Girls Go To College, To Get More Knowledge; Boys Go To Jupiter, To Get More Stupider

No I don’t believe my headline to be true. It was a silly rhyme that was used back when I believed boys had cooties. It was innocent and didn’t imply that my full time job was to fight the patriarchy, it was more of a “eww boys are gross and dumb,” and I’m 8. I am now 22 and nothing will convince me that the world is a fair and balanced place. At this point, I have seen and experienced the rude gender-based jabs, and most times I take a deep breath and carry on. But sometimes it really does get under my skin when I’m trying to encourage myself on my fitness themed Instagram account and some guy direct messages me to discredit me and call me ugly. Crazy how people hide behind a screen just to hate on people they have never met. And it’s even crazier how people are willing to say more online than in person.

I do not hate men, I do hate that I have to justify my stance by saying that. It is a fact that the technology industry is male dominated, and women have a harder time trying to enter that realm, the same is true for blacks and Hispanics. Lack of Diversity Could Undercut Silicon Valley shows some pretty serious pie charts depicting the lack of ethnic diversity in the industry. Professor Royal herself said that the technology industry was created by privileged white, rich men, and although we are taking baby steps the majority of the industry remains just that, white, rich and male. I do not discredit men’s achievements and contributions to technology, but I do resent the fact that women with potential have not been allowed the opportunity take part in this revolutionary era.

As I read Uber – Susan Fowler Memo, I couldn’t help but relate with the hopelessness that can and may surround us, women, as we enter the workplace. No matter how much we try, how good our resume is built up, the number of skills we have acquired, there is still a ceiling we are not allowed to break through to get to the next level. To relate it to my degree, the retail industry is swarming with women and yet the highest positions are still occupied by men. Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Dillard’s, CEO’s are all men. And say a woman is finally given the chance and becomes CEO  and the company goes under (Marissa Mayer with Yahoo for example, an already crumbling company), you know what they’re going to blame? Oh that’s right a woman’s inadequacy at holding a position of power. Because as women, we must be perfect, and we must exceed or else it’s not good enough, no matter all the other mishaps prior to her taking the position. “What will be required is women’s realization of the potential they have with technology as well as the industries’ acceptance of women’s contribution.” (Royal, 2014) I agree wholeheartedly, but the technology industry first needs to stop turning a blind eye to their lack of diversity.

One Time I Saw Regina George Using LinkedIn, So I Made A LinkedIn Profile

Diffusion of Innovations was a ‘real world’ telling of Mean Girls. Monkey see, monkey do, but only if the monkey is Regina George. Catch my drift? Much like the Peruvian village, the women did not want to follow the idea of boiling water because they were unaccustomed to it and the village opinion leaders weren’t doing it either.  The act of diffusing innovations, Rogers points out, is lengthy; that is still true today in all other areas but the technological realm. Karpf says it best “the rate at which the Internet is both diffusing through society and developing new capacities is unprecedented. It creates some novel challenges for scholarly research;” thus making it hard to figure out whether or not some of these innovations are beneficial to society. The world wide web itself is a bunch of shouts into a void that eventually started to mean something, and as it came together, this technology became relevant in our day to day lives. But much like Donald Trump’s tweets, a lot of our innovative technology has gone unfiltered, resulting in a lot of questions regarding privacy, cyber-bullying, cyber laws, which we don’t have answers to and haven’t had time to find a suitable solution for either. As I have stated before, technology has sped up the wait time per innovation, but socially, society still takes their sweet time to adjust to different ideas. Rogers talked about the QWERTY keyboard and I raise you the metric system which the United States still refuses to adopt, and who knows how long that will take (if ever).

 

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Now I had never heard of Linked In until I stepped foot in my Sophomore year Fashion Merchandising classes and they would spend a whole class period explaining its importance and how to create a profile. “A resume online!” they claimed and “recruiters on average spend 30 seconds on your resume but on Linked In they can spend up to 5 minutes looking at your profile!” Wow, what a revolutionary idea! To be fair, I am sure there are people who know how to take advantage of this resource, but in my field I think it has boiled down to checking up on peers to see whether or not they landed the job somewhere out of San Marcos, and hoping your turn is next.

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The concept itself was a good one. Avoid paperwork and allow recruiters to take a glance at your resume online where you aren’t limited to the one page. The website itself is set up like our other social media pages, so it was easy to navigate. Integration is where things got tricky, especially in a college setting. We sit back and stare at a page with our smiling face on it, a degree we are currently working on, some unrelated part time jobs here and there, not enough connections, and a whole lot of blank space. Safe to say undergrad wasn’t the best place to implement this “innovation,” we just don’t have the experience to back it up quite yet. But it has still stuck around, I still have my profile, and sometimes I tweak a few things. I don’t expect to get a job out of Linked In (which I know has happened to the select few that aren’t me) but in a sense I do it to show off a little? Because we have somehow managed to make a social media out of it. We’re not showing off pictures of our travels (Instagram) or arguing with the really racist uncle (Facebook) but we are still somewhat trying to validate ourselves to others. Because guess what Stacy? I got that promotion before you and I hope my Linked In notification haunts you for the rest of the year!

