Examining Media Use and Influence

I remember the first time I connected with social media.  I signed up for America On Line and had their five hour per month plan.  It was about four hours and 45 minutes a month more than I needed.  Today I am connected nearly 24/7.

What forms of new media do you use daily?
The three forms of media I use on a daily basis are Facebook, email and text messages.  I have Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts, but rarely use them.  I’ll turn to You Tube to learn something new.  For example, I recently wanted to learn how to type text in a circle in Photoshop. I found a tutorial on You Tube that walked me through the process.

In what ways does media reach you indirectly (through friends, co-workers, etc.)?
I keep up with my friends and family through their Facebook posts.  I find Facebook to be a double edged sword.  On one hand, it enables me to connect with friends and relatives out of state. On the other hand, I find it hard to truly nurture a relationship through posts that are meant for a wide audience as opposed to a one-on-one conversation. I have found, however, that co-workers will come to me about something they’ve seen on my Facebook page, initiating a conversation.  Surprisingly, sometimes the removed aspect of social media can lead to old fashioned one-on-one interaction with another human being.

Do you think that media influences your perspective of world events?
Before digital and social media, news was a one-way process.  Through print, radio and television, news organizations pushed to news out to folks.  Media influences my perspective of world events in the many ways in which I receive it.  I’ll receive a text alert on my phone about breaking news, on-line news organizations not only report news, but include comment sections where readers can offer their opinions and interact with each other.  If I see an article of interest, I can post it on my Facebook page, to include a link to the article.  Media has expanded our access to information.  That access impacts my perspective.

Do you believe that the media has the power to tell you what to think about, but not what to think?
Media has the power to tell you what to think about if you are a passive receiver of information.  If you only read about the things that show up in your news feed, you will only learn about what is fed to you.  However, you have the power to seek out knowledge and to be a well informed, well rounded individual.

Can media shape your beliefs?
I believe that people tend to see out media that agrees with their beliefs.  For example, if your political beliefs are conservative, you are likely to get your news from conservative news outlets and to follow Facebook pages and Twitter feeds from organizations and individuals who think like you do.

While I don’t believe that people would jump off a bridge if a newscaster told them to, I do see where people take things at “face value” without verifying the truth to what they see or read.  Memes are a prime example.  Over and over I have seen a meme on Facebook talking about how the Pledge of Allegiance is no longer said in school.  I have friends who blindly share and comment on it.  As someone who has worked in public education in Arizona for 25 years, I know that we start each morning with the Pledge of Allegiance.

How have information revolutions resulted in ways of knowledge changing or remaining the same?
With the digital age, we have greater access to information beyond our community.  If interested, I can learn about elections happening not only in my city but also those happening across the world.

How have information revolutions resulted in ways of knowledge changing or remaining the same?

With the digital age, we have greater access to information beyond our community.  If interested, I can learn about elections happening not only in my city but also those happening across the world.

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