Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Viral Videos

Viral videos are popular on websites such as Vine and YouTube. A viral video is a video that is shared throughout the internet and circulated to different sites. This is a video that many people have viewed, enough people where if the video were brought up in conversation, then it would be recognized and could be the whole conversation topic. Viral videos are not necessarily informative or meaningful, however they are usually humorous and often not in a clever way. Here is an example of a viral video. It is still hard to say why this video went viral, but it could be just the way that"Damn Daniel" is said. It is a simple phrase and people have adopted it into their everyday jokes.

There are some other viral videos that are viral because they pull  on the heart strings and lots of people love to watch it because it is sweet or relateable. For example the following video.

Viral videos are popular for a short period of time and then they go out of style. However they are such a big hit that they are remembered even after a year. Viral videos are often accessible on YouTube. Viral videos can make people win big as the Damn Daniel won a lifetime supply of Vans after he became known through the Damn Daniel videos became popular.

Media Binge and Fast

            When asked to do a media binge and fast, I was very intrigued. I am the type of person to be constantly on the phone, reading Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I also use my phone for school, and talking to family.  The binge aspect of this assignment seems to be my normal life- how could I increase that?
            To begin the Media binge I used my phone, iPad, and TV. Constantly switching between each device, I found myself becoming bored and running out of things to catch my interest. Oddly enough Facebook didn't seem to have enough to show me. Even though I have roughly 2,000 "Friends"  on the site, algorithms seem to think I only want to see less than a tenth of their posts. Twitter quickly followed suit and I found myself refreshing to no new posts. I found these instances quite odd as it would seem to benefit Facebook to keep their user occupied and using the site by supplying new information with each refresh request.
                During the media binge I found it so hard to focus on studying, I just wanted to change that path and redirect my attention to something new. Focus was not something the binge reinforced very well. I found my attention span was at an entirely different level during this part of the assignment.

               The fast was an interesting turn of events. I would forget that my phone was not on me and go to check it for no reason and realize that it was not in my pocket. It gave me so much more time to clean, prep my lunch for the next day, read some homework, walk the dog, and actually get things done. The night seemed to last so much longer because of the productivity.

                  Because of the previous binge I had a lurking feeling that I was missing out on something, and that once I turned the social media back on I would be overwhelmed with notifications and messages.  However when I turned my phone on again, it seemed everything was where I had left off. I didn't have a barrage of phone calls or notifications. The world was still spinning. I would definitely do a media fast again- for the sake of productivity and to clear my mind. I feel that social media and technology give you the ability to not think, and just click. A media fast was a great way to wake up my productivity for finals week and I do recommend it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Media Binge/Fast

