Looking Back on my Digital Journey

Digital Literacies

In the age of the technological boom, it’s crucial to be cognizant of the many forms go digital literacies present in today’s world. Glynda Hull as well as many others believe that these skills are what will allow you to outshine your competition.  I believe that by becoming more and more proficient in digital communications such as videography, podcasts, social media, and web design we will continue to improve our means of communication and intelligence.  These skills allow for more advanced research, communication, and opportunities.

digital_literacy1
Digital Literacy is expected among our generation. – Image.

We are no longer just expected to learn how to read but we are now also expected to know hoe to make slideshows, take photos, and do all this while being able to upload these things to digital forums.  Digital literacy is key in progressing our society technologically.

Multimedia Successes

I am proud of the work I have completed in Digital Communications.  From learning how to blog, to video editing, and all the way to creating a digital portfolio, I gained priceless experience in the field I hope to work in one day.  My personal work as well as my group projects were polished and accurately descriptive toward the topics I wished to discuss.  I believe my most impressive work was my personal video entitled “What does Fashion Mean to You?”  I focused on a select group of girls on Furman University’s campus that had strong opinions about fashion.  By touching on a wide variety of different opinions such as loving fashion, being impartial to it, and so on, I captured the real feelings of people my age.  I used my learned skills of videography as well as editing to make the video as best as it could be and I am very proud of my end result.

Acquired Knowledge 

This digital communications class has taught me more than I could have imagined.  I’ve always known that I was interested in media and technology but this class has confirmed my love for all things video, broadcast, and social.  As I learned each day in the class, I began to hone in on my personal strengths within the course.  I found that I am good at editing videos as well as conducting visual presentations.  Through my experiences in Public Speaking and now Digital Communications I have learned invaluable techniques that will help me achieve personal and career goals throughout the rest of my life. Overcome-Your-Public-Speaking-Fear I hope to carry these learnings with me and apply them to job applications as well as career opportunities.

I am twenty years old and I am already able to say that I am proficient in Photoshop, Premiere, Audacity, iMovie, blogging, and so much more.  This class enabled me to explore things I love while becoming more educated about topics I was curious in.  I look forward to increasing my skills in digital literacies and using my newly gained knowledge in all fields of studies and work.

Our Future Jobs are just a Click Away

We here it over and over again, our generation is ruled by technology.  Luckily, as technology advances, so do the opportunities they allow. Recently, companies have been developing with the goal of employing individuals who are proficient in online games and or tech savvy websites. For example, China has begun employing expert gamers to advance themselves in popular online video games and in turn sell their earnings to those who wish to advance in the game but do not have time.  World of Warcraft seems to be one of the most popular games in which people spend money to obtain higher status in.

1200
Chinese men and women play online games for up to 60 hours a week and are compensated for their work. – Image.

Jobs such as these are estimated to become more popular in Asian countries as well as African countries.  Africa is becoming more immersed in the age of technology and as they gain more access to computers as well as smart phones, these men and women will also have an opportunity to work these jobs.

QXtntSDo.png
The Internet allows many avenues for job opportunities.- Images.

Such jobs now have a name; mircowork.   People with specialized skills pertaining to the internet hold the possibility to find employment in this field.  It is becoming harder and harder to judge the downfalls of the “takeover” of the internet when it is providing jobs for people.  Also when looking at the future of jobs another obvious perk is the lessened risk of manual labor and injury.
 

Featured Image

The Networking Self

Social networking sites or as Papacharissi refers to them as “SNS,” are one of the fastest growing means of communication in the world.  Social media allows for people all over the world to socialize with old and new friends from the comfort of their home or wherever they might be with their smart phone.  The private spheres of sociality allow for connections

  • within families
  • across networks
  • among local areas
  • among remote areas
  • with acquaintances
  • and even with celebrities that we idolize

One of the largest parts of having successful social media sites comes from the representation of self.  The internet allows us to manipulate anything and everything and it is truly up to the use whether her or she wants to show who they really are or play a different role.  One must take into account audience, privacy, and the overall goals of your profile.

