This week’s #MOOC, as part Tech/Nature Literacy introduced a new kind of term, not widely discussed throughout the technologically advanced world: Technobiophilia. It sounds like a disease or infatuation, as if one had a life simply dedicated to technology, and everything it represents. Unfortunately for some of us, it’s true. We look to use technology in every aspect of our life, and while many of us would like to think we’re “utilizing” what’s available to us, we know deep down it’s not true…we’re just lazy. As Sue Thomas spoke about in her publication and her video chat, we have become so comfortable engulfing ourselves in technology, we’ve created new vocabulary to adjust everyone to it! From our love of nature and the outside world, to the love of a laptop and Facebook.com, we’ve changed drastically! Would you have ever thought to tell your boss that you don’t have his proposal project because it’s in the cloud? You’d be fired, then taken in for possible drug use. Yet today, barely anyone under 40 would bat an eye when you said you needed to access your Cloud Drive on their computer. I find it hilarious to tell my friends, “Oh, I’m not bored, I’m Tumbling, and finding cool new things online.” Not only would they think I’ve fallen down a steep hill for long amounts of time, but they’d commit me to Bellevue [
mental hospital] in a snap. I’m exaggerating in this example, clearly, but look at what we do in class. For most of the assignments, we’ve been asked to find all sorts of information, and while a miniscule amount would consult their on-campus library, I watched as myself and 12 other students whipped out their i-Phones and found what we were looking for in seconds! The best thing that makes me laugh every instance, is the constant need to cite our assignments, establishing importance since assignment #1, where we played online quizzes to understand citing documents. Yet many of us have instant citing tools that will do the work for them! Now, most of the time they’re incorrect, with information in the wrong locations, and spacing off, but it beats doing it by hand! I learned the hard way back in 2005 how to cite by hand, and to be honest, I’ve never done it since. In class, I am constantly conferring with my teammates on new, quick, easy ways to find new information, and the general consensus is to search the web. We throw the phrase, “just Google it” into the air more than the phrase, “bless you” after a sneeze, but without blinking an eye, it’s understood and accepted. This Technobiophilia, our love of technology and all it represents in our lives is apparent in its domination of everything we do. Ms. Thomas agrees that there is no possible way to make people drop their “technopals”, but went to the general thought of saying, “is there any hope for control?”
Digital Storytelling has become a new and prominent way for those who have stories to tell be able to connect with the world. Through ways like blogging, video chatting, and writing personal opinions online, those who wish to express their opinions now have the ability to share easily and without the fear of criticism. From what we learned from the MOOC talk, even the idea of 20 people coming together to discuss over video chat and text is a part of digital storytelling. Because we were a part of this conversation, we became part of this story, and were able to connect to people who were as close as downtown Albany, and as far as Vermont, and further. Additionally, our class discussions even represent a story because we are all putting together our own ideas into a concise topic, or opinion. A clear connection to this idea was the discussion I started during my third blog post. I talked about using a specific website, Tumblr.com, as a gateway to one’s mind, because even though much of the media online is not one’s personal creation, one can stitch it together to tell a story of their own. Fortunately, this story continued because of the freedom of connections and expression on the web. Someone who I’ve never met commented on my post, and was able to present their own thoughts. I know in my case, I have a blog that is over two years old, and comprises of thousands, if not more, pictures that, alone, mean nothing, but when read together, give an accurate, humorous description of my personality. #metaliteracy
Digital Storytelling is just another word I wouldn’t have thought of when considering the pull Information Literacy has in our lives, yet after reading the article #MOOC, it seems apparent that this idea of storytelling is just an over zealous definition for blogging or creative writing. I see digital storytelling all over the web, and I search intensely, just as every other teenage american with a wifi connection. The biggest connection I see to this idea is Tumblr which is a large blog sharing website where people can express their views in photos, videos, GIFs, and in many cases, stories. Unfortunately, many people only see Tumblr as a simple site for inappropriate ways to express their views, or a simple free porn site, but what’s overlooked is people who use the site as a expressive board for their creative and short stories. In many cases the label slapped all over the internet is “Fanfiction” but one can see now in the modern age, Digital Storytelling is all over and in many cases is an amazing way to delve into someone’s mind and see what they’re thinking. It, evidently means that even if you don’t think you’re good enough to be published in a book, you can still express your creativity, and, without doubt, people will see it. #metaliteracy
“The democratization of social media allows for more participation and
interaction related to the news than ever” #metaliteracy
One can see this phrase in a wide variety of contexts. It includes many positive aspects as well as negative ones. As John Delano wrote, today’s social media interference has led to a large influx of different opinions. Positives of this new age media is that everyone can have a voice, and in turn have the ability to voice their own opinions. It is no longer an age where only those who have the opportunity to access a computer or internet can express how they feel, but everyone. As well, it is positive because people from all over the world, can now enter in their own opinions and ideas. Where they were once ousted and unheard, even remote parts of the global south now have access to express their points of view. This new age of expression, though, brings with it the harsh reality of too much expression, turning what in some relations is a positive into a negative. People are using the social media aspect wrongly to find support for their incorrect views, and doing what they can to change the information already online. Though the new social media is great for expansion and the globalization the negative aspects makes one think about whether this freedom is so greatly needed.
Though I am unsure exactly what #metaliteracy means, I am hoping that in this class, I will be able to utilize the internet, and all it has to offer. I feel that with this new knowledge, I will be able to be ahead, not only in my life here as a student, but in my entire life. Being able to properly research and understand what’s available to me puts me one step further than those around me, because I’ll be able to determine what is the proper channel for research, and by being more metaliterate, become more attainable in the future world.