We have social media on our phones, watches, tablets, laptops, and even in our cars! These devices make it very difficult to keep your attention on almost anything else. The constant vibrations, alerts and lighting up of our screens draw our eyes away from things like homework persistently.  During my 48hr media binge I started to realize how much I was checking my phone and how often I received notifications on my computer from the numerous tabs I had open.  No doubt a few of those tabs where indeed social media websites.
            Whenever I tried to hunker down and study something I had headphones in listening to Spotify, which meant constantly leaving my homework to change the song. I noticed when I was supposed to be using technology as frequently as possible I was even checking social media updates in between sentences of my readings. I found I was not very productive during the media binge because I would loose my train of thought and get way too distracted to get any solid research done. When switching costs from academics to social media, my academics were the tasks to “take a hit”. I also noticed that I got a handful of headaches and, found myself trying to do more homework in bed or on the couch rather than a desk and chair. I expected the binge to make me less interactive with people around me, but I can’t tell if that was true or not because I found myself showing my friends and team mates some new video or picture I stumbled upon. I know that I definitely facetimed, snapchatted and texted a significant amount more than usual during the binge.
            The media fast was a very hard task for me, but if it were done on a different date I know it would’ve been much harder. This past weekend was full of studying and moving to the North Bottoms. That might sound like an irrelevant piece of information, but it actually helped me successfully complete my fast. I was distracted with painting, packing, unpacking and studying that I didn’t really have time to check social media. I also had a vet appointment for my dog, a final and a teammates recital, which helped Saturday pass by rather quickly.  I only had to break my fast a total of 3 times to get in contact with classmates and my Veterinarian.
            I think the fact that I moved to the bottoms also helped me get through the media fast because I was within walking distance to all of my friends, and they knew what I was doing. If they ever needed something, or I ever did we would drive to each other’s house. I think I was able to be more productive during the fast in comparison to the binge and how I am with my normal social media usage habits.
            The one thing I thought was the hardest or worst part would have to be not being able to listen to music. I always like to listen to music while I do homework, and it would’ve definitely been nice to listen to music while I painted my room. The other hardest part would have to have been was not checking snapchat/uploading snapchat stories of my ridiculously cute puggle. However, it was fun to watch my notifications pile up! It was like a surprise that I knew I was going to get on Sunday morning! I had 23 snapchat notifications, 26 facebook notifications, 7 unread text messages (some I had to respond to), 4 twitter notifications and 3 follow requests on instagram from just two days! (No I am not that popular, there were a lot of formals and social events I was receiving notifications from and I was tagged in a pretty popular picture from that French Horn recital haha).
            Like Damien mentioned in class, it was kind of a nice break from my technology and constantly trying to keep up with new updates on all of my friends social media. When I knew that I was not allowed to check my phone, I turned it and my laptop on do not disturb mode. A few times I even would leave my phone at home, so I literally could not use it. The fast gave me more time to get a lot of important, time sensitive things done and that was a relief! It was kind of funny how once I finished the media fast, I went on another binger to catch up with everything that I had missed.

            My media fast did not include: Typing, researching , or sending and checking academic/volunteering related emails.

My very cute Puggle, Hudson. (Instagram: @hudson_the_husker)

Cloud (Extra credits)

Cloud (Extra credits)

Jiaxia Deng

I went to a lecture a few weeks ago, the name of lecture is “Do clouds have meaning?” I have a little bit confused by this lecture at the beginning, but I found something really interesting was on the photo. It was a cloud. However, I did not know I will get some points on this photo. It is a new concept that I never heard before. The cloud, is kind a weather, and it can change to different shape. I thought the idea as the weather reports as the first web was very interesting and something I had never thought about. There many weather channels are something we need to know about advantages and disadvantages. I think weather can reflect on different situations, and I can make more sense. I looked at clouds and people can feel so clam and safe.

When someone says the cloud to you, which is a great idea and so safe appeal. We look at clouds, however, turning on us in an instant and it can deliver the snow, hail or rain. In our communication relationship, there are many people with different personalities. Sometimes, a person more emotional, she can cry when she was watching the romance. He can be more aggressive, when he find someone competitive. It likes clouds, the emotion also can change.

I also thought he speaker’s point of clouds have always been defined to the some non-science and science. Whenever you look at the sky, you might not think of the weather. However, people interests more funny things to record or draw or write down to make shape in different things.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A New Perspective

            The first three days of my week actually didn’t differ too much from my normal routines other than the fact that I had my ear buds in for most of the day as well. Sitting in class was about the only time that I didn’t have a screen in front of me and, at times, it was exhausting. Whether it’d be my phone or the show on Netflix going on in the background, My interest seemed to dissipate.  The social media platforms that I check and spend the majority of my regular time on became saturated and full of uninteresting things due to the overwhelming amount of other crap going on at the same time. However, there were some slight positives to the binge. As I had my phone out at almost all times, I became more attentive to the alerts and notifications that I would receive. An example includes the quick response to my friend who needed me in the opposite direction that I was walking on campus. It was also nice to sit back and binge without the overhanging feeling of guilt. I could lazily watch, surf, and scroll and still get the gratification of finishing an assignment!