 

 

 

We Found Hope in a Digital Place

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We all love to hear it, “there’s always room for improvement.” It’s a lovely little hopeful phrase we tell each other every so often when our spirits are low. But as we get older we complete assignments and projects and tell ourselves “ehh, that’ll do.” Or we fear change to the point that we say “this is the way we have always done it let’s keep it this way.” In From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies, Dennis Baron points out that  “Plato was one leading thinker who spoke out strongly against writing, fearing that it would weaken our memories,” simply because writing was a new form of media they were unaccustomed to. Which is worse? Settling or rejecting change? In order to grow, one must be uncomfortable, and as we grow we enter the realm of “the new.”

Bush and Engelbart discuss reaching a point where you think there is no more that could possibly be created and/or made. And yet when you think that the best that can be done has been done, someone invents a computer mouse. It’s a never ending cycle, and we know it is a never ending cycle, but the moment something new is invented we are in complete and utter disbelief that there was still room for improvement. And there always will be. “The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.” (Bush Vannevar) And that’s the crazy thing about humans, we are never satisfied and we will always want more, whether that be material or knowledge related.

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New Media no longer holds the same meaning it once did, it is reliant on our current surroundings. The world once thought pencils were innovative and new, much like we consider the internet and computers to be relatively new now. Currently, anything that comes from the internet is considered new media, that includes those apps we play around with on our phones and lets not forget the all powerful social media.  I absolutely take all of these things for granted and I hardly ever pick up a pencil nowadays. I can’t imagine a day when computers are mass produced to the point where they are as cheap as a pencil is now. But maybe that day will come. The day when our surroundings are so drastically different from what it is now and a pencil is just an item displayed in a history museum.

How Many Selfies Would A Wood-Chuck Take If A Wood-Chuck Could Post Them On Instagram?

I know little about the internet, my technology and web knowledge quiz score are laughable at best. See for yourself.Joke of a Score And yet, I can’t remember the last time I spent the day without some sort of technology at arm’s length. I grew up sneaking in play time on the family’s computer, usually Sim’s or some sort of Barbie related computer game, while also going outside to play hide and seek with my cousins. I never bothered to explore the next big thing, whether it was a Gameboy or UGG boots nor have I ever considered myself to be tech savvy. But here I am, writing a blog post for a digital media class.
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Within my vast experiences with technology I have taunted Siri and asked her (it?) “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” to which she replied “As environmentally responsible creatures, I suspect woodchucks would encourage the recycling of wood over simply chucking it.” Siri has a sense of humor. And we have come a long way from the mess Tim Berners-Lee described of his program Tangle, which couldn’t handle the question, let alone answer back. Nonetheless, Lee was an innovator, and extremely ahead of his time. Which has allowed us to move forward with technology at an incredible speed.

What is innovation? Funny thing is, you don’t necessarily know it when you first see it, there is “no ‘Eureka!’ moment” (Berners-Lee). These ideas seem improbable, and we question whether they’ll catch on or just fade away, much like Pokemon Go (which I admit I was extremely excited about, until the craze subsided). The Internet: Behind the Web equated the internet to being the next big thing, “on a par with the wheel and fire and language and the printing press.” I agree. Both the internet and the world wide web have revolutionized the way we go on our day to day lives. These new technologies gave way to a new era much like cars, trains, and airplanes which provided modes of transportation we can’t fathom being without. I think innovation could be defined as a creation that makes history. The internet and the world wide web are, without a doubt, going to be included in our children’s history books.

Social media has taken off and millennials thrive off of knowing what that girl you met drunkenly at a bar two months ago is doing on a beach in Cancun #WishIWasThere. Twitter is dying, and Facebook made the biggest comeback since Britney Spears circa 2007 (thanks gen X and baby boomers!) What’s next? Jayson DeMers brought to my attention, virtual reality. I am not too familiar with it, but much like my definition of innovation, it is ahead of its time and seems far fetched. Although it might be foreign to many still, I believe virtual reality is radical enough to start to grow into the next big thing. We are already obsessed with lives outside of our own (social media), the next step would be to “live” a life outside of our own. Escapism, gotta love it.

I repeat, I know little about technology and the web, I use it and think nothing else of it. I appreciate what it allows me to do, I have managed to connect with people through screens, and tolerate the way it facilitates anything and everything from shopping to dating. But I do not spend countless hours staring at my screen hoping this new phone will sprout legs and wait in line for gas for me, but I love that I can look up whether or not the Sunoco across the street has gas or not. What I question is: will enough ever be enough? Technology has been on a non-stop growth spurt that even businesses are struggling to keep up. To relate it to my field of study, malls are a dying breed because they couldn’t keep up and online shopping means we don’t have to be pestered by overly-eager sales associates and can avoid unnecessary social confrontations. All seems great, but I fear I won’t be able to keep up. I see my parents struggling to keep up (well my mom has given up and asks us ALL the questions instead). I see others who adapt remarkably well, and others who completely shun this revolutionary technological era. And honestly, I just want a breather. Can we please have a year where we can keep our Iphones and not feel like “that is so two seasons ago” within a month of owning them?!