excited to see that she recommended mediabistro.com because that has been in my RSS feed for a few months now and it really does spit out a TON of media news. There is actually so much new information that shows up on the site that it reminds me just how fast-paced and ever-changing the media industry is.

I do wish I participated a little deeper in the social aspects of new media. I have my blog and my facebook but I don’t tweet or flickr or use any of the more new applications. I’ve realized it’s because my network of friends and family are all connected using facebook, none of them use twitter. (I stored this observation away in my knowledge bank because I think that is an important characteristic of widespread use of new media). So I hope that connecting with more social media eccentrics like my classmates will help me understand and use these emerging technologies more.

I’d like to be involved in user-centric design features (less graphic design, more usability engineering) as well as web-based marketing, and writing and editing content. Many of the positions I found needed some experience with marketing and/or outreach as well as some technical understanding of some/all parts of Adobe Creative Suite. One issue I always come upon is what keyword to search. The field is so new that very few standard terms are used. It varies by industry, company, and person. I am interested in working for a non-profit so I did a search for keywords “web” and “media” on idealist.org and acme across a few very appealing opening:

Creative Services Officer, Institute of International Education – CIES 

Purpose of Position: To provide editorial and creative services to support the organization’s print and multi-media production needs, and social media communications. 

Responsibilities: 

1. Serve as deputy for Director of Outreach and Public Relations on web-related communications and social media tactics. At direction of Director of Outreach and Public Relations, coordinate meetings for cross-functional Web Strategy Working Group and Web Tactics Taskforce. Create and edit publications and Web copy as requested. 

2. Seek new opportunities to ‘tell the program’s story’ and, specifically, the impact of program alumni. This includes interviewing scholars, professionals, institutional administrators, and other stakeholders, as well as managing an editorial calendar, vendors, and prioritizing stories for release through various channels. 

3. Help maintain appropriate tone and style for institutional voice befitting a prestigious, world-renowned educational program with U.S. government sponsorship. 

4. Consult for and work with Senior Program Officer for Outreach and Communications and Program Associate for Outreach and Communications to ensure that established style and format are followed. 

5. Maintain up-to-date press and media distribution lists. 

6. Oversee production of video clips and podcasts, as needed. 

7. Work on special creative and communications projects, as requested. 

8. Create and edit publications and Web copy as requested. 

Qualifications: Education/Experience/Skills 

• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, advertising, marketing, communications or a related field. 
• Outstanding team player, with demonstrated ability to listen to expertise of other colleagues, present new ideas, and lead them through new processes. 
• Two to four years of demonstrated marketing communications experience, ideally in the education sector or with a public relations agency 
• High-level of comfort with – and ability to quickly grasp – new technology is essential. Social media experience required. 
• Exceptional writing and editorial skills, with superb sense of grammar and appropriate tone for highly educated audiences (PhDs and policymakers). 
• Highly detail-oriented person sought. 
• Creative problem solver with ability to work independently required. 
• Strong planning skills and ability to multi-task several projects simultaneously. 
• Fast learner, resourceful, and possessing of excellent computer skills, including experience with or, at minimum, capacity to quickly learn video and podcast editing software 
* Ability to work with tight deadlines and deliver exceptional results. 
• Experience with the Internet and Web-based publications and outreach 
• PR agency or higher-education experience a plus 
• International experience desired but not necessary 
• Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office products

Manager of New Media, The Education Trust — Washington, DC 

The Education Trust seeks a Manager of New Media to join the organization’s Division of Government Affairs and Communications. As a key member of this team, reporting to the Director of Communications, the Manager of New Media is a strategic thinker who can lead The Education Trust’s efforts in the Web 2.0 realm to increase commitment to our mission of closing the gaps in achievement and opportunity. The Manager of New Media is firmly entrenched in the new media space and responsible for creating and implementing comprehensive and effective online strategies to inform and activate a variety of target audiences. 

Major Responsibilities 

The Manager of New Media’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 

· Developing and implementing strategies to build relationships with and mobilize target audiences. 
· Translating and repackaging traditional content for the new media/Web 2.0 space. 
· Responding to and disseminating information to key online and social media constituencies in a timely, effective manner. 
· Managing and coordinating the organization’s website and new media assets. 
· Exploring new and promising ways to communicate effectively and influence change via the online environment. 

Qualifications and Experience 

The ideal candidate will possess the following: 

* Strong knowledge of, and fluency in new media/Web 2.0 technology trends, tools, techniques, and what works. 
* Proven track record in the implementation of strategic online communications campaigns and online media outreach, preferably in an advocacy or campaign-related setting. 
* Ongoing interest and engagement with evolving technologies. 
* The ability to prioritize and multi-task in a creative, results-driven environment. 
* High degree of energy and enthusiasm. 
* Deep interest in applying the use of new technologies to create social change.

