March 2010 Archives

The positive and negative technology world

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In the PBS program "Frontline," I learned many new things about technology -- both positive and negative aspects.

For me, technology has always seemed like a positive thing. Even on a simple Web search site, like Google, I know I'll be able to find things like directions, a specific passage from a book, the summary of a novel, others' opinions, and information on virtually anything. Basically, I know I can rely on the Web to give me the information I'm looking for.

However, the way that Asia's digital culture used media, I see it more as a negative. I had no idea that such large problems of "gaming" existed, with people literally letting gaming take over their entire time and life. As Doug Rushkoff states, "The net has changed from what one does, to what one is." To the people who cannot control their technology, this may be true. But to me, the media are not who I am; I am who I am -- with the help of technology to make life easier.

I feel that in some aspects this PBS program represents my generation of digital media, but not to the extent that they make it out to be.

For example, I totally agree that I multi-task. I feel that I have to, in order to get everything done. In my opinion, as society advances and expects each generation to be able to do more things, technology is simply developing in order to keep up with these demands that our professors, parents and the competition around the world bring on us. We are expected to take "X" number of credits, have a job, volunteer and be well-rounded in athletics or the arts, and somehow still have time for fun?
However, critics argue that Web sites like Google are actually bad for children. By being able to find information like book reviews (to save time), it decreases the level of reading and writing. Multi-tasking results in a decrease in writing, so that students tend to only write in "paragraphs of thought," not connecting each paragraph's meaning (due to outside world distractions).

Overall, although the Internet is a large part of my life, I disagree that most students are as "high-tech" as this movie shows. I may be glued to my cell phone, but I am definitely not attached to the computer or other media devices so that I can't put them down. I agree completely with Sherry Turkle that "technology isn't good or bad, it's powerful and complicated."

Obama's Inaugural Address: abc and msnbc

The leads for these stories are both very different. The way in which MSNBC introduces President Obama's inaugural address is in an attractive and fame based ideal. This lead was a very appealing way to introduce something that the "less political" audience may find in some way attractive. This speech primarily focused on exactly what the lead set it up to be, a celebrity-like appeal to the younger and more "hip" audience (comparable to President John Kennedy). This article focused on a majority of celebrities that attended, Obama's two young girls showing off their dance moves as well as the president himself having a fun and romanticized night. The writer also notes the negatives to nights like this with long lines, coat checks and not very appealing food.
The way in which the writer sets this story up is to show the fun in events like his inauguration, but then slightly emphasizing the work that will begin the morning after this fun night.

The lead for the ABC news gave a way different tone than that of MSNBC. ABC news emphasized the "burden" that Obama would have once obtaining presidency. They quoted Obama reinstating that we are in a time of a crisis, with our nation at war and a weakened economy.
The writer used this lead to set up the ways in which Obama addressed solutions to these problems. With this, he used a very inspirational quote that set up this metaphor perfectly: "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again the work of remaking America."

The writer then focuses in on one of Obama's most important "themes" and mentions that the way in which Obama presents himself is similar to that of President Kennedy.
Overall although both of these pieces covered the inaugural address, the information that was given had a lot of variation in what these two writers focused on. Both writers covered very different angles, which drew attention to different types of readers. MSNBC would seem to be more appealing to the "younger" or more "celebrity-based" individual. Whereas the ABC piece might appeal to the more factual, political or historical-based audience that wants to know changes that will be made.

Msbc news: By Associated Press (AP style)

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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