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Good-Bye.. For Now!!

Hey Folks!

The term has come to an end and I would like to say that I’m so excited to continue my journey with blogging. This class has pretty much opened my eyes to the never ending possibilities in the emerging media world. Months before stating my professional blog, I have always been approached by peers who insisted that I start writing a personal blog about what something that I’ve found interesting. I never thought that I would actually have a class that would require me to voice my thoughts and opinions on so many interesting topics.

For this week our professor posted a compilation video of At&T advertisements from 1993-1994 that showcased the growth of technology for years to come. It was interesting to see how these ads showed the same devices we are using now, such as the tablet and kiosk that can almost do anything for you. In a day and age where technology is found everywhere and satisfies our need for instant gratification, you can only wonder whats next.

What next for me?

I’m hoping to take so much of what I learned this term and apply it to my professional and scholastic career! This year has offered me so many opportunities that I’m more than ready to take on. One that I am most proud of is my internship working with The Taste of Atlanta; it is a dream come true to be heavily involved in the planning and executing phase of this well-known festival. The lessons I’ve learned from this class has readily prepared me for my new journey to becoming a better communication professional and a more responsible communicator.

If you are in the Atlanta Area between the dates on October 24-26 2014, please join me in reveling in tasting cuisines from over 90 restaurants and enjoying a VIP experience at the Taste of Atlanta!

Thanks for tuning in!

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Children and Technology—

Technology gives us power, but it does not and cannot tell us how to use that power. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say. –Jonathan Sacks

Hey Everyone!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned and even shared anything personal about myself but this weeks topic gives me the opportunity to share some of my personal thoughts with children and technology.

Six months ago from tomorrow I was thrown into the parenting world without any knowledge of raising children. I was always happy to say that, “yes! I have survived my teenage years without pregnancy” (no judgement) and I was now twenty-six with a stable job, financial security and emotionally open to undergo new experiences; and when I say new experiences I was pretty much thinking about the normal things 26 year old women do– like date.

Little did I know, six months ago, that my life would be changed by my 9 year old niece (Corri), it was like a real-life Raising Helen (movie); basically it was a child that was completely removed from me in a distance state named Kentucky now lived in a three bedroom apartment with my sister and I. Interestingly, along this journey I’ve picked up a few things that I would never consider if I still lived alone with my sister and puppy Blue. Out of all the lessons I’ve learned, I have realized that technology and children becomes an interesting topic among my conversations with other parents.

Children and Television

This of course is one of a plethora of ways we hinder the development of our children with technology, in my case I have noticed that my niece is an advocate of sitting in front of the television all day without any signs of moving. This became issue number one; she was so enthralled with what was going on television that she never had a moment to go outside and meet new friends. As a reaction, I would often kick her out of the house and tell her to make friends and each time she would come back with no new friends and an urge to continue watching whatever popped up on the Disney channel.

In general television is not completely detrimental to children, it does offer some pros. Just keep in mind some these interesting facts provided by the Child Development Institute:

  •  Studies have indicated that television does increase the general vocabulary of children, especially when it involves term referring to outer space.
  • Television does provide opportunities for children to learn about all kinds of things, although whether they do so to any great extent depends largely on the specific programs the child actually watches.
  • Television can increase a child’s range of interest since it exposes him to a variety of activities and topics he might not otherwise encounter-archeology, science of all kinds, architecture, music, etc.
  • Television has probably been the most effective of all the mass media in making people aware of a wide range of human problems ranging from pollution to homelessness. It also has increased awareness and acceptance of various kinds of illness, both physical and mental.

Read more: http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/family-living/kids-media-safety/television/#ixzz3FJu1lyNE

Children and Technology– The Infamous Birthday List

While preparing for my niece’s birthday party, we of course asked her to give us a list of the top five birthday gifts. Of course we expected the normal list such as baby dolls and Monster High barbie dolls, I’m not sure what prompted our assumption; but I guess it was a natural thought process of individuals who loved dolls growing up. So one day she brings the list to us and explained the thought process behind her expensive birthday list, it went as followed:

1. Kindle— I REALLY WANT THIS

2. iPad– JUST IN CASE I DON’T GET THE KINDLE

3. Fur Real Friends Daisy Plays-With-Me Kitty

4. Laptop– APPLE

5. Monster High Barbie (Thanks Corri)

As we fumbled with the list, my sister turns to me and say “Tori, what ever happened to kids asking for barbie dolls and action figures for birthday gifts, Nowadays, they wants kindles!” I had the answer, it was quite obvious, kids see and understand how awesome these products are. Technology has literally taken over the way we as adults think and most importantly children. Is it a bad thing? No.

For the last couple of weeks we have tackled many topics, but this one speaks to me the most. As I learn new and interesting facts centered around emerging media, children and technology has fascinated me the most. It wasn’t until I did research on the topic did I realize how obsessed we have become with technology.

