Part I – Interview Questions:

1. Tell me about the different ways that you used communication media for 24 hours in your journal. Think about the motivations for using various media, and how mediated communication affects your day to day life and routines.

BRUCE: Within 24 hours I have used, 6 different communication devices.  All six devices are necessary in order to stay in touch with friends, and the world.

TINA: Every day I go school with classmates, I called them or they called me by cell phones. We discuss homework and chatting online with computers. We use internet to receive emails from school or others. We use iPod or other mp3 player to listen to the music.

BENSON: Cell phone alarm, Cell phone calls & incoming calls, laptop for classes and homework, computer for homework and kill time, TV for FIFA

These media help me to communicate easily and help to have something to do when I’m bored.

SUSAN: Laptop and internet: working essay and research INFO, Play Station 3 and Television: Kill time, playing video game, iPod: Listening music, Skype: Online group meeting

ALEX: Cell phone alarm to wake me up in the morning, texted Translink to check bus schedule, used iPod to listen to music while on Skytrain and bus, laptop (internet) to check e-mail and WebCT, cell phone to text mom, internet to check Facebook updates, Youtube, chat and watch movies, Television to watch shows

I get to watch my favorite shows and movies online for free. I get bored when I’m traveling to school so I listen to my iPod. Mediated communication makes my life easier. For example, I won’t be late for the bus because I know the bus schedule by texting Translink. I always use my laptop because of the internet and I watch shows on it instead of the television.

2. What was the most common communication media that you used in 24 hours?

BRUCE: Computer. And Internet was the most common communication media.

TINA: Computer and internet.

BENSON: The most common media used were cell phone and computer.

SUSAN: Laptop: working essay and research INFO

ALEX: The most common communication medium I used was my cell phone in terms of the number of times I used it. But in terms of duration, I used laptop (internet) the longest.

3. What was the most common purpose for the communication media you used?

BRUCE: The common purpose was to communicate with people.

TINA: I use it to communicate with others, to contact friends far from us, to do homework online.

BENSON: To communicate with others.

SUSAN: Working essay and research INFO

ALEX: The most common communication medium I used was my cell phone in terms of the number of times I used it. But in terms of duration, I used laptop (internet) the longest.

4. What do you think you learned most about the role of communication media in your everyday life by keeping this journal?

BRUCE: I learned that I spend lots of time on communication medium every day.

TINA: Those communication media were used in most of my daily time, which made my life be more continent and made the way to contact my friends much more easier.

BENSON: I realize that my life is going to be so bored without these technologies. I can’t communicate with people whenever needed without a cell phone.

SUSAN: I realize the laptop as my most important study tool and effective to let me achieve the information research quickly.

ALEX: I am glued to my laptop. I spend hours and hours on it surfing the net.

5. What was the most surprising thing that you learned from keeping this journal?

BRUCE: The most surprising thing that I learned from this journal is that I wasted so much time on computers.

TINA: Technology takes a huge role in my life!

BENSON: I was surprised that I had  used both computer and cell phone for such a long time during a day. I have never imagined about this.

SUSAN: This journal let me know what I did in a day used which kinds of technologies and finish it. This can be as the tool to record my  life schedule .

ALEX: I use my cell phone alarm quite often, instead of using my alarm clock. I start and end the day using my cell phone.

6. What are some of the positive implications about having communication media in your life?

BRUCE: The positive implications about having communication media is that we are able to connect with the world and communicate with the world.

TINA: I can use different kinds of technologies; at least it shows that I’m a modern person.

BENSON: Having these communication media in my life really saved a lot of my time and helped me to communicate with others more easily.

SUSAN: (Internet and laptop) let me check the INFO that I want as fast as I can. To me that is the easy way to study or report everything which I need. Morover, television not only can killing time, but also that as another important media to let me know what happen around my daily life. (such as news, music channels, movie channels, etc.)

ALEX: I am tempted to use them because I need to know what my friends are up to. Since most of them are in another country, it’s the only way I can keep in touch with them and my family.

7. What are some of the negative implications about having communication media in your life?

BRUCE: The negative implication about having communications media is that I spend more time on computers and devices; therefore I exercise less and go out side less.

