Media in Life

As usual, this week’s readings were very thought provoking.  The readings that resonated with me were by Chatelain and Deuze et al. I appreciated Chatelain’s insight about how time is compartmentalized for most of us yet is not brought to our forethoughts. It was insightful for her to point out that in the academy, one is evaluated by their use of time, which is a bit unusual in the working mode for most people.  How time is spent, evaluated and treated was the criteria in her academic career.   She was able to shift the dialogue to an expansive view to include social media.  Her success in using Twitter to engage many people to become actively involved in their community as well as connect to other communities across physical boundaries was a successful use of social media to stimulate change.  Her act of rebellion against staying in the Ivory Tower caused a cascade of actions where scholars connected with a wide variety of fields not usually tapped, such as elementary school teachers.  This dual aspect of social media to cause global connections and at the same time stimulate the local community was also seen in the Deuze et. al. article. As they state,” …media that our children experience are[…] a mixture of national, regional and global. These media can serve to maintain national allegiances and offer a view of the world that reconnects children with another history or opens a window to a new world.” It makes sense that a young adult watching a TikTok video of a person dancing or playing a prank on the other side of the world will connect to it as well as the person.  Ah, they are another person just like me is an unconscious idea.  No matter that they are Asian, Indian, Nigerian or Swedish. A connection is made on a purely human level eradicating a bias and thus causing one more iota of an ism to fade away. Whether it is racism, sexism or any other.  Both the global and the local are affected. Yet, I have a hindrance to me, a human, being negated and my ontological existence is subsumed by media and I am unable to” live a life without by wireless.” There is an assumption being made as well that one cannot live without being fully immersed in media to the point where my body is media.  This is overkill to say the least. “…a life in media is at once connected and isolated, requiring each and every individual to rely on their own creativity to make something out of life: not just to give it, but to symbolically produce it,” is a stretch of a statement. It reeks of being  patronizing and deterministic because it assumes that we, as individuals, are helpless without media to develop ideas, identities, goals, aspirations.  Tools determine my upbringing and consequently my being.  It is not my parents, my socialization, my learning.  It is the tools.  While media tools do in fact expand one’s connection to the world, they do not form the individual. People use media and let’s hope the converse will never be true.