Social media allows us to talk about the things we like with others who care about these same things. Photo - embed.ly
Social media allows us to talk about the things we like with others who care about these same things. Photo – embed.ly

Papacharissi emphasizes that social media is not decreasing real social interaction but rather reforming it.  She explains that by implementing new social media mediums into our lives, we simply learn how to make time for these as well as the real interactions we have with people, ultimately balancing our social interactions (310).  Those more proficient in the realm of computers are more likely to be involved in SNS.  We must also take into account that Papacharissi wrote on her findings almost a decade ago and since then, social media has boomed even more.  Sites such as Twitter and Tumblr have become front runners in the technological world and more and more people seem to be joining social media sites every day.

Social media is a wildly debated topic among those who believe that these sites are taking away from the valuable social skills needed to make friendships in person.  Papacharissi shows evidence of a different kind of social interaction that social media allows that is in no way less important pertaining to human interaction.  Her main focuses on social media include:

Social interaction can be just as meaningful and genuine through social networking sites. Photo - mi621
Social interaction can be just as meaningful and genuine through social networking sites. Photo – mi621
  • connecting with those outside of local lines
  • creating a sense of self on social media
  • and employing the right tools in order to represent what you truly want to represent on each site

Featured image – ozbizdirect.com

Fashion Here and There

Enough about me. I thought it was time to explore what fashion means to others and how it is represented in other countries. So, I asked some  Furman students  just what fashion means to them and how it impacts their daily lives. But before I explore this, I want to focus your attention on fashion in a cultural construction and contrast it to how American college students view fashion.  Fashion changes depending on country, religion, and tradition, so join me as I dive in a little bit deeper in to how this happens around the world.

Asian Fashion

This BCBG ensemble from summer 2015 exemplifies the bright, floral trend continually seen in Asian fashion.
This BCBG ensemble exemplifies the bright, floral trend continually seen in Asian fashion. – Image.

I bet you didn’t know that the Asian cultures tend to stay away from black clothing. In Asia, death is taboo and to many people, black signifies death. Unlike in the Western hemisphere where wearing black head to toe is not only accepted but considered chic, most Asians prefer bright floral patterns.

                                       European Fashion

European fashion tends to be more crisp, classy, and upscale than that of Western fashion. Clothing is fitted as best as possible to compliment the slimmer parts of the body. Small, dainty patterns are preferred over large, bold ones that may draw attention. A simple way of tastefully drawing attention to an outfit can be seen by pairing contrasting colors together. European fashion is all about catering to your own body, rather than loosely following a trend that may not compliment every body type.

European fashion boasts crisp lines and contrasting colors.
European fashion boasts crisp lines and contrasting colors.  – Image.

American Fashion

American fashion trends change about as fast as you can blink your eyes. As new must have items hit the scene, lasts years must haves begin to seem irrelevant. A few styles have held true through the recent years such as loosely fitted dresses and shirts, bold patterns, and statement jewelry. The beautiful thing about American fashion comes from the many ways of expressing yourself by just adding a simple accessory. Everyone can do this in their own way depending on what audience or situation they will be in.

Here are a few perspectives about fashion and what it personally means to individuals on Furman’s campus.

Photos used in this video can be found on Google

Featured –  Image.

Protesting Fashion

As a self proclaimed shopaholic, it is often hard for me to understand why some people feel no connection to or enthusiasm about fashion. Sure, clothing provides materialistic pleasure that I personally enjoy but not all people feel the same way.  To those of you who cannot be convinced to love fashion; this post is for you.

Some people feel very strongly about their hate for trends, fads, and fashion.
Some people feel very strongly about their hate for trends, fads, and fashion. – image.

