Milestone Two : Analyzing an Issue or Event in Technology through the Lenses of History and the Humanities

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IDS 403 Milestone Two

Analyzing an Issue or Event in Technology through the Lenses of History and the Humanities

Southern New Hampshire University

Analyzing an Issue or Event in Technology through the Lenses of History and the Humanities

For my topic, I have chosen social networking because I feel that it has had great impact on the world that we live in, perhaps more than any other technology. It has changed the way we communicate and interact with others when not face to face, in both positive and negative ways. In this paper, I will analyze how social networking interacts with the history lens, how it impacts social issues, and how the history lens helps articulate a deeper understanding of the social issues that inform social networking. I will also analyze social networking through the lens of the humanities by exploring how social networking is portrayed creatively in society, the message of this representation, and how this representation interacts with me in my personal and professional life.

Lens Analysis

History

Interacting with friends and family across long distances has been a concern of humans for centuries. As social animals, people have always relied on communication to strengthen their relationships. When face-to-face discussions are impossible or inconvenient, humans have dreamed up plenty of creative solutions. The earliest methods of communicating across distances were letters, then the telegraph and telephone (Hendricks, 2013). These inventions were revolutionary. They allowed us to connect with friends and family in ways we never dreamed.

Enter the internet, chat rooms, and social media. Where we once had to write a letter that could take weeks, or months, to reach its destination, we now could talk to someone “real-time.” Not only to someone we already know, but to people we didn’t know as well. We can connect with others that we don’t know to discuss social issues that may affect us all. A good example is a neighborhood Facebook page where members can discuss everything from topics for the next neighborhood watch meeting, organizing a community charity event, to looking for a walking buddy.

Social networking allows us to get together online and discuss social issues where we might not do so in person. It can be a way to share ideas and opinions so that we can learn, or gain an understanding how others feel about certain issues. This can be positive or negative. Social media has empowered some to attack others who have beliefs that don’t match with theirs, even leading to bullying at times. There are some sites where it’s just a simple poll and can be interesting to see where others stand up against your own views. A good example of this is a site called I Side With, which is a site where you can take quizzes, see polls, and see how other’s feel without allowing for positive or negative comments (I Side With, 2019).

The Humanities

Design and visual arts are part of the most favorable media shared on social networks. Sharing images and video content indicates higher engagements and exposure compared with text status on Facebook. Social networks that are based on visual arts and design such as Pinterest have proven success in the social market. Therefore, we should stop blaming ourselves for using our social media accounts as indulgent and start to look at social media from a different perspective to understand how to form this tool for the benefit for our creativity and fuel our talent (Elmansy, 2015).

Phil James argues in his article 8 Reasons Why Social Media Is Decimating Art and Literature that “social media is eroding the role of art and literature” (Qwiklit, 2014). I tend to agree with the case that he makes. He argues that we are forced online to make judgements based on how many likes, comments, and shares a post gets and not necessarily on the art itself. Art is meant to make you contemplate and not necessarily make you happy. Social media can also seem loud and many creators are not. Case in point: I live in Nashville where there are many creatives in many different mediums. Many of them struggle with social media and networking because they are either introverts, or they just don’t understand how to use it to their advantage. A friend was told that they wouldn’t even consider her for a record contract, regardless of how much they loved her and her music, until she had a certain amount of followers on Facebook. So then the artist starts chasing followers instead of being focused on creating or performing their art. And unless you have money and can pay someone to handle your social media for you, it can be a real struggle.

References

America’s most popular voting guide for elections, political issues, candidates, and poll data. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.isidewith.com/.

Elmansy, R. (2015, June 22). How Social Media Affects Your Creativity. Retrieved from https://www.designorate.com/how-social-media-affects-creativity/.

Hendricks, D. (2013, May 6). The Complete History of Social Media: Then And Now. Retrieved from https://smallbiztrends.com/2013/05/the-complete-history-of-social-media-infographic.html.

Qwiklit. (2014, March 8). 8 Reasons Why Social Media Is Decimating Art and Literature. Retrieved from https://qwiklit.com/2014/03/08/8-reasons-why-social-media-is-decimating-art-and-literature/.




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