Ups and Downs

I have been involved with an event that focuses on teaching fifth through tenth graders about manners, respect, and bullying and internet safety. My part in the event is discussing manners and respect for yourself and others. While talking with the participants earlier today, we discussed how cellphones have become the mainstay of their communication with each other. When I asked them why, the response was that they didn’t know how to communicate without using the internet.

This is sad to me, but it is becoming more and more the reality with the younger generation. Their responses led me to think about how emerging media, mainly social media, impacts our relationships. “All the content you create, all the following you build, each of these is designed to create and foster more intimate relationships with people, in some cases, people you might not have met any other way.” Social media allows us to connect with larger groups at people all at once and also allows us to instantly connect with people from all over the world without the charges of long distance calls, etc. This can have a positive or negative effect on users.

The negative aspect of this condition is that it allows us to potentially over-estimate the level of intimacy with others. Reading words instead of hearing someone speaking them can allow us to read things into the messages that aren’t really there. People can be easily be taken in by reading emotion into a conversation that may not actually be there. It may create a feeling of trust that can result in physical, emotional or financial harm.

Another negative of social media is that “you’re more susceptible to the Social Media Contagion Effect.” What does this mean? You will connect with people who are of the same mind as you. For instance, if you are lonely then the people you tend to connect with are also lonely. If you are a person who is typically cynical then your relationships may be with others who have the same personality trait versus having friends who balance those things out in you. These connections may eventually cause you to react in ways you wouldn’t ordinarily, thus the contagion effect.

Another downside to social media is that we have the ability to see other people’s lives on a regular basis and it allows us to compare ourselves with others. This can be both positive and negative. It can help us to realize that our lives aren’t as bad as we may believe, but it also can allow us to feel that we don’t measure up and that our life isn’t anything special.

So, how do we overcome the negatives of social media? “Limit the time you spend on social networks; monitor your own emotions and reactions; take care not to compare yourself too often to others; set goals for your business relationships; [and most importantly] maintain a balance between your online and offline life.”

With new programs and ways of communicating emerging all the time, these are pitfalls we want to make sure we teach to our children to avoid as well as to learn ourselves. Social media can be a positive experience if we create checks and balances for its use.


Chicken Little


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To Care of Not to Care, That is the Real Question

Since beginning this class I have been wondering why, as a consumer, should I care about emerging media. As a marketer, it is obvious that I need to keep up to date on emerging media so that I know what the best avenues are for me to reach my target market. Without that information I may miss an opportunity to connect that may have a major impact on my business.

As a consumer, however, do I really care what the latest and greatest media options are? I think the answer is yes. “Emerging media is all around you. You use emerging media every day when you reconnect with friends on Facebook, whip out your smartphone to read the morning traffic update on Twitter, shop for shoes on your tablet, and search for a local restaurant in your area. While you have your own routines and favorite media to visit, it’s important to know how others use these media as well and how you are being marketed to via these channels.”

I use Myspace, although infrequently. It wasn’t very long after I established my MySpace account that I started hearing about Facebook and I soon became interested in that medium. I continue to use Facebook because it is used by a majority of the people I want to keep in touch with. What I’m finding, however, is that to keep in touch with all of the people I want to, I need to start using other medium such as Instagram and Snapchat. If I failed to pay attention to what’s out there and what’s being used by those in my circle, I wouldn’t have a clue what these two forms of media are.

I really enjoyed the photos below about people using Snapchat. I can’t even imagine my parents using it!

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Evolution or Revolution

Welcome to my blog “Evolution or Revolution.” The topics to be discussed here will focus on the world of emerging media. I invite visitors to share your thoughts and look forward to hearing your ideas about emerging media. Please also feel free to share how emerging media impacts your daily life and what types of emerging media you currently are using.

Emerging media is difficult to define; however, in its simplest form, it “is communications – of all types – based on digital technologies, and increasingly with interactive components” (, 2015). To me, emerging media is always at our fingertips and is transformational. There is no fluidity to this type of media because what may work one day could be changed the next with just a touch to the keypad.

Emerging media impacts our lives on a daily basis. We go from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn to a variety of other media available to keep us connected. In the world of PR (which is where I live in my job), the infographic below gives a clear picture of how much time we spend daily in this world. I expect that these numbers will continue to increase over the next several years, especially the amount of time spent working in emerging and social media.

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(Wright, et. al., 2014)

I love the graphic that serves as my blog featured image. While it’s a graphic of the evolution of the web, for me, it’s also how I imagine emerging media looking if it were diagramed, a mix of complex twists and turns with lots of “interconnected elements” (Bing, 2015).

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So, let’s follow some of these twists and turns over the next eight weeks and see where they take us on this journey into the world of emerging media.