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UW / Communication / COM 202 / Is there independent confirmation of the source's claims?

Is there independent confirmation of the source's claims?

Is there independent confirmation of the source's claims?


School: University of Washington
Department: Communication
Course: Introduction to Communication II
Professor: Malcolm parks
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: Digital, Media, multitasking, and lifestyle
Cost: 25
Name: COM 202 Week 9 notes
Description: These notes cover new media, always on, always connected lifestyle, multitasking, and what's new about new media. Only one more lecture until the exam so study up and finish strong! hope this helps!
Uploaded: 05/28/2016
11 Pages 152 Views 1 Unlocks

Week 9 lecture 16

Is there independent confirmation of the source's claims?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life today, Always on, always connected  

Distraction, media-multitasking, and the long view  

Transmedia now

On Monday, Snapchat partnered with 20th Century Fox to take over all snapchat filters to promote the  Friday release of "X-Men Apocalypse"  

According to the New York Times, sponsoring a filter can cost $45,000 to $750,000, in return, snapchat  has potential audience of 100 million users most 13-34 years old  

Multi-tasking is a way of life for most 8-18 year olds in the US and spend 1/4 of media time using  multiple media  

24% of 12-18 year olds use another media most of the time while watching TV

Class Survey  

How often do you multi-task with media of some type?

What are the barriers to turn off media?

63% often to nearly all the time  

2% never to rarely  

Many multi-task during classes  

40% send or look at messages often  

35% send of look at messages sometimes  

35% look at Facebook  

65% look at email

25% often look at the web

8% play games  

Multitasking with homework is the norm  

65% use their phones  

65% listen to music

60% look at Facebook

40% look at webpages

20% watch TV

17% no multitasking  Don't forget about the age old question of What are the four simple rules of punctuation?

Only multi-tasking certain things with others  

Most believe that they are good at multi-tasking with media  


Do we surf the web and sample relationships online as a substitute for sustained face-to-face conversation?

If you want to learn more check out Describes the arrangement of electrons.

29% say they are very bad or somewhat bad at multi-tasking  

19% say they are neither good nor bad  

36% say they are somewhat good

17% say they are good or very good  

Research shows that multitasking  

∙ Makes each task take longer because of the extra time needed to reorient  

∙ Disrupts the learning process- poorer comprehension- less orientation

∙ Shortens attention span and reduces creativity

∙ Increases stress- generally reduces productivity  

We are really just switching back and forth between tasks and attention is our best and rarest resource  Multi-tasking makes things harder and loses time- we are genuinely distracted

We often store information in the wrong categories and that information becomes harder to reach  

Cortisol- stress hormone  

EX: study- effects of email use among office workers  


Workers in a government office wore heart rate monitors and a software was installed in their  computers to see how often they switched windows  

Email was blacked for half for 5 days, other half had normal email  


Without email- less stress and more productive  

With email - more stress (less normal heart rates)- less productive (switched screens twice as often)  Without email- reported feeling more isolated  If you want to learn more check out Define force.

Risks of media multi-tasking go beyond stress and lower productivity  

2013 Ohio state University study  

100 Emergency Rooms across the US injuries to pedestrians on cell phones have than doubled in the last  5 years  

Almost everything can be applied to adults too  

Teens who text every time they drive: 25%

Teens who have extended text exchanges: 20%

Parents who have extended text exchanges 10% We also discuss several other topics like Who characterized public communication into five “arts of public speaking.”?

Multi-tasking isn't just at home, multi-tasking can have big consequences

Seattle 2013-2014  

200% increase in car/pedestrian collisions related to distracted driving  

November 2015 survey of 200 teens  

82% learning to drive from parents  

63% of their parents use their phone while driving

To reduce accidents  

Mobile phone sidewalk installed in 2014 in Chongquing china  

Extra traffic lights embedded in street in Augsburg Germany  If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of hybridization?

Re-engineer architecture to combat the problem because consequences are huge Not uncommon EX: Pedestrian on phone hit by car

Sign of how we are still coming to grips with technology changes  

Demand to be available and fear of missing out  Don't forget about the age old question of How do you know if its short run or long run?

