The entire concept of new media is too broad to define, too large to pin down, and too vast to concisely describe. My practicum experience with the Vanderbilt News Service taught me that blogs add certain experiences to the entire concept of new media literacy. The research I did made me look into what blogging actually meant, something that Rachel touched on today, and how much “metablogging,” or blogging about blogging bloggers actually do. Blogging is an art form, and to have people follow you as a renowned member of a community means that you have something to offer. The experience of researching what Facebook and social networking sites mean to community is truly frightening. I gave the statistic that Facebook would be the 4th largest country in the world if it were one, and that means that we are connected now by 1 degree to that many people. We are a quick search away. Along the lines of participating in all of these digital mediums we give ourselves agency to accept or not accept certain ideas.
Does belonging to Facebook mean that you believe in its tenets of matchmaking friends or playing its games or adhering to its inherent etiquette? The answer, I think, is that it is similar to belonging to a religion in a casual sense; you just kind of do it because everyone else does and you may not understand everything but it keeps you connected. What does belonging to Facebook really mean? It means you are a consumer of a good, the same way that if you watch Hulu you simply consume a good. My opinion on all of this doesn’t actually matter- and going back to metablogging, this response to any prompt only matters if anyone reads it. Does a tree that falls with no one around to hear it make a sound? Here is my tree falling. Agency is the key to new media, recognizing yourself as a key component to what new media does will unlock everything about new literacy.
Watching advertisements gives you a decision, conscious or not, you make a decision to buy or not buy or watch.
This presentation shows that children have agency in all of the new media outlets that exist. We are not passersby and to assume such is a misnomer and injustice to ourselves. We are then the saps of the industry in which we have all the power. Everything is catered to us, beginning with advertising and ending with…NOTHING. Hulu tailors advertising to allow us to watch whatever we want. Tivo allows us to watch only the segments of shows that we want to watch. ESPN allows us to browse only the sports that we want to watch. Everything begins with us, the consumer, and we are not just consumers when we respond positively. We are every bit the consumer when we just watch, when we just listen, when we just allow anything to permeate our lives in any capacity.
The key in my classroom will be to be active, to respond purposefully to each and every task put in front of you. I contend that in order to be savvy in the world that we are moving into, a world that will be overflowing with things thrown at us on a secondly basis, the skill of stepping back will be commonplace, the skill to respond and understand any action as a response will be invaluable. Simply using a blog is a response to a community that is taking over news, and the meaning of instantaneous. It is easy to step back and relax, it is hard to evaluate, reevaluate, and evaluate your evaluations as responses. Kids and students in the future will be required to interact on a level of consumerism that has never been seen in the world.
The interactions with media, new and old, that are happening now are astonishing and in 20 years will probably double, triple, and quadruple. Everything needs a response, that is ultimately what I learned through the whole experience of the practicum, and hopefully what this final post exhibits. You need responses to be relevant, not just to be consumed passively. You need to respond to be relevant, you can’t just take it all in and ruminate on it. The new world of new media is about who you know, not what you know, who you blog, vlog, and correspond with, not who you read. Maybe in that aspect the world isn’t changing that much- it is only the digital immediacy that changes dynamic. Speed, response time, and knowledge are all a web of confused entities, not to be unwoven but rather rewoven into sensible styles and more easily workable schemes. The new world of media is not linear, it is not straightforward, it is the tangled web that is the Internet, that is Apps, that is what we read for the second class of the semester.