A Connected World

A Connected World

By Dalton Jeffrey, Jeremiah Murphy, Corbin Wallingford, and Yue Xie

Are we really that connected?

How connected are we? That was the question that was given to our group, and if you look at where we are in today’s world a better question might be, how are we in today’s standards not connected? There are so many areas’ today from the computing software we have, the technology that goes into the simplest things, where medical tech has ventured into, to something as simple as how we use Facebook and many other social media sites to connect with others and loved ones across the globe. It’s mind blogging to think where we might be heading in the near future, one source to look at if you’re interested in seeing the world in a connected way, would be to look at the readings and work of a man named Michael Wesch.

Digital Ethnography

    Michael Wesch’s work is in something called Digital Ethnography, Digital Ethnography ties right into a connected world and how we manage to stay connected in these busy days. Ethnography in general is a “qualitative research design aimed at exploring cultural phenomena. The resulting field study or a case report reflects the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group. Ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing, the nature of a people.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography). The digital form of ethnography is aimed at looking at all the same relative data but in terms of how we view the world of electronics and social media affecting our lives in ways they never have before. Michael Wesch has been called a “prophet of an education revolution” he has been expanding the idea that things need to change and we need to embrace the world as a digital source of unlimited information and expand our ideas to what can be used in the classroom and outside the classroom. A website to look into that expands the ideas of Michael Wesch is http://mediatedcultures.net/ this is his website that looks to focus on the idea of Digital Ethnography.

Public Domain Image courtesy of Kansas State University (https://online.ksu.edu/Templating/courseHomePage/index.jsp?courseId=212283)

    Here is a list of the current top five leaders in the world of Digital Ethnography world as according to the website http://www.edelmandigital.com/2010/12/03/friday-five-leading-digital-ethnographers/, it also talks a lists a little bio into how they have helped contribute to the world of digital ethnography and how it ties into how we stay connected and how hard it would be to get unconnected from the world at this time and how hard it will be to get unconnected in the future. This website lists the works and goals of, Dr. Michael Wesch, Dr. Gabriella Coleman, Jilian C. York, Danah Boyd, and Amber Case.

    Patrick Mott explains it well in this link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-mott/its-a-connected-world_b_1881809.html, he explains how there is a panic that results from a loss of technology, such as when Apple’s iCloud mail service failed and went down, it affected according to his source one percent of all users and he happened to be one of those users, he said how for the next 48 hours he felt a panic of how he might miss something important and can cause a lot of anxiety. This is a great example of how we rely a lot on tech to the point where a business meeting could be done entirely through the Skype technology, where you are all looking at a pair of computer monitors and communicating setting up meetings and doing deals with companies all over the globe. The sources we use to connect to people all over the world affect business and trade just as much if not more than the effects it will have on the average Joe across the street.

    Here is the definition of digital ethnography as according to the website; http://cyborganthropology.com/Digital_Ethnography, “Digital Ethnography describes the process and methodology of doing ethnographic research in a digital space. The digital field site is sometimes comprised of text, video or images, and may contain social relations and behavior patterns strewn across many nations, cities or intellectual geographies. The field site may be composed around a singular belief, such as a brand following, or can be a network of dozens or even thousands of different belief patterns, social customs and actions. Large networks such as Facebook and Twitter have their own subgroups and sets of cultures that gravitate towards each other. Like a traditional anthropologist, the main concern of a digital ethnographer is locating the field site and learning the language of the natives. The difference is that the anthropologist may be able to access the field site without physical travel. In many cases, the field site may be a mental construct created by a group of geographically distributed nodes on an information network.” (http://cyborganthropology.com/Digital_Ethnography)

    Here is another great link http://www.the-future-of-ideas.com/download/lessig_FOI.pdf, this website offers a lot of information into how we stay connected in the world of today.

    As technology advances the devices get interconnected the closer the world becomes. This can be good and bad. Employers are now turning to the social media sites to learn more about you and every time you post something you are handing over information to them for free. The harmless pictures from College of when you went out partying that landed on Facebook or Twitter could decide wither or not you land your dream job. According to Cross-Tab, "Of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals surveyed, 70% say they have rejected candidates based on information they found online." The amount of information that can be pulled from the internet these days is ridiculous and can pretty much tell your whole life’s story by doing a simple web search. The information they find is stuff they would try and pry out of you at the job interview can now be accessed online.

    A brighter side of things as technology gets smaller and faster we can use this in the medical field. Over the past few years the world has seen great advances in medical technology from pacemakers to surgery’s performed by doctors in another country. As hospital’s become more connected as far as medical records go you should be able to go to any medical center in the United States and they will be able to pull up all of your past medical information. Getting the medical information you need faster and more reliable. Society has to take it with a grain of salt if any part of that system went down could be catastrophic to the medical system.

    As the world becomes more connected and the amount of information you are sharing willingly and unwilling has risen concern over the past couple of years. As the internet grows it all comes down to advertising and get as much information across to people as they can. Social media, basic web sites, and your web searches are recorded and then sold to Advertisement Company’s. They then turn that information around so they can advertise to you on a more personal basis. At what point can you say what you want to be recorded and what you don’t. Also if you do opt out how do you know your information is still not being recorded and sold?

