Why Can’t the Internet be Nirvana?

After a long day of work and training for my triathlon, I finally have a break…and I thought now would be the perfect time to post my reflection from last night’s class as well as this week’s reading!

First and foremost, I do not enjoy reading about how things are formed or created; I do not enjoy putting furniture together and I do not care how the television works, I like to accept things as they are. When I began to read Chapter 2 and the specifics of the Internet I groaned…but as I read on, I was surprised at how interested I actually was. I always knew that the Internet was created for military purposes but I did not really know how it got to what it is today…I was also extremely impressed that its origin date traces to the 1950s. (When I think of the 1950s I think of poodle skirts, apple pie and a black and white tv, not technology innovators) When the military no longer needed it, I am grateful that there were people that saw its worth and ran with it to eventually create something that the masses could engage with.

During class, I really enjoyed the Break Out Groups coming together and sharing their own observations on the Internet as well as our thoughts on the article. I was in “group 2” and it was observed that we shared a more social and democratic view of the Internet, which I do agree. My thought process for answering the first question was asking myself, “How do I personally use the internet to communicate?” The Internet is such a great tool for communication; it allows people from all over the world talk in real time – our class is a great example!

I was particularly amused by the article from 1995. The author talks a lot about concerns of the Internet at the time. A lot of what I read, I remember personally…specifically hearing my parents talk about ecommerce. It was a scary thought to put your credit card information on a relatively new and unknown website and whether you would actually receive what you ordered was a whole other issue…even as recent as four years ago did I feel uncomfortable using my credit card on the internet.

Another point the author makes is about multimedia learning. I think we have made great and drastic strides since 1995. When I was about 8 years old (1998) I remember receiving a computer game that was math focused and I believe it helped me a lot, and it was fun. Since then there are thousands of fun resources to aid in the learning process.

Finally, the author’s last paragraph about computer isolating us from one another is probably the most true and untrue statement related to today. When you go out to eat, take a look around the restaurant. How many people are on their phones, completely ignoring their dinner party? I, like many others, am guilty of this but because of the ease and accessibility of the Internet it is easy to get caught up in a space that may not be present. On the flipside, the Internet connects people rather than isolates them. As I previously mentioned, you can be connected with people, in real time, all over the world, at that same dinner, you could be chatting with a friend across the country. You can also meet new people you may have never thought you could. It also allows you to attend events you may not be able to. For example, every year I watch live sets from a music festival in another country. Although I am not there, I appreciate the experience and still get the same goosebumps I would get if I were there.

The opportunities that the Internet holds are endless. I think that, rather than devaluing human interactions, the Internet actually celebrates them, just not in the traditional way.

I look forward to next week!

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Sky Scraper Model: High Culture/Low Culture

Week 1 was filled with many great discussions about Digital Convergence and it’s benefits as well as the Skyscraper Model. I found that I really enjoyed our discussion on the Skyscraper Model as well as how people classify high and low culture. In our reading, the author mentions that one flaw of the model is a person’s ability to enjoy low culture but have the education and ability to appreciate high culture which is something I experience personally…I fully believe that someone is able to appreciate both ends of the spectrum.

I enjoy low culture as it gives me the chance to watch a something entertaining that doesn’t really require a lot of thought. It’s stress-free for me which is important after a long day of work. On the flip side, I do enjoy high-culture things as well such as attending ballets, going to museums (the Philadelphia Art Museum is fantastic and I highly recommend it) and reading classical literature, Jane Austen is one of my favorites. My question is, with the Skyscraper Model, can something be high and low culture. A great example of this, taken from the text is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I have read the normal version of the story as well as the “and Zombies” version which gives an entertaining twist on an old classic. Where would this version of the story fit in on the Skyscraper Model? Is it possible to have something be considered high and low culture?

Syracuse

Tomorrow begins my journey into Grad School. I am nervous, yet excited to learn. I am hoping everything goes smoothly and there won’t be many bumps, if any, in the road. Here’s to my classmates! Good luck, all.