Editing a wiki.. headphones?

So looking through the massive amount of things to edit or create on wikipedia, I was stumped. I did find a minor subject to edit or add. I don’t really possess a good instinct for editing and then connecting it to my path was even harder. Out of all things I chose to edit, it was headphones. While I didn’t feel that where I was going with the editing connects to my inquiry I think the general idea of it links to another problem.

I added an additional short paragraph about the dangers of using noise canceling headphones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headphones

Not so much for the damage it can do to your ears but more about the situational awareness or lack thereof it creates. I have had two experiences that wearing Beats headphones has caused inconvenience to me or someone around me. I almost was hit by a car I couldn’t hear coming and also I had dropped my keys and someone ran a few blocks trying to communicate with me that he had my keys but I couldn’t hear him and he had to go a few blocks out of his way to return them to me.  I link this situation with my social media inquiry because I think we all enter a world that’s cut off from other people around us and part of what takes us out of the current reality is that our senses are being diverted to our devices. It could be music, but it could also be an instagram video or a facebook post.

I get onto a train or a public gathering of some sort and instantly feel that if I communicate to someone wearing a headphone I better have a good reason to talk to them. I feel like that in combination with the ease of access that phones provide us to our alternate reality ( an issue I talk about in the discussions), headphones take away another aspect of simply approaching people.

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Research into Social Networking

I want to use this course to determine changes in society due to social networking. Examining websites such as myspace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to discover the effect that each has had on society. I believe that based on the some of the readings that we are heading in a direction that is taking  the human element out of interactions with people. I am somewhat of a hypocrite about these social networking platforms because as much as I don’t like what they can do to people, I use most of them a few times everyday.
I want to specifically focus on the websites that use photos as a main focus such as Instagram and Facebook. As a young man (especially living in New York) I always found it hard approaching women. However, I think that these websites make it much harder to approach women (or men)  because of a sort of narcissism that can develop. Both Facebook and Instagram use “like” buttons and comments which I personally think can inflate a person self worth. It’s not a bad thing but I remember a person once told my friend that she had over 5,000 followers on Instagram and that made her too important to talk to him. I want to explore the effect that social networks uses to change the way interactions happen. As our reading shows us in The New Media and Technocultures Reader, photo’s are initially perceived as some sort of truth. Even on these websites photos are edited to give people a false impression so that they get more “likes”. I want to explore of if these websites create an unhealthy image or desire to be “liked”.

What is Being Human in the digital age?

In the movie “The Social Network” one character has a monologue about humans and describes about how we as a species are always evolving and living from place to place. He says we’ve gone from living in caves, to living in trees, and now to living on the computer. As technology evolves, I feel we depend less on the natural elements of being human. Social, television, and computer media in my opinion are the biggest factors that basically change what being human is. As a witness to some of the radical changes in society thanks to the evolution of media and information, it actually has led me to some disturbing thoughts about being human. Mostly everybody I know has a facebook account, even my parents have enjoyed sharing pictures and liking comments. Now, I am going to take this a little off the deep end, but before the days off facebook when someone you know has passed on from this life into the next, we usually have some sort of ceremony and/or burial. While that will still go on in this day and age, we now leave a digital footprint or grave now because of our lives on facebook or social media. I sometimes think about how depressing it might be to log online 50 years from now, to see all of my friends, relatives, co workers, and associates who passed on but are still friends on my facebook friends list. I’m not sure if there is some policy about removing someonehould they be removed or will this be something we adapt to in the digital age?

facebook

Being human in the digital age for me means someone knowing where I am all the time and expecting me to be available at anytime. In the course handout “Being Human” this particular quote “The consequences of this shift in how, when and where we communicate are manifold. One is a dramatic increase in the speed of communication which is in turn bound up with the greater expectations of the speed of response. ” We have gone from answering telephones at home to cellular devices which are always on. Due to this fact it is perceived that since the process of communicating, whether it be through  calling or texting, is so fast that an answer should be received very fast. Anyone in a relationship knows how stressful this is, on both sides because I do expect answer quickly too.  The problem that arises is someone may be mad if you don’t return a call or message with no regards to your current situation. You could be sleep, working, eating or just cant get to your phone but it always starts a problem.

Being Human in the digital age has also created a curb to  freedom of speech or maybe freedom of thought. Twitter has become a phenomenon with such a simple idea of asking “what are you thinking in 128 characters or less.” Creating the message limit almost taps into an impulse of just commenting on anything you want really quickly. Add in a social aspect of followers and following and you have a hit. While it is really cool to be able to see what your favorite celebrity thinks of a certain restaurant, or what a  friend thinks about a certain music album, it has also become a place where people have to backtrack and delete a lot of their posts due to the offensive nature of some thoughts. They then issue an apology about their tweets which for the most part is just a cover to prevent damages to their name or what not. I have also seen people lose jobs and deals because of tweets. So now when we see tweets are we sure that this is what people really think?

I think being human today is tough from a mental aspect, while it may be easier to take care of certain tasks thanks to computers, the speed that information comes out creates a new environment and a set of new problems that won’t easily be fixed.