TINA: Technologies became too important in my daily life, I’m not sure whether I can still be alright when I have nothing technology with me one day.

BENSON: Once getting used to these communication media, I don’t write any mails by hand, I don’t meet up with friends that often since these things can be done throughout using some of these communication media.

SUSAN: Since the laptop as the media communication to let me research INFO online, but if not wireless( internet) that i cannot do anything for the researching.

ALEX: I take my time surfing the net, instead of doing my homework first. I watch movies for hours on my laptop before I start on my schoolwork. It takes too much of my time.

8. How do you think your life would be if you did not have access to communication media; please talk about both the positive and the negative things that might happen.

BRUCE: Overall my life would be much worse if I do not have these communication medium, because I will be unable to communicate with people far away, so I would miss a lot of opportunities to do many things. However, if I do not have these communication devices I would be much healthier then now. I probably do not have to wear glasses, and I would be much stronger physically.

TINA: If I did not have access to communication media, I have to visit my friends in person or write letters by hand; I will have time to enjoy a sunny afternoon but not spending all afternoon online; I will live in a more healthy life.

BENSON: I think my life will be totally different without these communication media because I can’t talk to friends throughout cell phones, I will have to write mails by hands, and I will have to find information on books, newspapers. I think one thing good will be that I get to meet my friends more than having these communication media.

SUSAN: Negative: 1) No laptop and internet: I will go to library to do the class research, and this will b spending me more times in the process.

2) No Skype: We cannot do the online meeting, and we should meet at somewhere for the face to face meeting (spend more times, or if someone cannot come we will not allowed to continue for the complete meeting.)

3)   No cellphone: Cannot contract someone at once that we want such as emergency event)

Positive: No Skype: We can come up together and discuss and report the answer for questions (more careful and more clearly). Since in the online meeting we may not allow to write down everything which I wish (such as sketching, highlight the key points of each question, make the quick notes on the paper.)

ALEX: Negative- I think I would be bored. Without access to communication media I cannot share my pictures with my friends and family and I won’t be able to talk to them. I won’t what is happening around the world without television and Internet.

Positive- I would spend more time outdoors, like play sports or go hiking. I can do my homework much faster and read all my textbooks.

9. If you had to choose one communication medium to take on a desert island, which one would you choose and why? (Forget about getting off the island – pretend you had to be there for some reason)

BRUCE: I would take my cell phone, because I could call people to rescue me.

TINA: I will choose laptop if there has internet access. Because laptops have almost all the functions I need to communicate with others. If there has no internet but cell phone signals, I will surely bring a cell phone with me. But if there has no internet and also no signals, I would rather bring my IPod, because at least I can enjoy the music I like.

BENSON: laptop. at least i can listening to music and looking at pictures

SUSAN: Cellphone (including singal): I can use it as the  “emergency” tool to contact people, and save my life as soon as they can!

ALEX: Laptop with Internet so I could listen to music, watch movies and chat and not be bored.

Part II – Team Discussion Questions

1. Review and discuss all of your group member’s individual answers. Do you see any similarities or patterns that emerge across your group’s individual experiences? Explain what these similarities or patterns are, and explain why you think your group had similar experiences or perspectives. If you did not see any similarities or patterns, please explain why you think your group did not have similar experiences or perspectives.

During our discussion in Part 1 we found that we had these similar experiences with technologies: using laptops for research and surfing the net, chatting with friends and playing pc games, using cellphone to call and text friends and lastly, listening to music via our iPod/mp3 player. We think that we had these common experiences because we are students and we are in the same age group/generation. We used the technologies previously mentioned mainly to contact other people and so that we would not be bored.

2. “The benefits of ‘keeping in touch’ offered by the [mobile] phone can become a burden if one is never able to be disconnected… Corporations have found that more productivity can be squeezed from managers and other workers if they are constantly reachable, which has meant that the concept of being ‘off duty’ has vanished for many.  This takes its toll both socially and psychologically” (Rowland, pg. 136).

a) What do you think Rowland means by this? Discuss this passage as a group, and describe in detail your group’s interpretation(s) of this passage.