In an article published by the New York Times, author Nick Bilton described how his sister instantly calmed his 4 year old niece and 7 year old nephew down at dinner by handing them each their own Apple iPad to occupy them. He later stated that after dinner his sister felt horrible for using these devices to calm them stating “I don’t want to give them the iPads at the dinner table, but if it keeps them occupied for an hour so we can eat in peace, and more importantly not disturb other people in the restaurant, I often just hand it over.” On many occasions I have witnessed so many parents opting out of disciplining a child for bad behavior (taking a favorite item away) and in some ways promoting it with this technique; it makes you wonder if you yourself fall in the lines of this behavior. Besides behavior there are some people who believe that technology could have a negative effect on a child’s imagination, in some ways I agree but honestly I’ve witnessed the complete opposite in my niece.

Besides all the cons that are related to technology, there are some obvious gains when children indulge in technology, with the intentions of learning. Learning through technology has helped my niece with reading and math, we focus on her needs and more importantly focus on her safety while using the internet.

Does your child use the internet for learning purposes? If so how do you ensure he/she are retaining information that is useful? Share your thoughts.

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Mobile Device you Hypnotize Me…

In the famous words of the late Notorious B.I.G, I can’t help but wonder if the invention of the Mobile phone has hypnotized me. It’s as if I can’t move, live or breathe without it. Sad? Yes, I know. Although sad, the mobile phone has taken over and became the norm, beating out the traditional and reliable land line/home phone and more than likely on the tail of the beloved big screen computer. 

This week we will focus on the mobile phone and the influences its existence has had on our lives. Though we have advanced with the technological changes in this generation, I honestly believe that one day humans will ultimately need to play catch up. During our reading this week it became strikingly obvious that more businesses are now trying to keep up with the fast growing mobile craze. In one particular article, “AND THE SURVEY SAYS… “Mobile First” Is A Dumb Strategy”, Henry Blodgett explains how more companies are now redesigning their organizations and business to focus more on a Mobile First strategy. If you are unaware of this steadily growing trend, pay attention! Let’s take a look at Blodgett’s explanation of the Mobile First, Mobile Only and Mobile too strategies:

  • Mobile Only: Designing or redesigning your company to fit the needs of smartphones,
  • Mobile First: Design everything for smartphones first and big screens as an afterthought.
  • Mobile Too: Focusing on designing everything for smartphones and big screens.

With the growing pace of the mobile phone its easy to understand why businesses would be eager to use the mobile first strategy, in their minds people are now using their mobiles phone more than ever before. Although, this may be true, statistics given by Business Insider shows that over 80% of their audience use laptops/computer regularly, followed by smartphones which raked in just under 80%. Too close for comfort? I think not. 

With so many emerging media showing up, I think it’s disheartening that so many businesses are forgetting the roots of the o-so-glorious Smartphone, the computer. Furthermore, I believe that by businesses implementing a mobile first strategy they will create a new age digital divide among their audience. Does this sound crazy? Maybe… maybe not. 

As I work diligently through this course, I’m constantly enlightened by my fellow classmates’ experiences and lifestyles. As this week approached, I found that not all my classmates indulge in Smartphones and its wonderful capabilities. Interesting enough, it was mind blowing to me to because there are so many businesses that are completely engulfing themselves into designing their websites around mobile device. So I started to think, “what about the very few people who remain loyal to computers/laptops,” also “how frustrating can it be to navigate a site that is really meant for a Smartphone?” While these questions make sense to me, those who see the beauty in media evolution may think otherwise.

Although most business are more concerned with those who use big screens on a routinely basis, there are some websites who benefit greatly from implementing mobile applications. One of my favorite apps that uses the mobile first strategy is Instagram (IG). With the sharing of memorable moments, Instagram has become one of the top grossing mobile applications (besides Facebook) in the emerging media world.  This brings me to my next point, with the emerging media coming to the forefront; does this take the social out of… social media? 

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language,” A famous quote by Walt Disney simplifies what creators of Instagram were thinking from the first inception of IG.  This new way of sharing is becoming the new norm and completely taking over. Is social media and SMS becoming the new language of the people? The new way of communicating is through social media sites and SMS leaving the traditional land line phones drifting in the wind. It has become a chore to actually have phone conversations!

Are these different outlets showcasing a new era of communicating? I think so. Last night I had the opportunity to celebrate my co-workers birthday at a new hot spot here in Atlanta, Shout. Usually in a public setting such as a birthday party you communicate and engage with the people around you, which is the very reason why we throw these big extravaganzas. As I looked around, I became bothered by the amount of time everyone stood around and focused on their mobile devices. Group pictures turned into “selfies” and normal conversations became Facebook status updates. I thought about my role in this type of disturbance, did I also become a part of the problem? 

I know you are probably wondering why I would go as far to observe this type of behavior as disturbing, I mean it’s not as if the ring of a mobile phone could disturb twenty people in a club with blaring hip-hop music. What I found to be disturbing is the interruption of healthy dialogue among friends and colleagues. 

Boat House Row In Philadelphia. I caught this picture on my Samsung S5.