            Unfortunately, a very large change in lifestyle had me at wits end.  Now, I wasn’t entirely able to neglect all media. I had to occasionally get on the computer and of course check my texts. The most surprising part about the first day was the amount of times I caught myself unconsciously pulling out my phone and checking twitter or blindly opening a new tab to see the front page of reddit. Being honest it actually scared me that I depended on these platforms so much in the necessity for entertainment when I was bored. I quickly made it more difficult for me to check my apps on my phone by putting them away in a different page as well as taking links to YouTube and reddit off of my homes screen on my computer. On the other side, I was consciously trying to keep my attention on real world things. I found a way to do this by simply striking up a conversation with the people around me (sometimes about a controversial topic just to get the ball rolling more easily). But after so many minutes of speaking, my peers quickly went back to their phones to check the groupme or other media. It actually got on my nerves at some points. I finally got to feel what my parents feel anytime I sit on my phone for minutes at a time. I have definitely gained a new perspective coming out of this experiment, and I hope to become more independent of the shallow platforms that surround me.


Saturday, April 30, 2016


Unfortunately, my week before finals was rather hectic having multiple class projects, a paper, and a few other assignments due before Friday. While I wasn’t able to focus much time on the binge portion of this assignment, I do feel that I have an interesting perspective on media bingeing. For much of my high school and college career, I have struggled to avoid social media and YouTube when I need to work on something important. I will close whatever window has some distraction open and I will say that I am going to start my homework. Not 30 seconds later, I have opened some new distraction. I would say that I am a procrastinator but I feel it’s more severe than that. It’s gotten to the point where I am actually considering seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. Internet Addiction is a real disorder and I think I may have it, or at least some form of it.
This semester has been a non-stop media binge. I will often find myself opening several YouTube videos in separate tabs and watching them all, one-by-one for hours on end. I do this all while scrolling through Facebook and Twitter on my second monitor and/or holding conversations with my friends via text on my phone. The reason I think my perspective is interesting is because I am so used to this behavior. My eyes don’t get tired from screen time and I don’t feel like a sloth (However, I do when I look back and examine my behavior). Beyond that, it would be nearly impossible for me to actually binge relative to my normal media intake.
Throughout high school and my first semester of college, I somehow managed to maintain high grades. However, this semester, I wasn’t able to continue that. My media bingeing probably contributed to this. I would spend a majority of my time after classes checking up on social media until late at night. Often I wouldn’t begin my homework until 11:00 or 12:00 in the morning so I would stay up quite late working on it. Other times, I would procrastinate until I fell asleep, but I would make sure I set an alarm to wake up early and finish whatever I had to do. This cycle didn’t use to be this late at night. In high school, I wouldn’t start my homework until 9:00 or 10:00 and I would get to bed by midnight. However, over time, the cycle shifted later and later at night. I’m worried I will continue to let it shift to the point where I am not even doing homework. I have no idea why I can’t control myself but I do have confidence that if I see a specialist, I can learn more about my problem and figure out a way to combat it.
Again, I wasn’t able to devote the entire three days to this portion because I needed my laptop for various projects. However, I had to spend nearly all my time on the projects so I wasn’t able to spend time on social media or YouTube anyway.  I did manage to fast for a day and a half and, looking back, I really wish I would have been able to devote the whole time to it because I made some incredibly interesting discoveries. After turning in my last assignment for the semester, I went back to my room and began my fast. I turned off my phone and didn’t open my laptop. I sat doing nothing for about 60 seconds. Then I saw all of the things I needed to pack up before I went home so I started doing that. Before long, I had to leave to go to a banquet with my curling team. We ate and played board games for a few hours. It was pretty easy to avoid digital media here because I had something by which to be distracted. When it was over, I went back to my dorm.
Knowing how little I could trust myself, I walked upstairs to a friend’s room. She knew I was on a media fast so she didn’t question why I showed up unannounced. I helped her pack for an hour or so. Her roommate, my other friend, asked us if we wanted to watch Bob’s Burgers in the other room. My first friend forgot about my fast and started heading out, but I reminded her and she stayed with me. She pulled out her colored pencils and we drew for a little bit. She lazily drew a picture of me, purposely drawn poorly. As I was bored, I spent some time trying to make her drawing look less like a child drew it. It didn’t work. We got bored with that and we just started talking. The discussion became very deep. We talked about life and the butterfly effect and how every little thing affects something else. I told her how if Hitler hadn’t done his horrible deeds, my Grandparents would not have met and I wouldn’t be here. We also talked about my problem with media addiction and what I could do to overcome it. The discussion became rather meta when I pointed out how insanely beneficial the media fast was and how I was able to think (and think deeply) about so many things. The media just distracts me from using my brain to its fullest potential. It was quite interesting to make this realization as it gave me more of a reason to look in to my media bingeing problem. I went to bed at around three in the morning.
I slept until 1:00 which was nice because I hadn’t gotten much sleep in previous nights. I spent basically the whole day organizing, packing, and cleaning my room. Previously, I didn’t foresee myself getting any of that done until after my final exams. So it’s definitely quite nice to be ahead of schedule there. Halfway through packing, I, without thinking, put on some Pandora to listen to while packing. I didn’t realize until much later what I had done. I guess my brain didn’t consider music to be digital media. I’m kind of disappointed in myself because I wonder what I would have thought about while packing instead of singing along to the music. I finished packing and went up to my friends room to see if she wanted to eat supper. We ate with her friends and I came back to my dorm. I spent the rest of tonight looking over my chemistry notes and writing this reflection. I got so bored with chemistry at one point. Knowing I couldn’t use my computer, I leaned back in my chair and looked at the ceiling for what felt like 5 minutes. I almost fell asleep but I caught myself and kept looking (or staring blankly) at my notes. I used the time to figure out what things I need to brush up on tomorrow when I can use the internet again.

