I can’t imagine a world without Instagram or Twitter. Facebook, I could do without, but I’ve become so dependent on the aforementioned two that my life would immensely change (maybe for the best) if I had to do without them.
In class this week, we learned about some of the common “Computer Mediated Communication” gratifications. Three gratifications I wanted to touch on include the social utility of CMC, the convenience it provides and lastly, the social presence aspect as well.
SOCIAL UTILITY- Facebook and Twitter have slowly but surely become my main source of information. In high school, if I wanted to know if my school district had a two-hour delay or had canceled school because of the weather, all I would have to do is log onto Facebook or Twitter and check my newsfeed or timeline. In the online article titled “5 Ways Twitter Changed How We Communicate,” it states that Twitter has made information flow even faster than it did before. For example, if we want to find out details of major events happening around us, such as crimes, world crises (such as the 2010 Haiti Earthquake), and TV show revelations; we have access to that information with just one swipe of the “refresh” arrow.
CONVENIENCE- It’s fast. Computer Mediated Communication is fast and often times reliable. Or at least it should be, if all participants are using it right. While roaming one of my favorite online news platforms, Elite Daily, I came across an article titled, “6 Reasons Your Wi-Fi Connection Is The Most Important Relationship You Have.” The writer claims “Cyberspace is your oyster. Anything you want to know about is a simple Google search away. The possibilities are limitless.” For example, it is now easier than ever to make last minute plans with friends, or to get a quick, on the spot answer from someone due to CMC. When it comes to person-to-person communication via CMC, we are often times provided with the convenience of simplifying communication due to receiving information we desire more quickly. Until you meet the one person who messes up the system.
SOCIAL PRESENCE- Instagram is like a part-time job for me. For something I don’t actually get paid for, I take it very seriously—too seriously at times. We learned that media choice is rational and directed to specific goals and satisfactions. For me, I get satisfaction when I am able to share pictures of places, people or things in my life that I normally wouldn’t be able to share. Also, I like the fact that Instagram and Twitter both allow me to present a different side of my personality people may not get the chance to see. In Elite Daily’s article titled, “How Instagram Is Affecting The Way We Perceive Ourselves And The World,” the writer claims that Instagram “has become a tool for self-invention as much as it is a tool for sharing, which is probably why people live in their phones.” The best part about communication technology, in my opinion, is that we have the power to use it how we please. The social presence aspect I learned about in class has to do with the fact that we can manipulate our online presence, meaning we can choose what we want people to know or see.
While arguments can be made against each of these “gratifications,” it is important to acknowledge the fact that Computer Mediated Technology provides many and different types of gratifications that vary by media type, and are of some type of value to everyone we know.
“5 Ways Twitter Changed How We Communicate” http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/03/21/twitter.birthday.communication/
“6 Reasons Your WiFi Connection Is The Most Important Relationship You Have”
“How Instagram Is Affecting The Way We Perceive Ourselves and The World”