Why is it socially unacceptable to wear the same white tee shirt and jeans everyday? There is no law against outfit repeating but unless you want stares and talking behind your back from those you encounter on a daily basis, you probably should change your shirt every so often. I know, I know, this can be a hassle. Most who despise fashion do so due to their belief that they do not need to impress others with their clothing.  For those who feel this way, good for you. I envy your ability to shrug off what others think of you. But contrary to popular belief, fashion is not just about impressing others. It is much more about impressing yourself. According to the University of Pennsylvania, there is evidence that looking good makes you feel better about yourself.

The biggest complaint heard around the world comes from fashion’s influence on girl’s need to fit in.  Body image is a large part of finding one’s identity and many think that the influence of fashion is negative towards this.  Those against fashion argue that the fashion industry only caters to 5 foot 10 inch, skinny girls. While this may be what is represented in magazines, fashion has made great strides in recent decades to cater to women (and men) of all shapes and sizes. Popular clothing stores including Nordstrom, Target, and Asos have made efforts in offering extended clothing sizes, ensuring that women with every body type can wear what they want.

Wearing the same thing everyday may seem easy but what is it really saying about you?  Photo by Google images.
Wearing the same thing everyday may seem easy but what is it really saying about you?  – Image.

And this is where I argue for the side of fashion. I believe that there are pieces of clothing that can make anyone and everyone feel confident in themselves. Trust me, I know just as much as the next girl how hard it can be to find an outfit I truly feel good in. But I am here to say that there is hope. That if the main reason you hate fashion is due to the constant struggle of feeling and looking confident, I want you to know that although it may take some time and effort, this goal is very much achievable. I may not be able to talk you out of your hate for the amount of money, effort, and stress shopping may cause for you, but I will stand my ground on saying that if for nothing else, dress for yourself. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident, intelligent, and beautiful. I can’t tell you how to do so, only you know how to achieve this.

Header image – Mary Kate Mackin

So you Want to be Trendy

Fashion is everywhere.  It’s on us, in front of us, and around us.  With the overwhelming excess of clothing that we encounter everyday, it may leave you frazzled about what exactly is trending this fall.  Well, look no further because on this first day of fall 2015, I will break down what the latest trends are (according to my college eyes.)

As the leaves begin to change colors, so will the clothing trends. source.
As the leaves begin to change colors, so will the clothing trends. – image..

The Basics

As a college student I am drawn to items of clothing that are comfortable, cute, and versatile.  A few of the pieces I feel are a must have for this season include:

  • Oversized sweaters
    • You just can’t go wrong with a flowy sweater.  This fall, sweaters with graphics are becoming more and more popular.  Rather than following the traditional cable knit, why not try a brightly colored fringed sweater!
  • Ripped denim
    • I refused to conform to the hype of ripped denim for a long time, that is until I finally found a pair of ripped jeans that I became obsessed with.  I believed that ripped denim could only look good on girls with tiny legs, but take it from me, if I can rock them, so can you.  They’re fun, interesting, and look great dressed up with a blazer or down with a tee.
Must haves for this fall. Collage credit to Mary Kate Mackin
Must haves for this fall. Collage – Mary Kate Mackin
  • Swing dresses
    • Oh swing dresses, how I love you.  I am the biggest fan of clothing that does not cling to my body and ever since swing dresses made their way onto the scene a few seasons back, I fell in love.  Not only can these dresses be found at places ranging from Target to Nordstrom, they come in every color imaginable.  Whether you’re wearing this dress with a chunky necklace, comfy cardigan, or wedges, you absolutely cannot go wrong.

The best thing about fashion it that every few months a few pieces become staples for a whole season.  The next best thing is that you are in no way required or expected to follow these if you do not want to.  As a person who values keeping up with the latest trends I have immense respect for those who go against the grain and make their own styles.  It’s all about being comfortable in what you wear.  If you feel good about what you are wearing, chances are you will feel better about yourself.  I identify with the latest trends, but maybe you don’t and that’s equally as great.

Photos seen in this blog post:

Header – image|Snake skin – sneakers|Black swing dress|Black leather booties|Illesteva sunglasses|Graphic fringe sweater|Leather fringe cross body bag

Identifying Through Fashion

Think about your closet for a minute. Think about the dozens of shirts you have hanging on that plastic rod that you stare at every morning while deciding what you will walk out of the door wearing for the day.