Social Media
  •    Social media is the media's social interaction, it is a very useful and scalable communication technology. Social media is based on the Web and the use of mobile technology into interactive dialogue and communication.
  •     Social media can inspire people who are interested in active contribution and give feedback, it has blurred the line between media and audience. Most of the social media can be free to participate in, they encourage people to comment, give feedback and share information.
  •     The traditional media is based on broadcasting content to the user by media dissemination, and it's unidirectional flow. The advantage of social media is that the content in the media and the user is a two-way propagation formed between a kind of communication.

    The impact of daily lives from social media is well beyond our imagination in the past. It has almost become a part of our daily lives because of the large advantage over others such as newspapers and TV. The latest statistics show that now, 48-hour-long videos are being uploaded to YouTube every single minute, and also, nearly 2 hundred million tweets are sent every day. On the other hand, Youtube and Twitter have become two main sources for users to gain news and information. Some even say that they would like to send a "tweet" before they die, a "tweet" is posting small amounts of information on a news feed like site such as Twitter.

    “In January 2010, Insites consulting has conducted an online survey with 2,884 consumers from over 14 countries between the ages of 18 to 55 years old on social networking. More than 90% of participants know at least 1 social networking site and 72% of participants are members of at least 1 social networking site. “(From <impact of social media on society> by Raymond Tay). Nowadays a considerable number of adults have more than 500 friends on average on various social networking sites, not to mention children or teenagers. People add friends simply through clicking their mouses, there are even resources to find friends lost in the past, through links such as "people you may know" on Facebook. Social media has belittled the value of friends in the traditional sense, but still makes it easy to connect to people we have maybe long forgotten.

    The modern technology has caused autocracy states' collapse, Tunisia, for example, the autocracy state which lasted for 23 years collapsed in only 28 days because of Facebook. A butcher was beat to death. An issue that seems to be simple finally spread out via Facebook and Twitter. At last, citizens took parade, thus lead the autocracy leader to death. Same situation occurred in Libya and Egypt. Now, in Syria and China, the power of technology to fight against the evil state cannot be ignored too. To avoid the instance of other states, China built a firewall to block those news which are negative for the government, but this doesn't work. Programmers developed firewall breakers to gain the freedom online.

Staying Connected

    Social Media: defined by Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein as a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological multi faceted and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content."

    We are connected in a plethora of ways throughout the world. The world is becoming more technological as computers become more prevalent in rural places around the world. We are moving up and advancing in the technological sense. Today most people use computers and various other technological devices to connect with each other. All my family and friends have a cellphone and most everyone has a desktop if not a laptop. We all connect electronically these days. We do use some forms of communication through letters and parcels, but how most everyone talks today or communicates through a computer or a cell phone, not written word.

    The main way of communication on the computer is through emailing, video chatting programs, or social networking sites. Emailing is starting to go out as a slower way to talk to people, instead most use a thing called IM (Instant Messaging) which you could send a person a short message and they would receive it within seconds and they can respond within a couple of seconds also. That was the beginning of social media; we started sending short messages to others using networking sites. These new ways are becoming increasingly efficient and user friendly so most anyone can use these products, which makes the spread of social media. Before too long it will be the main source of communication between people. Around 100 years ago news traveled very slow throughout the world like news from Europe to the United states could take up to a few weeks to reach them. No today we could hear about world disasters in a place like the Middle East in about a couple hours to a day. The World is ever changing around us. Which we can conclude from this instance that the world will continue to evolve and improve into a social media connected world.

    One of the biggest social networking sites on the planet today is called Facebook. You can talk to friends post pictures on the site and talk to various people, blog about things you like to talk about. You can even play games on this site. All of my friends have a Facebook and most of them are on there Facebook at least one to two hours a day, if not more. It has been increasingly talked about throughout the world if somebody I meet one day doesn't have a Facebook, they will ninety-nine percent of the time, make an account that same day or make one the next.

Works Cited

  • Case, Amber. "Digital Ethnography - Cyborg Anthropology." Cyborg Anthropology. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://cyborganthropology.com/Digital_Ethnography>.
  • Dennaoui, C. "Friday Five: Leading Digital Ethnographers | Edelman Digital." Edelman Digital. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.edelmandigital.com/2010/12/03/friday-five-leading-digital-ethnographers/>.
  • "Ethnography - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography
  • Lessig, L. "The Future of Ideas." Random House. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <www.the-future-of-ideas.com/download/lessig_FOI.pdf>.
  • Mott, Patrick. "Patrick Mott: It's a Connected World." Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. N.p., 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-mott/its-a-connected-world_b_1881809.html>.
  • "Online Reputation in a Connected World." Cross-Tab. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <www.job-hunt.org/guides/DPD_Online-Reputation-Research_overview.pdf >.
  • "Social media - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media>.
  • Tay, Raymond. "Impact of Social Media on Society." EzineArticles. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <ezinearticles.com/?Impact-of-Social- Media on-Society&id=5378885>.
  • "Tera-play - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tera-play>.
  • Wesch, Michael. "A Vision of Students Today." Mediated Cultures. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <mediatedcultures.net/ >.
  • "什么是社会性媒体(social media) | GooSeeker." GooSeeker -- 网页抓取/信息提取软件、服务和技术知识库 | GooSeeker. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.gooseeker.com/cn/node/knowledgebase/whatissocialmedia>.
Jeremiah Murphy,
Oct 6, 2012, 3:33 PM