Interactive Producer / Experience Architect, KCTS 9 Seattle Public Television

KCTS 9 seeks a full-time Interactive Producer/Experience Architect to join our team to coordinate the information design and creation of dynamic, content-driven interactive media. This position supports KCTS 9’s mission to reach more people, build a strong organization and have a positive impact on the community through interactive mechanisms on the web site and emerging platforms. Working with other Interactive team members, the position is responsible for quality, accuracy, timeliness, consistency and style of interactive features and content. 

This position manages the information and creative design of KCTS 9’s sites, including navigational rules, organization of information, site maps, and planning; guides front-end coding standards; creates visual design, including typography, visual concept, and icon design for the Web; conceives, develops, aggregates and maintains content for Web and new media properties; and evaluates the effectiveness of the current Web presence by interpreting site-use statistics. This position also works with the Technology Director and others to explore the development of new Interactive features. 

If you have a passion for our mission, are flexible and adaptable, enjoy taking the initiative on projects, have good time management skills, and have a desire to learn and keep current with new technologies and languages please consider KCTS 9. 

A Bachelor’s Degree in a related field; at least 3 years of work experience with web design and web production; expert command of the latest semantic XHTML, the DOM and CSS; strong design skills including designing for usability and user experience; demonstrated fluency with design tools including Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash; knowledge of scripting languages such as JavaScript, style sheets, embedded object codes; and knowledge of audio and video capture, editing and production for the Web required.


Pew Report: Generations Online in 2009

“Generations Online in 2009” Pew Internet Report by Sydney Jones and Susannah Fox

This Pew Report on how different generations use the internet shows the trend in how different aspects of the Internet have developed in the last decade and which aspects are more important for different age groups. Overall, the stats show that younger generations (Teens and Gen Y) use the Internet mainly for social networking and entertainment (downloading music and videos, and gaming) while older generations (Gen X, Boomers, and retirees) use the Internet for email and finding information (searching, banking, health information, online shopping).

I think some of these activities are due to the age and lifestyle of the generations, while the stages of Internet advancement is also a factor. Younger generations, in general, are more interested in staying connected with friends and gaming. Older generations are more worried about access to banking information, researching health information, finding job information). But it should also be considered that when the Internet first showed up in homes, people saw the main function of it as a source for information (searching), for shopping, or for email. When Gen Y was still too young to use the Internet, Boomers and some of Gen X were just beginning to see the potential that the Internet held. When Gen Y became old enough to get online, AOL came out with the Instant Messagers. This was the beginning of the real-time social advantages of the Internet. When teens got online sites like MySpace and Facebook started gaining popularity. Therefore, I believe some of the differences in Internet use today come from the ways in which we learned how to utilize the Internet when we first started using it.

One interesting statistic I found was that the number of teens that use email is down from 89% in 2004 to 73% in 2009. They are more likely to communicate using instant message or social networking sites I wonder if this could be a combination of teens not needing to use email as a work tool as well as the shift to real-time Internet. I can’t help but mention Google Wave in this post since its all the buzz right now. This “real-time communication and collaboration” tool has the potential to replace email and expand the possibilities we have for communication and collaboration remotely. It appears that this is where the Internet is trending towards. What began as a vat of information and data for us to access is becoming a tool for use to share the information we have discovered as well as share our life experiences with one another digitally.

The question I asked myself while reading this report is how are the babies of today going to use the Internet when they become adults? I think the collaborative characteristics of the Internet are going to be more sophisticated and people will better understand how these tools can be used to our advantage when working and living in a “global village”. The Internet is becoming more than a place to store and access data, but a way to stay connected and share experiences with each other. In 30 years, perhaps offices or schools will be obsolete, as people work, play, share, and connect online in a more complete way. Wave is the first sophisticated system that blurs the line between conversation and sharing information. The digital conversation is starting to look more and more like a physical interaction, including video, photos, real-time spell check, and possibly even webcams. If this product, or others like it, is incorporated efficiently into people’s lives, the way we connect with friends, family, classmates, and coworkers could change.


“Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man” Marshall McLuhan

Selections from Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media, The Extensions of Man – “The Medium is the Message” and “Media Hot and Cold”

McLuhan’s article discussed the theory behind his idea that “the medium is the message.” He discusses the importance of understanding how different mediums have affected the course of history as well as portions of history in which the term “content” has been confused with “medium”. He believes that all content is a medium; therefore all medium is a message. I do believe that the medium affects the message that is presented, but I have a hard time understanding how content and medium are the same thing. I understand that content, such as a typed word in a newspaper, is produced using another technology (a computer), but the content is created from the mind of a human, not from a medium.