Job requirements to be good at multi-tasking are actually to see if you are good at working hard  

Information overload- exposure to more information than one can meaningfully process and stress and  poor decisions that come from it  

Not a new idea- not coming from digital media however today its amped up  

Three causes of information overload  

1. Dramatic increases in the sheer amount of information and access to it  

2. Increase in the number of channels/ sources you feel you need to pay attention to  ∙ Look at your social media and how many times a day you check- more sources and different kinds 3. Rapid changes in platforms, formal and representation styles  

Coping with information overload  

Step 1 recognize that more information does not necessarily lead to better decisions  ∙ Studies of consumers show that giving more information about more brands does not improve  decisions  

∙ Helps up to some point but not past it  

Step 2 distinguish essential from non-essential information  

28% of students say they have difficulty with this  

72% say they are sometimes distracted by unimportant information  

Easy to say, hard to do  

Step 3 more distinctions based on "source credibility"  

60% of studnets say they sometimes have difficulty sorting out what to believe when sources in conflict  

Credibility/ expertise  

∙ Does source have credentials? Experience?

∙ Record of knowledge in area?

∙ Can I find third party endorsement of source expertise  


∙ Trust  

∙ Does the source have a strong self-interest in his or her position?

∙ Is there independent confirmation of the source's claims?  

Distinguish credibility from popularity  

Internet software measures popularity more easily than credibility  

EX: trip advisor, yelp, lines, reddit, votes measure popularity not credibility  

20-30% of previews on sites like yelp and trip advisor are fake  

Signs that a review may be fake

1. Reviewer hasn't reviewed anything else

2. Multiple reviews with simple language

3. Too many odd details (full product names or numbers)  

4. Reviewer uses extreme language, positive or negative  


Step 4 take control over your media  

66% of studnets wished we weren't so connected but worried they'd miss something important FOMO  fear of missing out  

41% say others will be frustrated with them if they disconnect  

16% number of hours in a week  

How many hours a day is your cell phone or mobile on? Computer?  

One cause of overload is cell phone as alarm  

Use cellphones as watch  

Always on, always connected  

Limit availability to texts, email, phone  

Avoid letting communications apps running in background  

Turn off cell phone when engaged in other activists  

Resist other's attempts more your more accessible and accountable than you wish

Does taking a media vacation help?  

Don’t really change behavior once you come back - no lasting change  

What are the barriers to turn off media?  

Keep alarm, watch and calendar reminders separate- will give a lot more help and less stress  

So why are we taking a "tough love" approach for our "always on, always connected" lives? Because the widespread but controversial belief that social media and mobile phones detract from  deeper human relationships

Are our relationships becoming nothing more than an endless series of status updates? Do we text rather than really talk?

Do we surf the web and sample relationships online as a substitute for sustained face-to-face  conversation?

There are many ways devices help us enhance relationships with time and space concerns  Is high connectivity making us more reactive, self-centered?

February 2010- poll of regular social media users  

How does life today compare with life a generation ago?

80% said busier  

79% said more information overload

76% said more self-centered  

76% said more connected  

40% said better overall  

Are we substituting shallow contacts for deeper ones?

Characteristics of "real conversation"

1. Not driven by a task to be done, specific purpose or goal  

2. Face to face

3. Minimal distractions, not broken up, not multi-tasking  

4. Open expression, but also active listening- fully engaged checking interpretation and giving  feedback

5. 90 minutes- arbitrary but has to be sort of long  

Benefits of real conversation  

∙ More accurate, useful information  

∙ Reduction in stress, greater emotional connection - being fully engaged releases Oxytocin, a  neurotransmitter linked to bonding  

∙ A study by Matthias Mehl at University of Arizona using electronics  

∙ Participants wore the EAR (voice recorders) for 4 days during their waking hours (averaged 17  hours per day)  

∙ EAR recorded 30 seconds out of every 12 and 1/2 minutes  

∙ Participants didn’t know when the EAR was recording or not  

∙ They get used to it and stop adjusting behavior  

∙ Doesn’t record what others are saying

∙ Researchers transcribed each snippet and coded into categories  

1. Alone- not talking

2. Small talk- uninvolved banal conversation- trivial information- ex: "what do you have there?  Popcorn? Yum!"  

3. Substantive conversation (big talk)- conversation that was involved and was something that  seemed important to the participant EX: "so she fell in love with your dad? Did they get divorced  soon after?"

Collected several other measures  

∙ Satisfaction with life

∙ Psychological well-being

∙ Happiness

∙ Informant's judgements of participants happiness


1. Big talk occurred more often than small talk (35% vs 17.9% of all conversation)  2. The greater portion of time alone, the lower the psychological well-being, satisfaction with life,  and happiness

3. The frequency of small talk was not related to psychological well-being, satisfaction with life, and  happiness

4. The larger proportion of small talk and smaller the proportion of big talk, the lower the  psychological well-being, satisfaction with life, and happiness  

So small talk is fine but not if it substitutes for real conversation  

It's not that digital world ruins life but do become more conscious of the choices you make  Can you be more strategic about multi-tasking or get more done and feel less stressed  Are there ways you can cope more effectively when you experience information overload Can we reduce habitual uses of social media  

Can we make more meaningful conversation a priority  

Week 9 lecture 17  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What's new about new media?  

