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Media Form & Theory

February 18, 2010   Talking about classes always becomes interesting when you talk to people in different majors.

For instance, one of my friends is a Geology major and cannot stop raving about her Advanced Mineralogy class. While I cannot imagine staring at rocks all day, I'll bet she thinks the same thing when I start talking about classes in my majors.

In introducing you, the reader, to the classes I am taking this semester, you will probably learn way too much about my academic interests, but hopefully also learn a little bit more about academic life at Hamilton.

While my Media Form & Theory class fulfills a requirement for my Communications major, it also fulfills my nerd thirst for anything and everything media related.

The class description states:
Investigates the impact of mass media on American society in order to more clearly understand the problems of living in a world dominated by media technology. Examines relationships between various components of the media process, focusing on how media alters our understanding of politics, persons and communities.

Okay, well it does to me. Our class discussions often evolve into debates about the impact of media on our lives. For instance, last week I started a debate about social activism. I believe that the Internet and technology has actually led to a decrease in social activism in our society. Why? Yeah, sure, you can donate $10 to the Haiti Relief Fund from your cell phone, but does that actually make us complacent? I think technology makes us more comfortable staying at home, supporting causes through our computers as opposed to starting rallies, holding discussion groups, etc. However, the majority of the class did not agree with me on this — AND — because these technologies are so new, there has been little to no research done that links technology to social activism (potential thesis topic?).

The best part about the class? Our final research projects are supposed to apply media theory to a social networking site. Basically, I get to spend this entire semester hanging out on Twitter, seeing how the site is changing the way we obtain news.

Maybe I'm just a communications nerd who is way too obsessed with issues of social networking and the structures of our society. So if this doesn't get you riled up about college, I can give you my friend Abby's number — she can talk to you about rocks for an hour instead!