I thought that the article “Eight Traits of the New Media Landscape” by Henry Jenkins made really valid points about social media today and I’d like to focus on some of the points made. Sociologist Linda Stone summed it up best about what she calls “continuous partial attention,” shifting focus between mediated and face to face inputs as different needs arrive. I think because of how much social media has overtaken our lives people’s attention spans are shorter and concentration is harder to maintain. Even family lives nowadays I think have contributed to people’s attitudes and attention spans.
Jenkins writes that family rooms have become home entertainment centers. When I was a kid it was normal for my family to eat dinner in front of the television. When my mom rarely made the family eat around the dinner table it was weird and awkward for us. I felt like the conversation was forced because as a family we didn’t really know how to conversate unless the television was on. This shows how different the family dynamic has changed over the course of the years. My grandma would say how she made my mom and her brothers and sisters sit at the dinner table and eat. I feel like social media gives us a way out of how to converse with others. The computer is essentially the mediator between two people. A good example of the computer being a barrier for those who are socially backwards is the Instant Messaging Virtual Universe (IMVU). This allows people who normally are afraid to talk to people the opportunity to be free in their “own universe.” What good is this doing for socially backward people? I think it is only alienating them more because they only learn how to socialize in a virtual community. Those involved in IMVU are creating a replica of themselves to share with others and they create this pseudo-person to express how they see themselves (2) or possibly want to see themselves? This goes back to an article I wrote about that discussed how people are able to use a simulated avatar to overcome their fears. There is a simulated avatar and you can make your own avatar online, will the next kind of avatar be a blue creatures body we can crawl into?