Recap of the Semester

What have we learned about media and participatory culture that we didn’t fully understand before this class?

I was taught in my journalism classes as an undergrad that with the technology that we have today that everyone can be a journalist. Statuses and tweets are new ways of spreading news and controversy. Anyone can snap a picture on their smartphone and post it to the internet. Michael Jackson’s death was first found out by a picture taken by a nurse who worked in the ER when he came in to the hospital. Everyone can be a journalist now. But as we move forward with twitter and instagram, media has changed in the sense of participation.

Anyone can be an advocate now. Hashtags and followers allow people to spread a message that means something to them. The ice bucket challenge, #BlackLivesMatter, and anything Trump says spreads throughout cyberspace because of the way these things are shared.

I developed a better understanding of youtube stars as well. Youtube is a great source for clips, music, and all around entertainment. There are people out there who make millions of dollars from sharing their skills, stories, and lives by creating videos online. advocacy and spreading awareness can be done through youtube stars and their followers. Youtube has created a community of users that are constantly connected.

We got on a long conversation about Facebook. It is something we are all a part of but it drives us crazy. Going viral is a trend. We are constantly branding ourselves online. Our pictures, our statuses and the way we present ourselves is important when in the past we only cared about what our close friends and family thought of us. We all have that friend on facebook that starts fights in comment sections or posts idiotic articles or nonsense. We talked about how it drives us crazy.

We all agreed that we learned a lot from learning about participatory culture and new media.