How free are we?

Throughout this course, we have been exposed to the true form of media and the selling of our souls to co-operations with money.

The module has helped us realise how free or not free we actually are. The lecture about social media is one that really stuck with me. Our minds are cultivated to think about things such as who posted what, the latest memes and the number of likes you get on an instagram post. We are cultivated to think the way the papers think, the way social media reacts and the way twitter trends. So the question is, are we free to think?

Whenever a person seems to go against the norm – or the fringe society, they are ridiculed and made to feel outcasted. Social culture has cultivated us to think certain ways. We follow social media regulations. But the question is, will that always the best thing?  By removing the cost of joining an online community, are we actually selling our own freedom and privacy? We agree to terms and conditions without reading it, give apps access to our privacy and eventually let it lead our lives. 

Social media has taken over the way people now interact, the way we think, and the way we (over)share. In my opinion, social media is leading us to interact in different ways, and although most of them are positive, they are many disadvantages to it. Most people have little to no privacy on their social media profiles giving full access to their personal life. At what cost is the real question?

 

 

Advertisements

Not the best Times for journalists

The New York times is one of the most renowned newspapers in todays age. However, you need to pay and subscribe to read articles!

If you download the application, you get 10 free articles for a month

Thats a little messed up in my opinion, what is the point of regulation for a form of free speech. Being a great newspaper, it seems unfair to me, especially as a journalist that I need to pay to read the news and since I’m situated in the UK its nearly impossible to get a copy of the paper.

Some news outlets like the guardian aren’t exactly copyright but they do urge readers to donate a pound or two to keep the website in good condition. Honestly, i think copyright on sites that are for educational purposes should be completely obliterated, but thats just my journalistic opinion. If a newspaper is that successful, then why are we funding its growth?

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.37.37 pm.png

Online privacy? As if.

As cringe as this is, I have a very active social media presence.

When you google me, the first line is literally all me. (except for the small chinese woman far right)

The first and second are photos from the horribly embarrassing twitter account I created in 6th grade, the third is my friend, the forth and fifth is from my current twitter.

When you search on google, you can find my facebook profile which is pretty private, my soundcloud, instagram, and my university wordpress. After the lectures last week, its scary to see how visible I am from a simple search on Google. People can see me on Google based on profile photos that were posted years ago.Privacy settings on websites are becoming stricter, but its not possible to ever know how much a site knows about you. Through famous alclgarhytms sites can actually predict how we are feeling, doing, and what we are interested in.

 

I guess it really is true, what goes up on the internet never does come off.

YouTube – or rather OurTube

The YouTube community might be one of the most obvious examples of an online community but thats only because it is the most famous.

Other than song covers and horrible BuzzFeed videos, the YouTube community is one of the most amazing platforms for people all around the world to communicate together. Its a hub for talent and potential. So much so, it has become a profession now. Being a YouTuber is a great way of making money while interacting with fans. One of the most famous YouTubers is Zoella, PewDiePie and Superwoman (Lilly Singh) have all gone out to write books, start campaigns and make a difference with their names.

Other artists have used this platform, taking in feedback and support from people who view their videos, to really come into the limelight. One very famous example is Justin Bieber where he became on of the first YouTubers that gained stardom. A recent example is, Troye Sivan who would make music on YouTube and later got signed with a record agency, and now has a top 10 album.

Other than music, documentaries and intellectual talks can also become a mode of discussion. Some documentaries like Understanding the Universe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_rJKO-ZXeU&list=PLw4zAzjwBP1d5annau67miUKlxoEERFKi), to media and how it helps shape society (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOQ1jZOj_ho&list=PLJTeB7MU7LRLtGlV6lsRwy_blxV4T1HSs) are just minute examples of the vast community that YouTube is.

However, finding a good video on YouTube is like finding a needle in a haystack. People now have more access to YouTube by syncing it with their smartphones. A survey claims 300 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, three times more than one year earlier and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the U.S. The site has 800 million unique users a month. Which is a large number.

It may be a good way of interaction, but if it isn’t a registered account, it may take longer than needed. How do you use YouTube? Can we really live without out? In my personal opinion, I think its the best way to interact, and living without it is near impossible.youtube_reuters_123

SnapChat

The introduction of a application that is completely user driven has shaped the way people take selfies.

Snapchat is made famous by its users. The people that made snapchat understood that people like to share their faces and their everyday lives. Its now become more personal with the added effects of geographical and face filters. The more popular face filters are the ones that stay the longest, such as the rainbow puke and the bug eyes.

Other features of the app allow users to use the camera and their imagination to make snapchat creations.

Being a completely user generated app, it struggled in making profits last year and hence charged 99p for the snapchat filters. This was boycotted by its users, and they went back to the free one.

 

Its a basic yet everyday example of how people are the main users that drive an idea. If the users stopped snap chatting, it would be obsolete. This is not just for snapchat, but any form of free social media as well.

 

Convergence and music

Over the years with developing technology, the way people listen and explore music has drastically changed.

In the span of 15 years, people listening to music has been revolutionised – from bulky cd players to sleek music players. The iPod is a classic example of converging old music with new music. Music is not limited to just songs anymore, it is now interactive apps such as Spin Play, which is an app that allows you to listen to a bands music while reading about them in reviews. It can also be online music such as live streaming apps such as Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listening to music has changed from cds and cassettes to online streaming. It has converged from record players to touch screen gadgets that allow the user to do more to enhance their music experience.

Most people are familiar with traditional techniques to listen to music, whether this be cd players, stereos or even vinyl players. Now, it is made into a completely new concept such as a mode of communication between people.

In some applications, its easy to show your friends via social networks what you’re listening too. Although its made the entire experience more social,is it taking away from the beauty of listening to a song just because? Debatable.

TED Talks

TED-TalksTed talks are a way of learning about innovative ideas that the pioneers in a field are discussing.

Ted Talks are a smart way to talk about the media and the way we all communicate. There is a playlist on Ted.com called our digital lives. This playlist talks about people and how they are more focused on the things we put up online rather than the social interaction we should have as people. The TED talk I’ve chosen is about blogs, online media and people given a voice without getting paid. The internet we are on, and the internet we have become attached to is making us decentralised. As a journalism student i know that this is true, many journalists work as freelancers. This means, they are not getting paid to report, blog or even tweet news. James Surowiecki being a freelance journalist himself knows that social media is an essential part for online journalism but can also be a massive disadvantage as there is a higher chance of fake stories.

One of the best parts of the talk, and the part that i connected with the most was the quote below:

One of the fundamental characteristics of a network is that, once you are linked in the network, the network starts to shape your views and starts to shape your interactions with everybody else.

In a networking society, there is a lack of individualism. When everybody is going one way, we as humans are inclined to do the same.