I did find it interesting that McLuhan introduced the idea of globalization when he discusses the changes in perception that electricity brings. “Electric speed in bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness or responsibility to an intense degree.” (pg 5).It is true that this new medium of electric, and now digital, is forcing us to consider a wider audience. McLuhan also notes that in order for us to understand how our use of media affects others, we must first be able to look critically at that medium from an outsider’s perspective. “Today when we want to get our bearings in our own culture, and have need to stand aside from the bias and pressure exerted by any technical form of human expression, we have only to visit a society where that particular form has not been felt, or a historical period in which it was unknown.” (pg 19)

I found myself reading this article considering the opinion of Cana, that in much of McLuhan’s musings do not consider that role that humans have played in the invention and use of technology. One cannot consider the effect of a medium or message without at least acknowledging the role that humans play in the creation of both the message and the medium. I also noticed this factor as a large part of Turnley’s theory of the Mediological Method. She also notes the important of considering all dimensions, not just technological, of a medium when analyzing its influence on society.

I had a very hard time understanding the idea behind the “hot” and “cool” classifications of media. “Hot media are…low in participation, and cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience.” (pg 23). The basic concept laid out in this sentence is clear, but then I started to wonder what he means by participation. Does he mean filling in the blanks, such as in radio when you have to visualize what speakers look like? Yet he says radio is a hot medium with low participation.  I would like to discuss this more in class with more discussion of examples to help understand the line between hot and cool and what characteristics and participation are considered.

Overall, I think McLuhan had some very good ideas on how we need to alter our ideas of involvement with media and with each other as a result of new media but believe there are key elements to media that he does not bring into play in his theories. I would like to know more about his thoughts on where human invention plays into his theory of technological determinism. 



“Marshall McLuhan: ‘The Medium is the Message’” Todd Kappelman

Todd Kappelman’s Overview: “Marshall McLuhan: ‘The Medium is the Message’” 

I was both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by Kappelman’s article. I didn’t feel like he added anything new to McLuhan’s conversation, only reiterated the points he agreed with. Although it did give more current examples, that helped illuminate McLuhan’s ideas for me, I was mostly overwhelmed with how biased his examples were. They included huge generalizations and did not consider the opposing arguments. His extreme support for McLuhan lead him to write a flat article that did not challenge or expand on any of McLuhan’s ideas.

One fascinating aspect of advertising that I always consider and have never seen addressed is how the advertising people feel about what they do, how they would describe the impact they have on consumers, and how they feel about being manipulated themselves when they get home from work at night and turn on the TV. I can’t believe that they are not affected by ads the same way we are. They are consumers also. I wonder how Kappelman would have illuminated this point. He shows them as the producers of this “object of desire” that women have been come, but where do they play into the equation when you consider they are at the receive end as well? If that removes advertising people from the cycle, does that mean that the cycle of desire and striving for perfection is a creature of its own? Or does it simply blur the lines even more between man’s control and technology’s control?

One thing this article did clear up for me was the idea of an “amputation”. That when technology helps to improve one part of our life, we sacrifice something else, usually something natural like a body part. I don’t think the issue is completely ignored in today’s society the way McLuhan and Kappelman feel, but it is something that is not explored deep enough to concern people enough to stop using technology. But there are arguments that are given all the time about the social and literate break down of today’s youth due to gaming and texting and TV-watching.

I saw a connection between the discussion of extension and amputation and objects of desire. Kappelman says “We have become people who regularly praise all extensions, and minimize all amputations. McLuhan believes that we do so at our own peril.” (pg 4) I thought about Photoshop and air-brush programs that are used in magazines and advertisements to create inhuman standards of beauty. Although there are a very large number of people who do not agree with this standard, the people in power in media still have control over what images are used in media. And as far as I can tell, they haven’t stopped using these practices. This brings in the issue of power in the media. Kappelman blames all people for abusing technology to foster unrealistic standards of beauty and desire, but need to consider other factors within the context of advertising and media.

The dangers of over-extended technology was an extreme section that I couldn’t relate to whatsoever. Kappelman used examples that were generalized and some even untrue. When he used the example of automobile, he painted a picture of a world that does not walk anywhere. He disregards the people that do not have cars (like me and thousands of others in urban areas with ready public transportation). He also disregards the important idea of finding alternative ways to avoid a perilous existence while still using technology. People may gain weight because they don’t walk everywhere, but they may find other ways to avoid gaining weight. I actually laughed out loud when he said that we are teaching our children not to be afraid of high-speed automobiles. There are laws and precautions in place such as 25 mph speed limits in neighborhoods and teaching our children not to cross the street without looking both ways or having an adult with them. These things are in place so that people can enjoy the “extensions” that technology offer while making up for most “amputations” in alternative ways.

Overall, the ideas behind this article were overshadowed by the biased examples and extreme position that Kappelman took on the role technology plays in our society. Although, I will use the tool that he supplied in his last section, the four questions to apply to media, because I did agree with the notion that there are things you much consider are given up by using technology, which could become an issue if abused or over-used.