Weapons Of Mass Distraction

Hey guys, this week in our BCM110 lecture we were provided a question, in which to base our second blog post on. Sadly, i can’t just breeze through this blog post, I actually had to “research” and “gather information”, not fun. The question is, “What are the media being blamed for today and is this justified?”. I based my answer on social media, something that is constantly being attacked and blamed.

Whether you have a full time job, or are a student like myself, there is no denying that social media plays an influential role on our daily lives. Today I had two lectures. During these lectures I was on Facebook and instant messaging. By force of habit, every 20 minutes, or so, I would quickly check these applications. Did these medias distract me? Yes, for a short amount of time. Did they detract from my learning in that lecture? No, I was still able to absorb all the information I needed to, as well as take notes. Isn’t it funny how you can check your phone for no more than 30 seconds, and everyone assumes that you’re slacking off.

(For more information on this social media experiment, visit this link.Β http://phys.org/news203745066.html)

In September 2010, a modern science and technology college campus in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,Β was subject to a social experiment. In this social experiment, every social media outlet, excluding e-mail, was blocked. The reaction of the 800+ students ranged from surprise to outrage. The experiment was met with 77% of students opposed to the idea which then dropped to just under 50%, once the experiment was concluded. Peter Kirwin, of the ‘Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority’ Boasted “25% of students reported a higher concentration level”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think students should be so overly obsessed with Facebook that it consumes their life. However, I do think that just because someone fails an assessment or misses a note in class, doesn’t mean that the media should be automatically blamed. More recent studies are exploring the positive attributes of social media and its effects on society.

S. Shyam Sundar – Founder and Co-director of the ‘Penn State Media Effects Research Labratory’, explained how social media is empowering us, and creating a better understanding of other peoples interest.

Sundar, explains how Facebook and other social medias are a part of our life now. He joked “If you’re not on Facebook, you don’t get invited to parties”, emphasizing that social media is about community, not disconnection from the offline world.

Basically what I’m saying is, social media is a tool that we now use every single day. Connecting us with people we otherwise would never have met and helping us become more of a modern community.



3 thoughts on “Weapons Of Mass Distraction

  1. As I read this post I was texting, snap chatting, facebooking and instagramming…and I’m still doing it now. Hence, you raise an excellent point, which is extremely relevant in today’s society. You clearly put in a lot of research which backs up you points really well πŸ™‚ However, maybe you could have talked a little bit about the positives such as globalisation, social aspects etc etc. Good post Mitchell πŸ™‚

  2. I can’t even tell you how many tabs I have open right now. Pandora music is actually running quite slow from all this media content open throughout platforms. Unfortunately I am not as sponge like as yourself, so absorbing information from other sources (in lectures for example) need a bit more attention on my behalf.
    That September 2010 Case Study is very intriguing and I do like your thoughts that the media should not be blamed “because someone fails an assessment or misses a note in class”. That said however, Facebook is a social network we have become so relied upon that this “obsession” you speak of that “consumes” us can be quite a productive and useful source to be relied upon in such a technological age.
    Your points were great and your conversational tone I credit you for!

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