Internet Addiction Camps In China

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3XdUmvYUbA

Internet addiction has grown tremendously to the point that there are now rehabilitation camps such as the one in Beijing. In 2004 the first internet rehabilitation camp was opened. Since then over 5,000 kids were sent to get help. They sent to a place without any access to technology and get military training. They spend their days waking up early to exercise, see a psychologist, and spent their free time playing games like basketball outside. The average age of people in the camp are 17 years old. There is a problem in today’s society all around the world with online gaming addiction. When you stay in front of a computer for so long you being to forget your basic needs for eating, hygiene, and socializing. At the beginning adults tried talking to the youth first to understand their need to play. Talking has not helped much since it seems that the matter has gotten out of control. There are always news stories about gamers who have died from depriving themselves from eating and sleeping. Before 2009 these camps would sometimes be extreme to the point of beating the youth to death or using electro-shock therapy. They have been outlawed since because of deadly results. Whether these programs are effective or not we can not tell. I believe it is up to the individual whether or not they are willing to limit their playing time or give it up. It is difficult to find a way to solve this issue when we are surrounded by digital media everyday.

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Research Paper

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My chosen topic was focused on how internet influences social communication to the point where sometimes the virtual world and the real world get confused into one. Online sometimes we focus so much on the life we are living online in video games, social network sites, and blogs. We get so wrapped up in a world where we talk to various people online that we forget about the people that exist in person around us. The internet can make people anti-social and fear of communicating to people in the real world without being able to type it out on their computers. In the virtual world identities can be created or have the choice of changing gender to experiment with different personalities. In the online community you have the the ability to have out of the world experiences unlike the real world. Over time people prefer to live in the virtual world that offers them a life more happiness even though isolate in front of a pc screen. In blogs you can write and write about anything in your head. You can gain followers to feel more popular and raise your self esteem. Role playing video games you get to go kill enemies, fight zombies, or even get married. With these options you can live so many different lives without leaving your seat. On social networking sites like the old “Myspace” users scene queens found fame taking pictures of themselves with their new identities they created. Being able to live differently from the offline world distracts people from whats really out there and changes there social skills.

Having Your Say – Blogs and Beyond

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Article: Having Your Say: Blogs and Beyond – Baron

This article discusses how far we have developed from a society that had no voice to now the internet where everyone has freedom of expression, opinions, and whatever they can write about online. Early in 12th century Europe people would be hanged for doing anything offensive or too traumatized with fear of being heard when saying the wrong thing.

Today in modern society the internet allows an outlet for people to write about whatever they feel like talking about. It first begun with letters then radio, TV, blogs, Youtube, and now we have the option to create pages on Wikipedia. The public tend to write in blogs about fashion, traveling, art, or use it as a public diary basically.

There are no limitations. Baron talks about the a certain guy named Gary Brolsma under the Youtube section who made a video of himself lip syncing to Numa Numa for fun and it went viral. When you are bored, you will do anything to keep yourself entertained. Recording our lives is a new form of expression we have recently developed. Some users use it as a video diary called “vlogs” where they can rant or discuss random things  like the ever so popular “Leave Britney Alone” uploaded by Chris Crocker.

Numa Numa Guy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60og9gwKh1o

Leave Britney Alone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc

The most touching vlog I have seen online is about a guy who called his father over the phone to “come out” to him about his sexuality over the phone. Sometimes these videos can be really personal and heartfelt. They are not all for fun or just someone to make fun of.

Telling My Dad I’m Gay Live:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVAgz6iyK6A

Wikipedia is another form of open communication for all the public to use for editing or making up new pages to share information about anything. There are pages dedicated to musicians, actual history, cartoons, or random people like the oh so popular Numa Numa guy. Anyone can go online and edit pages to add more details to a certain topic.

Here is his page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Brolsma

Our freedom of communication has grown over decades and has never been so open to the public than ever before in history. There are different options in vlogs, microblogging, or other unique sites like tumblr. In the online community you have the choice to write about your feelings, talk on video, or use post pictures everyday. They help release our inner thoughts and express our creativity.

Born Digital

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Article: Born Digital – Palfrey and Gasser

 

This article discusses about the “Digital Natives” which is basically everyone who grew up with technology that influences their daily lives. This title is aimed at the young people who understand computers, ipads, cell phones and so on. The younger generations are constantly communicating through technology and have a better understanding of its use as tools for business, entertainment, or anything else that can be possibly done. The world is heading towards a direction of more advancements that will continue to merge technology and our lives into one. It is impossible to ignore technology due to its necessity because it makes tasks more simple to complete than they were before.

The article mentions how adults ask for help in typing, e-mails, or how to use the computer in general. It mainly focuses on how the younger generations know how computers work and use it constantly. However, everyone has adapted to the advances that have been made in transportation, using microwaves/toasters, and television. No matter what age you are all the people living today have become accustomed to technology in their daily lives. We no longer travel  daily with horse carriages, cook outside with fire, listen to the radio for stories, and much more. I believe everyone in some way is a digital native, but just fail to realize it since all the technology that surrounds them has become normal.

