At Long Last…

My reflection about New Media through this WordPress blog can be summarized as a great and meaningful learning experience. Aside from the fact that this is the first time I set and keep up with a blog of any kind, the thought of anyone reading–and liking my posts is addicting and gratifying. Besides, it makes me happy to see that finally I am contributing to the Web 2.0 culture.

New Media is present in every aspect of our lives; from the music in our iPods to the video mashups we share and the memes we create and send to virally become famous, it is now a kind of a new footprint, a digital footprint that for good or for worse will follow us from now on. New Media allows us create music, art, radio, images, pictures, blogs, videos, even create our own news to instantly be shared to the world.

New Media no longer refers exclusively to the physical aspect of technology but the human aspect as well. Just as technology is changing we are changing with it as well. We are getting more dependent on having our relationship status ‘updated’ to the point that some are taking it so seriously that if is not on Facebook, the relationship is not ‘official’.

Radio and TV will never be the same. From a passive medium both became dynamic and interactive. Audience can now interact with their favorite shows through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools. Shows like Glee allow fans to form communities from their Fan page, download in advance songs from the show from iTunes, and follow the cast in Twitter. Radio stations like RadioLab are taking advantage of social media as well to reach audience from all ages and education backgrounds by allowing users to listen and download shows from different social media tools like podcasts, iTunes, and widgets.

The music industry has also adapted to New Media. As the Internet revolutionized how we can create and share information, the way we listen music has changed as well. Suddenly, we are able to create what we want to hear and how we want to hear it. Talented people in the past needed to be ‘discovered’ by the music industry. Not so anymore; anyone can make a cheap, home video and upload it to YouTube. It is just a matter of hours before it goes viral to be acclaimed worldwide. Such was the case of three young siblings called Los Vazquez Sounds, whose remake of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” made them an Internet sensation in only days.

Journalism on the other hand, has also adjusted to New Media. We see now regular citizens reporting news from the spot aided with the camera in their cell phones. Pretty neat indeed but at the same time, we are also witnessing how fast news can travel through social media and its immediate consequences. Such was the case of Samantha Brick, a British journalist whose article “There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why women hate me for being beautiful” published on the MailOnline, drew over 5,000 comments in just two days from supporters to haters about her article.

We also see New Media reflected in movies. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” portraits a young troubled girl that through information and technology she gains control of her life. Throughout the movie we see the use of Apple laptop computers to hack and download valuable information to catch a serial killer. Films many times reflect the technology culture we are living now.

Another important aspect of New Media is that it brings the world to us. Thanks to Google Maps and other technologies such as “krpano”–a high-definition image viewer–we are able to virtually visit cities and museums located thousands of miles away. The Vatican among other entities, have already benefited of such technology by having a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel that renders a breathtaking 3600 tour with zoom in capabilities to fully admire Michelangelo’s art.

After analyzing each of these categories from art to music, film, radio, TV, social media, journalism, and video, I see why they are such an integral part of New Media.  Any tool that emerges enhancing or changing the way live, coexist, and deal with each other has always been categorized as ‘new media’. Whether it was the wheel, the Guttenberg Press, or the Steam Machine, somehow each one marked an important stage in our evolution. The New Media we are experiencing in the last fifteen years however differ from any previous media in the sense that not only we produce it and consume it, but the terms dynamic, collaborate, interactive, share, connect, and instant are all interchangeable and synonyms of each other. Additionally, new tools and applications emerge everyday making it easy for us, the users, to keep producing, collaborating, sharing, and using information for this emerging media I call New Media 2.0 to differentiate it from any past media.

Advertisements

Journalism: The case of Samantha Brick

Freedom of speech, freedom of writing and express whatever we feel in an article as long as we have someone to read us, right?  Not so these days.  As much as we would think of how lucky we are for having available–and for free– a variety of tools and apps to create blogs, art, images, videos, etc., where we can just write about anything and throw it out there in the hopes that we will touch someone with our story, such thought comes with a heavy responsibility.

I grew up in a small city where everyone knew pretty much each other and you couldn’t do anything in the morning without avoiding everyone finding about it by the evening, especially your folks.  I always thought that by moving to a bigger city you would be safe because no one knew you or care what you did or didn’t do.  Moving away to avoid gossip seemed to work for a while until social media emerged. Anything we say, do, or post, besides of reaching everyone with a connection to the Internet in an instant, forever will stay in cyberspace.

Take the case of Samantha Brick, a British journalist who wrote an article in the Daily Mail titled “‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful” on April 2, 2012 where she reveals that her life has not being easy because she is too beautiful (Brick, 2012).  Within hours she became the center of attention and by the next day her article had nearly 5,000 comments from angry men and women reacting to her self-acclaimed beauty. By the very next day, people were creating memes about her, she was the number 1 trend of searches in Google and Facebook and Twitter users created the hashtag #samanthabrickfacts posting nasty comments ridiculing her.

All this within a 72 hour period, from a woman posting her thoughts about herself in a newspaper located across the globe.  Whether she is pretty or not, whether life has been hard on her because she is too beautiful and women hater her because of that, the point is the instant and nasty viral reaction towards her from people Brick has never seen and probably never will.  Social media is a powerful tool that requires us to think twice what we say, how we say it, and why we say it.  As I mentioned before, in the past one could say anything and perhaps get away with it with few people offended.  Now? The mouth-to-mouth effect is global and instantaneous through social media.  We are all connected and for good or for worse, let’s not brag about something we may regret later.

Samantha Brick Meme

Samantha Brick Meme

References

Brick, S. (2012, April 2). ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty’: Why women hate me for being beautiful. Retrieved 7 2012, 2012, from MailOnline: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html

Image Source:

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3on7u3/