  • Do these clothes mean anything to you?
  • Can you remember the last time you wore each specific piece of clothing?
  • Do you automatically gravitate towards that one top that makes you feel invincible every time you wear it?
An example of a disorganized closet. source.
An example of a disorganized closet. – Image.

Why it Matters

To me, clothes are more than just fabric that cover my body.  My clothes mean something to me.  I have a mental inventory of every piece of clothing I own and I’m constantly brainstorming ways in which to mix and match my pieces.  They allow me to show how i’m feeling, how I want to be perceived, and how I wish to share my presence.  To me, my clothes are my identity.

It is safe to say that I care about what I wear….okay maybe I care a little bit too much about what I wear.  Chances are that most people think I’m insane for caring so much about materialistic things, but it is not about having the most expensive or fashion forward clothes but instead about feeling good in what I’m wearing. For as long as I can remember I have found it important to dress as well as possible in a way that compliments and accents who I am as a body type and individual.  It is not a competition.

I have met very few individuals that care nearly as much about fashion as I do but their attitudes toward fashion fascinate me.    Fashion is the simplest way to portray who you are or even who you want to be.

Serving as an Outlet 

Fashion is an outlet that lets every individual be their own. Whether it’s by dressing casual, bold, or professional, there are no rules. Accept of course to actually wear clothes, that is definitely a rule.

Fashion allows individuals to dress how they want. source.
Fashion allows individuals to dress how they want. – Image.

I am hoping that I’m not the only person on Furman’s campus who feels a connection to the clothes that we wear. I love wearing a big tee shirt and running shots as much as the next college girl, but sometimes I like to show off my wardrobe. And rightfully so, I think everyone should be able to do the same. Ideally, through future interviews with Furman students, we will all gain knowledge into the specifics of how and why fashion is important (or not important) in people’s lives.

Header – image

Sound it Out

Everyone knows how essential photography and video is in the media world but we often forget about the importance of audio.  Sound in the Story explains the many ways to successfully incorporate audio into all forms of media, especially blog posts.  Some key tactics to producing interesting and audience captivating audio include showing passion, pursuit, and a natural approach.

Sound is an essential component to story telling. source.
Sound is an essential component to story telling. source.

Passion

If you’re uninterested in the topic you are reporting about, chances are that everyone else is uninterested as well.  The best audio pieces come from reporters that are enthused about their topic and are willing to do anything to get the perfect sound bite in order to convey the mood of the situation. Learning about the issue being discussed before an interview can make all the difference.  Taking careful notes and truly hearing out what the interviewee has to say can build your credibility.  People seem to believe the words they hear coming out of other’s mouths more than they do when reading their quotes on paper.

Pursuit

After researching and becoming interested in the topics being discussed by your interviewee, it is important to express any and all relevant questions to the topic.  It is always beneficial to begin an interview with a list of questions but it is perfectly acceptable to come up with and ask new questions as you see fit in the interview.  You may not always hit the jackpot when interviewing someone but asking questions about topics they love, will give you more realistic and honest information than sticking to what you wrote down.  Moral of the story, learn about the individual as well as the topic being discussed.

Make it Natural

As our generation becomes more and more used to learning as much information in the shortest amount of time we have begun to lose the importance of a naturalistic way of producing information.  Breaths are often just as crucial as the words being spoken themselves.  A simple pause can change the entire feel of  a story.  A simple second paused can make the difference between an impactful story and one that blends into to millions of others heard before.  A naturalistic approach makes a story more relatable, believable, and impactful to those listening.

Neil Armstrong’s famous quote has become one of the most recognizable soundbites in the world. 

Wrapping it up

Next time you want to incorporate audio into a blog post or any other type of media presentation, think about the helpful lessons expressed in sound in the Story.  Enthusiasm, personal information, and reality can take your sound bites from average to amazing.

Header image