 

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1879169,00.html

 

New Media In Everyday Life

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Article: New Media In Everyday Life – Lister

 

This article I felt had a bit of negative view on the relationship between people and technology intertwining with our everyday lives. I could not read much further after reaching the three points that discussed how we are forced to adopt/suffer new technology, society is not shaped to fit to fit technology, or how it affects are human activity.

 

Are daily lives have become meshed with technology so much that we do not even notice we use it everyday constantly. Most people go on Youtube for a tutorial for about anything, socializing, studying, watching T.V., or anything you can imagine really.   The advancement in technology is there to benefit everyone for the better. It does not take much effort to keep connected to everyone 24/7 with phones and the internet. At work you can have a skype conference with an important executive, microwaveable food is fast and easy, most things downloadable with the click of a button, and so on. Human society today probably can not see themselves without the internet. It has defined our lives today influencing everything we do. People host their businesses online, promote their art, and put everything out there.

 

For example Youtube has only existed for about six years and many people have built their identity that website allowing them to even get paid for having a large audience that views the videos they posted up such as: tutorial, parodies, and music videos.

Take Michelle Phan for an example of a regular person who uses the internet for entertainments, a business, fan base, and so on.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i5qkSxF60U

Language Online

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Article: Language Online – Baron

 

Before the internet words were created by naming things by piecing words together. The pineapple for instance was named by Christopher Columbus because it looked like a pine cone and apple because it is a “generic term for fruit”. As mentioned in the article “As technology evolved, new devices have often been named(at least temporarily) by familiar words and concepts.” Doing this made communication between people become easier to comprehend.

Now the internet has created several languages in subcultures or magnified some. Also today even the basic words/sayings have become even more simple in acronyms.

lol = Laugh out loud

btw= By the way

brb = Be right back

imho=In my humble opinion

omg=Oh my god/gosh

Some of these acronyms have even been recently added to the dictionary!  Not long ago the internet came into existence, but it is changing our communication habits everyday. Sending letters through the mail is rare today ever since we started using e-mails. E-mailing is faster, quick, and simple. It cuts the cost in buying stamps, paper, and saves time. Twitter lets you tweet and reply instantly from your phone through text.  Facebook allows users to send video messages instead of a typed message or post a video as a comment on their wall.

Have you ever realized we now tell people to facebook someone or tweet them? Tweeting comes in handy when you don’t have someones number because you can just send a tweet through text and the receiver will be able to get the message through their phone. Social network sites now have instant messengers built in making it even more simple to contact people. Another new thing that’s happening is sending invitations online to parties or organization groups. You do not have buy invitations or mail them to people because now you can just set up an event  with the info on facebook and invite everyone. Organizations in school keep in contact by setting up groups on facebook so everyone can keep updated with what’s going on. It’s weird how we no longer actually “talk” to people face to face or with our voices.

Obviously technology is taking communication to a new platform. It’s only going to keep on advancing from here. Maybe one day we’ll be able to communicate with our minds.

Here is IMHO and LOL in the webster dictionary online:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/imho

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lol

Becoming Screen Illiterate

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In the article “Becoming Screen Illiterate” by Kevin Kelly discusses how media and technology is shaping human culture. Before advanced technology people would write by hand with ink, but then Gutenberg invented the printing press making books easier to print leading. Books were a new form of entertainment till suddenly we moved into film production. As time went by technology advanced more changing our culture with it.

Presently we watch everything on a “screen” now. Digital technology is found everywhere such as on a ATM, self-check out, digital advertisements in the mall, or even buying movie tickets outside the theater.  Along with the advancements came along easier alterations to digital media. Now instead of copying and pasting from articles we can now copy and paste film clips into a editing software.

The article uses anime fans as an example. On youtube you can find an abundant amount of edited anime music videos or voice overs fans made. There is a “Iron Editor” challenge where as mentioned the “Iron Editor must remix videos in real time in front of an audience while competing with other editors to demonstrate superior visual literacy. The best editors can remix video as fast as you might type.”  There is a online subculture that focuses on editing anime music videos for fun and compete on speed.

Here is an example of a winning video for Iron editor:

Anime USA 2011 Iron Editor – War Games

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cdd1ttAB8M

Editing/Remixing videos has become a hobby or sport for many people. It can be done easily at home as on your computer. Everyone can be their own director and upload videos on a sharing website such as youtube.

Technology has been molding our culture allowing us to explore digital media. It has become part of our daily lives. Everyday TV screens appear everywhere in cars, stores, school, and etc. We can not run away from it. No longer do we play with text, but alter digital images or film clips for fun. We never know what will be the next thing in technology we’ll explore.