New media is defined as anything that is digitally accessed. New media is the advancing of technology. Most new media technologies are ones that can be “manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, and interactive” as stated by Bailey Socha and Barbara Eber-Schmid, authors of Define New Media Isn’t Easy. Most of these new media technologies are things that can be found in most every house hold such as: computers, Xbox, PlayStation, DVDs, and games for the consoles. New media is not “television programs, feature films, magazines, books, or paper-based publication- unless they contain technologies that enable digital interactivity” (Socha and Eber-Schmid). Digital interactivity is anything that uses the new media technologies. New media is the usage of words on a screen, images, sounds, and movement.
Media has created a digital divide. Older people such as grandparents, do not understand the concept of the Internet. This divide is caused by the differences in technology that is available versus the technology that was available when they were growing up. Our grandparents did not have the technologies that we use now, the same technologies that we cannot live without. Most grandparents do not know how to use a computer or have to be shown how. I remember a few years ago, I had to teach my grandmother how to copy and paste. It amazed me that she had to write down instructions so that she would remember. She has a cellphone like most people. However, she has an old flip phone that has now been working over 7 years. It works perfect and she refuses to get a smartphone. She does not know how to use them. My grandmother does not understand smartphones. It is difficult for her to call someone from my mother’s smartphone.
Every technology has a symbiotic relationship with man. J.C.R. Licklider, author of, Man-Computer Symbiosis, states “Man-computer symbiosis is a subclass of man-machine systems. There are many man-machine systems. At present, however, there are no man-computer symbioses.” This brings to light the reliance of man and technology. People are no longer able to do anything without Google. Machines are run and helped by people. Without people, there would be no machines. Without machines, there would still be people. The people who live in a world without machines would be forced to find various ways of entertainment, medical care, research, and ways to wake up. It is amazing that even an alarm clock is a machine that people depend on. It is something small and almost never thought of until it is time to wake up. It is blamed when people sleep through it as well. Machines may not survive without humans, but humans can survive without machines. We just do not want to. It would mean that we would have to get up and do work. The laziness that comes with machines would be gone.
The symbiotic relationship is different than that of a mechanical extension. A mechanical extension is an extension of something that is preexisting. This is not limited to robotic arms, legs, and fingers. Technology has the potential to achieve things the human mind cannot fathom. This reverts back to what was discussed in class today; infinite knowledge or a way to expand the brain’s capacity for information. A chip in the brain is different than finding a way to know everything. It is something that some people, like myself do not want. Yes, I wish I could open my head and stuff every one of my text books into it. I would be able to remember more. That would be amazing to remember everything from over thousands of books. The main thing that I would want from that type of technology would be to learn different languages. I would stuff as many different language books into my mind as I possibly could. It is difficult to learn a new language. I have taken Spanish for several years and I still do not know much. My goal is to learn American Sign Language and then move on to Dutch.
What makes us human? Thomas Suddendorf’s blog post “What Makes Us Human?” might have the answers to this specific question. Suddentdorf tells us that we have been surviving by our wits. We have the great capacity to build technology and cities. These things have changed the Earth in many different ways. The closest relative to humans are the animals, however, there is an enormous gap in the minds of a human and that of an animal. The things that make us human is our brain yes. But if you think about it, it is also our ability to make choices. Humans are emotional creatures. This also includes the male portion of the species even if they will never admit it. Humans have the amazing ability of free will to do as we want. This makes some people mad if we do not do what they want us to do. It is not easy having the ability to make choices. There are always pros and cons to the choices that we make. However, that is what makes us human and we have to live with the choices we make.
New media encompasses many different things. New media has become such a part of our daily lives that it seems to be taking over our everyday life. Tristan Harris is the author of the article How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds- From a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist. The second argument is about the addiction to technology. Most people these days, mainly teenagers and young adults, spend most of their time on their phone. Most people constantly check their phones about twenty times in the span of two minutes. It is the fear of missing out. Missing anything that is going on in the outside world. Teens and young adults who are social active on various different social media accounts stress about not knowing that is going on in everyone else’s lives. Constantly refreshing emails, checking text messages, and checking notifications of any kind it has gotten us hooked to the point we cannot live without it. This fear of missing something has escalated to a point where people will not delete any social media app even though they do not use it. They might occasionally check it; however, they do not use it on a daily basis. They keep it so that they can stay aware of everything going on. Technology is taking over everything, not just our minds.
Digital literature is something that I believed only to be eBooks. I learned that it is more than that. Naomi Alderman shows the reader this in her article The first great works of digital literature are already being written. Video games are considered digital literature. My understanding of literature when I began this class was a text that was read. This article and learning that digital literature is growing increasingly popular has redefined how I classify literature. This technology for digital literature is more than likely in your house right now. Many houses have a console such as Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii. The first two consoles are the most popular. The third most popular is a PC. A PC allows users to play the same games as a console on their laptop. These consoles are categorized as accessories for digital literature because the game itself is the literature. The storyline that takes place is the literature. It is an interactive story that the player or players enjoy playing. Alderman talks about Portal and in one of my previous posts, I talked about Final Fantasy X. Both of these games contain storylines. The different characters have different missions and quests they have to fulfill. The choices that the player makes effects the outcome of the game.
I have done several different blog posts about subjects pertaining to the class. Most weeks I would post two or three different times, each on different topics. I have attended every class and participated to the best of my ability. I have enjoyed learning more about the cyberworld and what it has to offer. I have learned more about technology and how it should and should not be used. My current grade is not what I am hoping for in the class. I am hoping that it will be raised higher. I have tried to make sure that I do my best. I believe I have done the best of my ability. It has been my goal this semester to get the best grade in this class that I possibly can. With this being said, I have enjoyed learning about new media, cyborgs, or digital literature. I did not know about most of the subjects that were covered in class. It was nice to be able to research different things that were related to the course while learning new things about media and what it encompasses. New media is a subject that I have enjoyed learning about and will continue to learn as much as I can.