Overall, I managed to avoid digital media for most of the fast. It felt really good to accomplish this and I want to try doing it more often. Maybe finding a way to have a “Media Sabbath” would be a possible approach to solving my media bingeing problem. I was surprised at how enlightening the experience was. I was expecting to learn some things about myself but certainly not to the degree that I did. Not being able to use my phone forced me to have conversations I would not have otherwise and I realized the merit behind the idea that young people are too absorbed in their phones that they won’t even acknowledge the world around them. I highly recommend everyone try a media fast at least once in their life (if not every month). I learned a lot and I am now more motivated to talk to a professional about my daily media binge.

Clouds: Extra Credit

Honestly, I found this lecture a little confusing. I thought the lecture was incredibly interesting and the photos of clouds were fun to look at, but I don't know if I can get on board with the idea that clouds are media. Judging from all of the graduate students around me, I think they would disagree, but the idea just went a little over my head. Also I thought the lecture would be about THE CLOUD, as in apple and he did finally touch on that towards the end. I thought the idea as the weather reports as the first web was very interesting and something I had never really thought about. I always thought sports or a search engine, but reflecting on it weather makes more sense. Weather channels are something we take advantage of so frequently today so it is very powerful to realize how revolutionary they were back in the day. I also thought that the idea that clouds are not actually safe and fluffy was really interesting and I drew conclusions to "the cloud" from that as well. We look at clouds and they seem so calm and safe, but they can turn on us in an instant and deliver rain, hail, or snow. Whereas "the cloud" is such a great idea and appears so safe, but so many people have ran into troubles in their personal life due to the cloud and technology as a whole. I also thought that his expansion on different types of clouds was interesting. Normally when someone says cloud you just think of the ones in the sky, but the idea that clouds can be created by us was something I had never really put a lot of thought into. I also thought his point that clouds have always been confined to the realm of non science was intriguing, and I agreed with him in that regard. When you think weather, you don't think clouds most often. They are more fun things to draw or make shapes out of.