What's not so new?

Low tech, high touch- when old technology has a personal touch- EX: letters, record players  

Record players were personal media and music collection that was affordable  Revolutionary that changed market and cultural practices  

Old technology was once new and revolutionary  

How does this shift affect us? Some effects are more obvious than others

1. Increased efficiency and spread of communication saves time, money/ frees time and money for  new activities

2. Greater amount of information available and exchanged

3. Increased reliance on visual media in place of text- social media platform expansion for more and  more visual media

But the most profound effects are on patterns of interdependence- that is the ways we influence and  relate to each other  

Age of mass media 1850-1995 (1995 was the first time a graphic interface on web browsers were  available- internet was 25 years old)

Mid and late 19th Century magazines, newspapers, radio, satellite broadcasting  

Age of Mass media 1850-1995

Facilitated by three factors  

1. Increased literacy/ education- more people reading  

2. Urbanization- rise of big cities- compact market

3. Advances in communication technology  

Advances in communication technology  

∙ Put information into the hands of a large audience efficiently and cheaply  

∙ But choices about content were concentrated in the hands of the few- elites, gatekeepers

How new media fits  

Characteristics of new social media  

∙ Information moves through networks of existing acquaintances, friends, colleagues, rather than  delivered from an impersonal central source  

∙ Two-way rather than one-way- interactive

∙ Give and take of face to face conversation but with greater control- blurring the line between  writing and talking  

∙ EX: texting, you are technically writing but it feels like talking  

∙ Receivers may share information about you with others without your knowledge or control  ∙ Information and communication are location sensitive- your device knows where you are and  takes that information into account- EX: yelp restaurant suggestions  

∙ Ease of group formation and potential to disrupt existing social and political arrangements  ∙ Traditional power structures can be undermined  

Six ways these differences affect us  

1. Less privacy, more surveillance

2. Customization and personalization of information  

3. Greater interactivity- back and forth exchange- and accountability in new ways  4. Greater control over self-representation  

5. Easier to form groups  

6. Undermines existing power structures

Each of these things brings both desirable and undesirable effects- the same things we like create those  we don’t  

1. Less privacy, more surveillance  

EX: cookies tracking web use, GPS in cell phones, Facebook profiles  


∙ Easier to locate others, let them locate us

∙ Don’t have to remember so much- note files on phones, calendar schedules  ∙ Harder to hide scandals, illegal behavior  


∙ Harder to keep secrets, embarrassing photos

∙ Personal danger- cyberstalking, cyber bullying

∙ Loss of control over personal information

∙ Harder to run away from your past  

2. Customization and personalization of information  

EX: recommendation systems, personalized ads, news, netflix, amazon  


∙ Easier to avoid unwanted information

∙ Good surprises on Netflix, Amazon

∙ Reinforces your personal identity and autonomy  

∙ Creates new markets for personalized products  

∙ EX: etsy.com small business craft site  


∙ Social fragmentation- we share fewer common assumptions and experiences with others  ∙ Self absorption- more isolated, less caring

∙ Highly targeted "creepy" ads based on personal information  

3. Greater interactivity and accountability  

EX: Texting, Facebook profiles, wiki leaks, mobile video/ photos


∙ You can stay in touch with your family and friends across distances  

∙ Harder to hide bad behavior  

∙ Can organize on the fly (hyper-coordination)- EX: text someone to get together sometime that day  and plan as the day goes on- more hectic and manageable at the same time

∙ "crowd sourcing" EX: DARPA 8 weather balloon search, the winning team used social media and  found them all within 9 hours  


∙ Your family can stay in touch with you when you may not want to

∙ EX: two way TV was not a success because people didn’t want to be viewed as they were watching  TV

∙ Stressful- faster pace and "always on, always connected" life  

∙ Damaging effects of misinformation are amplified  

∙ Rumors are harder to kill

4. Greater control over self-presentation  

EX: selecting and manipulating photos, avatars, ability to time and edit responses  


∙ Ability to project a positive identity, minimize faults

∙ Ability to present different aspects of your identity in different settings  

∙ To engage in "identity play" in order to explore different parts of yourself  ∙ Ex: world of warcraft avatar- different aspects of personality  