Along with the lack of social etiquette, mobile devices are also becoming a disturbance within public settings. In an article given to us by Dr. P, studies shows that almost two thirds of the respondents in a EURESCOM p903 project agreed with the statement that “The mobile telephone disturbs other people.” This is a common complaint that I always here from those who are not heavily involved with their mobile devices. I get it; some boundaries are being crossed with the mobile devices, conversations are no longer private and being recorded by complete strangers is becoming the norm.

Although I love my mobile device I honestly love working and looking at most websites on my laptop— sometimes I believe that I have became a slave to my Samsung S5. As emerging media starts to evolve, it becomes more convenient to lean on your mobile device for news updates and catching up with friends; but I honestly hope that all business will keep in mind how much the consumers love their “big screens.”

Please feel free to share your comments below 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strategic Communication, Uncategorized

Greetings and Welcome!!

Welcome to Immersing Thoughts into Emerging Media! As a communication professional, I have had many opportunities to share my thoughts on the emerging media that has taken the world by storm.

After a five year hiatus from the educational world, I decided that my love for new media and public relations would be my driving point to start working towards my master’s degree. While this has been one of the hardest steps to take in my life, it has been an enjoyable experience.

As a Strategic Communication graduate student, I’m always answering questions regarding how important communications is within our everyday lives. At first I would always try to explain how important open communication can be in any relationship, but as time goes on, my knowledge of communication aspects have grown and matured. My answers no longer scratches the surface of communication; I now have more knowledge of this broad and endless topic. With the new emerging media not only are we faced with daily changes in the emerging media world, our lives are completely affected by social media in ways traditional media first affected us years ago.

While the world is engaging in social media and doing away with traditional media, some of us still remain laggards in our everyday lives. The interest that peaks on a continuous basis is why are we so consumed with the emerging new media? To the point that It becomes so consuming, that the fascination with recording everyday occurrences and once in a lifetime moments become viral moments not only for you but your followers and friends. The most astounding fact still remains that with this new technology we forget some of the most important basic necessities that were once important in our daily lives.  

In so many of my conversations I’ve been asked the question “Why is emerging media such a hot topic?” With this blog, I will break down and explain the fascination and hurdles we constantly face with new and emerging media.

On a weekly basis, I will continuously update ITEM (Immersing Thoughts into Emerging Media) with thoughts and opinions about the direction of emerging media and ways to approach how to communicate effectively using these different platforms. Although we live in a generation of instant gratification, there are some who do not understand the impact that communication and technology has on our everyday lives. Hopefully, my opinions and postings will help with understanding and grasping the great ideas behind emerging media.

Please be sure to share your opinions on the topics you find interesting! Also, if you are interested in reading future blogs or adding ITEM to your favorites, here is my blog address:

torialeasebrown.wordpress.com

Here is our topic for the week: Are traditional media dying?

Of course most of us understand that traditional media comes in the form of television, magazines, newspapers and radio. These outlets have served for many years as the gateway for information for the public, giving them updated information regarding any topic of their interest. However, since the emergence of new media, traditional media has almost become “A thing of the past”.

Think about it, when we look for news we go online to our local new stations and find updates on their perspective websites, giving us all details up until the very moment of breaking news. Mobile phones have completely taken over as the new computer, newspaper, radio and television. Using mobile devices gives the public constant access to the internet world and most importantly mobile applications to assist in finding information almost instantaneously. 

This decrease in interest of radio and newspapers are steady climbing, while the increase in interest in online browsing is becoming the new “it” factor. In a study conducted by Pew’s biennial study of news consumption habits, more Americans are now getting more news online than newspapers and radio. So could it be true that traditional media is dying?

Yes, traditional media is dying rather slowly…. Perhaps to slowly for some, especially for my fellow “asset-lighters.”

After graduating with my undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, I took on so many jobs within the communication field. The most intriguing and influential experience was my job with Radio One, Incorporated. While working there I saw how much the radio industry thrives off of advertisements and sponsorship’s. With the increase of interest in mobile phones, digital news is surpassing newspapers and radio, leaving more investors uninterested in buying radio and newspaper advertisements. 

An article given to us for our first week, Newsosaur discusses how the new digital natives are now more concerned with reading news on their devices rather than investing their time into reading a newspaper. In a recent study surrounding the Washington Post, researchers found that the problem wasn’t the actual newspaper itself rather that people are starting to view print newspapers as clutter and prefer their digital devices.

As a 26 year-old communication professional, I realize the digital advancement is becoming a sore spot for traditional media, but in some ways, I believe a lot of the print-newspapers can revitalize and save their business by moving more towards digital device. While some may be weary with the thought of trying something new, I think it is important for them to see the benefits of going digital. I foresee that most print media will go digital, but there are some Americans who still sees no need in reading from their digital devices. Instead of completely removing traditional media out of their lives, they still remain to subscribe to magazines and newspapers. Nothing wrong with that! Right?

As these nine weeks fly by, I will be sure to mainly touch base on my thoughts as a communication professional, hopefully opening more dialogue discussing the amazing emergence of new media and the decline of interest in traditional media. Furthermore, what are some ways to help traditional businesses who are weary when trying new media outlets, such as Facebook, online newspapers, blogs and twitter?

Please feel free to leave comments below sharing your thoughts 🙂

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