Sunday, January 22, 2012

Media Ideologies in different age groups

Dear Ilana Gershon,

Let me just begin by saying that your article was not only interesting in almost every one of its sentences, but it also could not have been any more accurate in depicting the social media discrepencies that affect us in our everyday lives and relationships.  I have to say I appreciate the discussion choices you made when you talked about the communications through technology of different age groups.  Media ideologies, or the "beliefs about how a medium communicates and structures communication", vary from person to person, and especially from age to age.  You first described how people view different forms of techologies -- some people believe that e-mail is more formal, while others believe that instant messaging is just like communicating face-to-face with another person.  In my opinion, face-to-face will always be the most respectful and meaningful form of communication.  To begin with your first story of the couple who was happily married and then the wife sent her husband a request for divorce over e-mail is inexcusable, in my eyes.  I feel that if you and a significant other had had a special relationship (which seemed to have been the case) that led to marriage then you should be respecful and mature enough to meet that person face-to-face, look them in the eye and explain the reasons for divorce.  In this situation, an e-mail is a scapegoat for the woman in the relationship.  She did not have to deal with the consequences of seeing her husband's face or see his reaction in person.  Here is a great example of why I sometimes feel that social media and the advancements of technology inhibit personal relationships and the imporance of intrapersonal contact.  It is a blessing to be able to build relationships with others, and sometimes, technology can diminish that in-person, real-life connection that can be built with others.

For different age groups, such when you mentioned a 14 year old girl who had broken up with her boyfriend over instant messaging, face-to-face communication may not always be necessary.  In relationships where two people are very young and date and share online conversations or text messages, I feel that a break-up is acceptable over the internet.  A 14 year old girl has not experienced a relationship with her boyfriend that a wife has experienced with her husband, and therefore does not have to be as serious in her breakup or means of the breakup.  At age 14, kids are not fully matured and online communication is more of a hobby; for example, some kids come home after school and chat online with their friends for a portion of the night.  Because of that, I feel that media ideologies and beliefs of communication technologies differ dramatically as one matures and as one grows older.

To veer to the bright side of technology and communication, I felt myself disagreeing with some areas and ideas about Facebook that were described.  You mentioned that some people go through their friend lists and say, "Okay, have I talked to this person in the last couple of months? No. Okay. Should I get rid of them? Probably.", yet I though Facebook was for maintaining relationships and getting in touch with people in your life that you are not that close with or see that often.  Therefore, I would not look to go through my friends and delete a whole chunk of my acquaintances.  I can easily call my close friends, but Facebook makes it easier to talk to people who are not that close to you but you would enjoy catching up with at some points in time.  In this way, communication is a positive aspect in our world.  Facebook allows us to connect, talk, follow, and view the lives of others and alot of times this can be a good thing when maintaining personal relationships.

Don't get me wrong, however.  There are many areas of Facebook that are abused and that have caused problems between relationships that I do not like, as well.  There are some people that post so many things to facebook and it gets very annoying (mentioned in your article).  I do not want to sign on and read the same post from the same person throughout my entire newsfeed.  Also, when two people break up and then get back together again, and then break up again -- their notifications on their relationship statuses can get very annoying.  Sometimes it's like "Okay just stay together or break up, either way, make a decision and keep it to yourself!".

In these situations, your descriptions of the different interpretations of media channels and media ideologies are right on point.  All in all, every person has their own take on communication and how it should be performed.  I believe that every person has the right to choose which communcation medium they use to maintain their relationships; yet, I feel that that close connection when talking to someone face-to-face is definitely diminishing due to the transformations and advancements in our world today. 

Thank you,
Loralyn Sortino

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