∙ False identities hide inappropriate, illegal behavior EX: catfish  

∙ Others are mislead, feel they don’t really know us  

∙ Our sense of who we are can become fragmented  

∙ Additional time and effort needed to maintain self-presentations  

5. Easier to form groups  

EX: flashmobs, internet based fundraising, fan groups, support groups, protest groups  

Lower "transaction costs" (the amount of time and effort it takes to complete a communication task effort, time, resources to connect and coordinate)

Not as difficult to find people with common interests and come together electronically  As transaction costs go down, it's easier to get more diverse groups together  


∙ Allows us to work with others more efficiently

∙ Enables people to resist undesirable organizations and governments  

∙ Helps fight crime- instant reporting- citizen journalism  

∙ EX: 50,000 people in Tahir Square, Cairo, Egypt in January 2011- Green Lake runner group,  meetup.com


∙ Allows illegal, violent groups to form more easily  

∙ Makes it easier for illegal, violent groups to go undetected  

∙ EX: Washington DC August 2011, criminal flashmob- came together suddenly to rob store ∙ EX: Yik Yak university of Missouri, Western Washington University November 2015

6. Existing power structures are undermined  

EX: self-publication and promotion, control by parents, organizations, governments  


∙ Empowers the individual

∙ More innovation, social change

∙ Helps resist unpopular government action and oppressive regimes  

∙ Ex: smartphones empower Saudi women- form connection that would not have been possible  otherwise

∙ Hanoi Vietnam March 2015 - citizens use Facebook to organize campaign to prevent city from  cutting 6.700 trees  


∙ Harder to maintain social cohesion and stability  

∙ Older power structures may be replaced by new ones that are worse

∙ Loss of productivity

The average employee spends over 75 minutes per day using an office computer for non-business  related activity- 15.6% drop in productivity in an 8 hour day and this doesn’t even count the time spent  on personal activities on smartphones  

Be wary of those who make big simple claims about technology- either positive or negative effects are  complex and often go in both directions  

Utopian beliefs about new digital media  

∙ More democratic

∙ More personal control  

∙ Better informed  

∙ Access to information and assistance 24/7

Dystopian beliefs about new digital media  

∙ Loss of personal control and free  

∙ Buried too much information  

∙ Citizens constantly distracted  

∙ More scams, new threats, social instability  

Putting new media in historical perspective  

1. Digital media are creating fundamental change  

2. But we over-estimate how revolutionary these changes are because they stand in sharp contrast  to the age of mass media for the past 150 years  

3. If we take a longer historical view, many of the characteristics of new media revolution don’t seem  quite so new  

EX: coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee BUBBLE TEA!!! COFFEE! The last coffee seems revolutionary  because it was such a change from bubble tea even though everything before it was the same  

Internet and cell communication created new media landscape that shares many factors with earlier  media  

Two examples to illustrate

1. Media in the Roman Empire

2. Media in Europe 1650- 1800

Roman media 100 BC- 200 CE  

∙ Roman Empire ruled by a small number of elite families and followers- slave empire ∙ Personal contacts are key  

∙ Political news and personal gossip are intertwined

∙ Letters allow Romans to keep in touch even in remote parts of the empire

∙ Roman letters function more like social media than letters today  

∙ Blurred the line between talking and writing, like texting does today  

∙ Dictation- scribe writes what you say, copying, and read out loud  

∙ Forwarding and connecting letters often copied and passed along  

Roman's beliefs and concerns about media were often same as ours today

Cicero, an important politician and public figure believed that by writing letters they will stay in touch  almost as close as in person  

Julius Caesar often conversed with friends over letters because he was too busy to meet in person  Wax tablets when quick communication was needed  

Source etches message in wax, messenger delivers it and waits for receive to etch reply and then  returns- fast in the time- spontaneous and erasable

Roman graffiti- a media system that served many functions- everything from announcements to  allegations to endorsements - similar to social media today  

∙ Residents in houses write announcements and house news  

∙ Messages at inns write advertisements, reviews, geotags  

Roman geotags- Romans provided visitors with information by tagging the actual buildings with graffiti  Today we do the same thing with QR codes- tourist information  

Roman media spread of Christianity  

By 50 CE there were good roads, sea connections, faster exchange of letters  

The Apostle Paul's letter instructed, inspired and spread the early church  

Paul based himself in places with good communication links like Corinth and Ephesus But it was also all local leaders between all kinds- complex network  

Letters copied and sent to others within weeks- fast for the time  

"Holy internet"

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