With Beth Coleman and Clay Shirky stating how “media changes the user” I don’t quite agree with them entirely. Yes in certain aspects media changes the user, but not fully. The C3’s, Communication, Community, and Collaboration have definantely changed in the past decade, but has it really changed everyone or the user in general? For sites such as Facebook and Twitter it depends on the person, whether or not they change due to the media they are using. For communication, yes most people have changed how they communicate amongst each other thanks to Facebook and other social media sites. “… we have had live voice, and text connection and on occasion, as with videp conferencing, a live two-way channel on video stream” (128). What this is, is examples of how people can communicate nowadays. For a community, on some sites, a person could create a group or page where people can ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ and people who are interested in the same thing could come together as a community if they please. Now whether that changes a user isn’t so clear. Maybe in how those people get together but not just a single user. This can go the same way for collaboration as well. In protests, or trying to have an event, social media sites have helped people in having the ability in collaborating with each other in how the protest/event would be held. But again, it doesn’t nessecarily change the user, just how some ideas or activities change in collaborating.
I have a Facebook page and most of my family does too. The main reason I have a Facebook page is for entertainment when I’m bored I just scroll down my comments and basically read all of them. Another reason I have a Facebook page is to keep in touch with family members around the world. Through Facebook I talk to my childhood friends who live in California, I talk to relatives that live in Texas and I even talk to relatives in Mexico. It’s cheaper to keep in touch with my relatives in Mexico through Facebook. I can message them and see pictures of them without either of us paying. Although Facebook is an easy resource to keep in touch with people around the world is not the same as having a real face to face conversation. Coleman suggests that “there is no return to an unmediated world, a bucolic face-to-face exchange…” We have got to take good advantage of technology and new media. Like Coleman said in page 135 “it is not media technologies that reposition us, but rather how we engage them…” Coleman theorizes to keep on moving forward just like technology has.
Coleman says that “…media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies but also new facets of ourselves” (140). In the example of Facebook, we discover that people act differently on Facebook than they do in person. For example, a person can be a comic on Facebook when in real life the person is very shy. We discover that people have many faces using Facebook. If there was no Facebook, we wouldn’t know that that person could be capable of being a comic. I find this with everyone, including me. Its as though we have a virtual representation of ourselves online. The virtual me is always better than the real me. On Facebook, you can be anyone. You can post pictures of all the fancy places that you’ve been at. For all we know, those pictures were photoshopped. Coleman refers to this as an “online identity” (135). Coleman goes on to talk about the theory of an agency. It is the idea that we understand that we ourselves are actors in our own environments. The problem with being an actor on Facebook is that we do not continue developing those much needed social skills to interact with other individuals. Its easy to message someone on Facebook, I know. Coleman said that media changes the user. Its necessarily not a bad thing. Its just something to consider while being on Facebook.
Coleman states that “media use changes the user. With each shift in automation, simulation, and transmission, we discover not only new technologies, but also new facets of ourselves,” (49). Going back to one of Coleman’s three C’s of Networked Media, media users can see how communication can shift “human perspective” as our “concepts of space, place, and time are impacted” (Coleman 49). We can apply this idea to Facebook and Twitter, two popular social media sites.
My personal example of how media use of Facebook has changed me is through the communication with my sister in North Dakota. Previously, my sister and I had no need to communicate through Facebook, we lived together. Now, she lives thousands of miles away, and the only way we can talk is through Facebook. Yet, Facebook has eliminated that gap between us. No longer are we limited by snail mail, which arrives days after an exciting event. Furthermore, from using Facebook I have become more technologically advanced than I previously was. I learned how to post and share videos with friends, and to link sites I like on my personal page. I can show my friends in Germany a video instantly, instead of waiting until their time zone matches mine to call them.
I am no longer limited to a location or specific time to meet my friends, when we can just chat online. As Coleman mentions I now have an “online identity” that I use to represent myself during information exchange (39).