There’s more pressure and more working hours for the employees. There’s a way to keep them at work. Cellphones can become a hassle to the user socially when he or she is spending time with friends or family, people at work can contact them and ask them to do errands. This disrupts his or her personal time. The psychological effect on the user is that he or she is tempted to look at the mobile phone and check for messages or calls from time to time. He or she might miss an important call from work when they do not check the phone.

b) As a group, do you agree with Rowland’s statement? Why or why not? Can you relate this passage to your own social (rather than professional) experiences? Explain your answers. Use examples of personal experiences to help illustrate your position.

We agree with the statement because having cellphones makes every worker “on-duty” almost 24/7 since the boss or manager can contact them and they don’t have any excuse not to do the job because they are “on-call”….constantly exposed to people’s harassment. Sometimes we do not wish to be interrupted or cannot interact with someone because having a phone would enable the boss to call workers anytime. In terms of our social experience, for example one of us had a midterm exam and she forgot to turn off her phone, therefore when somebody called her during the exam it distracted everyone in the room because it rang. We are tempted to look at our phone even during class whenever we receive a message and reply immediately.

3. “Not only [are phones] cheap and simple to use, but it gives the user exactly what he or she wants of it, rather than what some third party wants the user to get. By this definition, the Internet would also qualify as convivial” (Rowland, pg. 125).

a) What do you think Rowland means by this? Discuss this passage as a group, and describe in detail your group’s interpretation(s) of this passage.

We think that the phones are different than the Internet because the latter is greatly involved with third party such as ads or promos. The user gets what he or she wants from a phone like video calls, call and text, camera, among others, while the Internet wants the user to get what he or she wants, like when we search for something on Google and ads pop up and news items appear and users check them out. Users can get the information they want by using cellphone directly. Nowadays, the cellphone is a “portable” computer to let users check everything out faster (when it has wireless internet! or your cell phone is based on the 3G system)

b) As a group, do you agree with Rowland’s statement? Why or why not? Explain your answers. Use examples of personal experiences to help illustrate your position.

We don’t agree with the statement based on the definition it gave. Third parties and their advertisements will always be around the web. The user has to join or sign up for a certain website to get the services they want. In the case of phones, we agree that we get what we want from them, but this does not necessarily mean it is also true for the Internet. An example where third parties ‘control’ what the user can get is joining fan pages or “Liking” in Facebook. Before we can view special information or see their posts, we have to “Like” them. Therefore that certain page is controlled by a third party where they control what their fans get.

4. As a group, choose a main idea from this week’s readings (Ch. 2 and Ch. 9 from the text) and relate it to the activity so far (including your experiences in keeping your Communication Media Journal and the discussions that you’ve had with your group concerning Part 1 and Part 2).  To do this you must:

a) Quote a passage from the textbook (1-3 sentences) . Be sure to include the page number(s).

page 137:

And so the truly significant thing about the evolving field of personal communication by mobile telephony is not so much the “freedom” offered to the individual user as the expansion of the public space we’re been calling the telesphere: it is a social rather than a personal phenomenon that is growing up around us.”

b) Explain in your own words what you think the passage means.

We barely cannot avoid the abuse of these technologies because it’s a “social phenomenon” or mainly for used for communication. The advantages of the cell phone are: it is portable and convenient, more easy to contact others almost wherever you are. It’s convivial because almost everyone can easily use it because the basic features are standard. It’s multifunctional as well (i.e.. internet, camera, video). This is social rather than personal because what use does a cell phone have, other than internet use, when there’s no one to contact. Human interaction is needed in order to use this technology efficiently.

c) Relate the idea found in the quote to the answers that you have already written. Explain in detail the connection between the idea found in the quote and the answers, experiences, discussions or ideas your group has come up with in this activity.

We would like to stress that the technologies mentioned in our Communication Media Journal are mainly for social use, reinforcing the  idea that this is a “social rather than a personal phenomenon.” We update our Facebook profiles and post whatever we want on the web for people to see. Having Internet is very helpful to us students since we mostly conduct our meetings online, send documents by Email and research is a lot easier. We can easily send files to all group members for example and edit them at the same time. Cell phones help us get in touch with our friends and family.

