My self directed Learning:
I think this project really helped me wrap my thoughts around feelings I already had toward the digital age. My self-directed learning really started to take off when I would leave class ready to apply the different things that we discussed in our first groups. My group was great at helping me recognize holes in my thesis, and we’d discuss where to look for greater information. A lot of my resources for learning came from books and online sources, but the greatest validation of my thesis really being a modern day issue came from talking with my family.
I discovered a love for books when doing my self-directed learning, and specifically fell in love with reading about the renaissance and enlightenment periods. Boorstin helped me gain a good understanding of a few points, but I loved imagining myself in the time period when I read the script of Hamlet and poetry from Shakespeare. I found that the most helpful online sources came in video form. BBC had wonderful documentaries, and they were extremely helpful because they had access to places and resources that were directly from those different time periods.
My favorite documentary was about the Industrialization revolution. The researcher literally walked through the streets of Europe explaining at what time and place specific events occurred that were essential to the revolution… like water powered factories! This really catered to my needs as a visual learner.
One of the greatest benefits of being in control of what I studied outside of class, was that I could study according to my needs and desires. This project especially helped me become an agent to act and gain experience in my own unique way.
My Evolving Project:
I knew that there were a lot of issues debated about social media, but I wanted a unique angle. I went home most Sundays out of the semester and I started noticing how my family was pretty addicted to social media. I tried talking with them, but it seemed pretty difficult to have a worthwhile conversation. Upon realizing this, I discovered what my angle could be for my argument.
I decided to focus my research on how identity is affected because of the pressures of Social Media. As I talked more with people I was close with, and those I wasn’t so close with, I started to recognize that what we like, share and follow through social media can totally mold us into false identities. When I was in my first group, I really enjoyed Michael’s posts concerning the inequality between women and men in the media. His thoughts really helped solidify what I was trying to help others understand about the molding of identity.
My personal project grew as I discussed my ideas within my “identity” group. Katelyn Dalton’s argument was centered on the perception of identity through social media, which is the very reason why I feel it’s important that we as humans must gain experience outside of social media in order to properly mold who we are.
As my argument began to take form, I realized that the best way to express it would be through modern slang. I used words and phrases familiar to “millennials”, in hopes that it would affect the younger crowd the most. My argument moved from being a logical explanation, and more towards being a call to action.
Communication and History:
The more I’ve studied about the importance of individual identity in this digital age, the more I’ve realized how essential good communication is to molding a strong identity. From my first rhetoric and civilization class to now, we’ve discussed some of the greatest minds in the world and how they’ve communicated their ideas and concepts to the world. Not just what they’ve shared, but also how they have shared it, and I believe it has catapulted the way in which we think and progress in this modern age.
Not all communication throughout history has been perfect, but communication and the mediums in which it has been conveyed through time, has given people the opportunity to unleash their thoughts on the world. The creation of books and letters allowed ideas to be spread to all different countries at an early age. Now we live in a time where communicating ideas and opinions can happen at the click of a button.
After studying communication and the affect it has had on society throughout history, I wonder if in the next few decades we will start to “Ad Fontes”, or try going back to communicating with less technology. Social Media and other forms of mass distribution have been a great tool in the progression of the world, but I also believe that it is taking away precious opportunities to solidify identity. All in all, communication is an essential aspect of building a strong society, but I believe that it can be stronger in our day if we were to maintain a balance of communication with and without technology.