Today I have chosen to tell a story about seeing through technological mediums.
For my story, I started thinking about the fact that when most of us college students wake up, even before we brush our teeth or hop in the shower – we look towards technology.
The technological mediums that we use which I would like to take a closer look at are: text messaging, MMS picture messaging, and social websites like facebook. I would certainly argue that these are three extremely common modes of technological communication, perhaps even the most common, used by college students.
So, without any further adieu, this brings me to my topic of discussion and project title – What Happened Last Night? Three Steps to Discovery
When the student first wakes up, and in this case wakes up in a haze, they will look to their cell phone and see if they received any text messages. In my story, the student sees a message proclaiming “OMG…what a night! You were soo crazy!” I would like to point out here that this technological medium – text messages – are not helpful in figuring out what happened last night. The written messages are vague and use abbreviations like omg or lol to convey emotions. My point is that the technological medium hinders seeing.
An important side note of mine about the text message is that it hinders seeing everyday. 203 million Americans pay for SMS packages in their cell phone bills.
Also, 57%, more than half, of cell users 13 and older are considered regular “texters.”
Lastly, 2.5 billion text messages are sent each day in the United States. So as we can see – text messaging, while not the most helpful mode of communication for our three steps to discovery, is an extremely powerful technological medium.
The second chapter of my story is about the MMS picture message. The confused student receives a picture message portraying a pixelated image of her chugging beer. Picture messages sent on cell phones are an interesting mode of technological communication – they do help seeing a little, but do not clarify. MMS messages are often fuzzy and small.
The statistic that I found to help demonstrate the power of MMS messaging in the lives of college students was that 10.3 billion MMs messages were sent in just the first half of 2009.
Lastly, the third chapter of my story is about online social networking sites – namely facebook. Once the student manages to get their selves out of bed, make a coffee, they will log onto facebook and receive a chronological order of events revealed to them about the night through uploaded images. I have talked about facebook’s popularity before, so without giving too many statistics about this chapter I do think that it is important to note that facebook has more than 350 million active users and 2.5 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month.
My conclusion is that computers, internet, and especially social networking sites work best to interactively enable seeing through technological mediums.