5. Perform a Google News search using the terms Facebook + privacy + profit. Read a few of the articles and learn about recent concerns and issues with Facebook’s privacy policy.


a) Can your team relate the ideas found in the passages from questions 2 and 3 to recent issues surrounding Facebook’s privacy policy?  How do the quotes relate?

Although face book is a very convenient tool to keep people in touch, once you  open an account, you have to constantly update your personal information due to replies from others and check for updates. It could be fun in the beggining however, it could become a burden when you’re forced to check almost everday. People are expecting new things from you so you have a need to update, thus causing frustration.

Facebook is tightly related to Internet, therefore, it is usual to see advertisement spam. Moreover, third parties can collect information through Facebook thus making profit out of it. Therefore it totally denies the quote from Rowland  “Not only [are phones] cheap and simple to use, but it gives the user exactly what he or she wants of it, rather than what some third party wants the user to get. By this definition, the Internet would also qualify as convivial”.


b) How are the passages supported or refuted by issues surrounding Facebook’s privacy policy?

Facebook acts in the same way as mobile phone, it helps us keep in touch with friends, surroundings and the world. However, once we register facebook and upload our personal information up there,

our privacy is exposed to the public. According to the articles, Facebook recently had a very serious privacy exploit that a third party can acquire personal information through Facebook, causing direct damage to the users. Facebook’s privacy policy includes advertising services, sharing information to companies to let them display ads catered to the user’s interests and to promote Facebook’s own services. This becomes a hassle when you update information often. You cannot be “disconnected” from using this site. Companies can contact you and send various offers. Third parties grab the personal information they can get from Facebook users to improve their marketing strategies. By doing this, the users get what they want.

Susan Huang
Bruce Wayne
WenWen Chen
Benson Wu
Alex Salaveria

Questions chosen: 2, 4, and 5

Today’s generation is becoming increasingly dependent on technologies. Different technologies such as cellphones, instant messages, and e-mails are widely used since these bring the most convenience to students, business people, friends, families among others.

In our lab activity, we have found few aspects on the technologies used that lead people to a more convenient life. All the technologies that we chose allow people to send and receive messages very fast through words (typing) or voices (talking). Word-messages could be sent and received through typing onto a keyboard on these technologies. Talking and video chatting are possible and most of them are free to use on these systems. In order to use them, a few devices are needed, such as cell phones for text-messaging and talking, computers for sending and receiving e-mails and instant messages.

During the first half of the activity, in order to complete the “telephone game,” we exchanged our contact information with as much details as we could. However, we still had a few problems while playing the game. We must all have an MSN and Skype account, an e-mail address, and cell phone number to play the game. Some of us had to create an account for either Skype or MSN and download the software as well. We realized that not all of us had their laptops with them, so we either had to share our laptops or use an iPhone or other possible devices. This problem in turn, slowed us down. In addition, all these technologies needed to work with either internet or cell phone signal, so if they were missing then nothing could have been done. Although receiving the messages is fast, sending them first took some time because we had to type out the messages. This was particularly applicable to texting on the cellphone. The other people who were required to pass it on to the next group member had an easier time to send the message since they had the option to forward it and not type the whole thing again.

Although technologies are taking significant roles in our daily lives, they also make a lot of complications and technical problems. These technologies shorten people’s communication distance through chatting, video calls, texting or talking on the phone, but they pull away the distance between people, for example, meeting new people online instead of meeting them in person. Despite the fact that technology makes our lives easier and make the world a smaller place, we believe that an actual hug in real life is better than a smiling face on these technologies.

A video example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkqNKLxC_TA

Susan in VictoriaHello everyone in Tech114,

    Nice to meet you guys. I am Susan Huang, and I come from China Mainland. Currently I am the second year student who from SIAT program, and the concentration is “Media Arts”.  I am interested in playing video game and taking photograph, thus this is the main reason why I study this program.  ^^

Best,

Susan Huang

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