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COM 202 Week 9 notes

by: Taylor McAvoy

COM 202 Week 9 notes COM 202A

Taylor McAvoy
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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!
Intro to Communications II
Malcolm Parks
Class Notes
Digital, Media, multitasking, lifestyle
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor McAvoy on Saturday May 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 202A at University of Washington taught by Malcolm Parks in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Intro to Communications II in Communication Studies at University of Washington.

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Date Created: 05/28/16
Week 9 lecture 16 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? 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 Only multi-tasking certain things with others Most believe that they are good at multi-tasking with media Survey 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 Design 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 Results 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 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% 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 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 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 Trustworthiness  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 Findings 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 Good  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 Bad  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 Good  Easier to avoid unwanted information  Good surprises on Netflix, Amazon  Reinforces your personal identity and autonomy  Creates new markets for personalized products  EX: small business craft site Bad  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 Good  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 Bad  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 Good  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 Bad  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 Good  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, Bad  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 Good  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 Bad  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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