Creative Assignment 3- Part 1

TECHNO-TRASH EVERYWHERE

TOWERS OF TOWERS

TOWERS OF TOWERS

What is a technological device? According to Merriam-Webster the word technological is an adjective defined as “resulting from improvements in technical processes that increase productivity of machines and eliminates manual operations or operations done by older machines” and the word device is a noun defined as, “an object, machine, or piece of equipment that has been made for some special purpose”.  I know that according to the study of this particular course it is referring to computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones, but what about the other technological devices that we use, acquire, change, update, dispose of and maybe consider the social and environmental impacts? Do they not warrant some discussion? Well, if I was considering the word count required for this post, I could waste a lot of space doing so. But if I really wanted to make a point about all of the “techno-devices” causing “techno-trash” and impacting our society and environment it would be a travesty not to mention them. “Microwave, icemaker, airconditioner, DVD, HDTV, alarm system, garborator, underground irrigation system, hair straightener, blow dryer, washer, dryer, gasfurnace, garage door opener, BBQ…POINT MADE! You’re welcome world!

                      MY iPhone 4

MY iPhone 4

Seriously, on a daily basis, I would say I use more techno-devices than I realize. My personal cell phone; (iPhone 4 on its last legs), my notebook, (which I call a laptop, because that is where it lives), a desktop computer at my home work station and at my place of employment work stations, a real sized laptop in the classroom that I teach in, an iPad in the dental clinic (mainly for Facebook, but my boss doesn’t know), wireless speaker on the deck(hey, it fits the definition), and of course our PVR box from our local cable company (it’s cheap because my husband works there, and we have 5 in our house). Let’s not forget the cheaply made and only works for 6 months cordless phones from Canadian Tire. Obviously some of these devices belong to my place of employment, but they are only used by me, and if they break down I am out of commission at work until Mr. Techno-guy calls me back. I can honestly say that I was coerced into getting these devices and still being honest, I was glad after I got them. My phone, laptop, desktop, wireless speaker and PVR boxes were all acquired through my husband because he believes in the importance of buying the newest technology. It keeps the people working and helps the economy. However, in my mind, I feel like we can’t keep up. As soon as you get a new device, there is a newer one on the horizon…PRESSURE! I try to use up everyone’s techno-trash when a birthday or Christmas presents with a new one. The latest notebook I own brand new because my used techno-trash (3 old laptops) went KAPUT! Shoppers Drug Mart had a notebook on sale (CHEAP) so I bought it.

I don’t like change. I don’t like to change my furniture around and I don’t like to change my devices.  I like familiarity. I get comfortable and the older I get the more I become a creature of habit. I can use my devices with my eyes closed and very little brain power, so when I am forced to get a new device it is only because my husband can no longer fix it or simply is tired of trying (honey, it’s old, give it up).

I really do want to get rid of the techno-trash in my spare room. It is a tower of towers! A lapful of laptops! I’m not even sure anymore if it is a pile of computer mice or real mice. As much as my husband loves to upgrade, he also loves to keep everything. He might be able to use it for something else. I think if I dig deep enough in the furnace room I would probably find our desktop from 1992!  I know I have a kitchen drawer full of Blackberry’s and iPhones. I actually still have my first cell phone in my desk drawer in the spare room.  Come to think of it, I don’t think we have disposed of anything, and if we have, I don’t even know how or where. Maybe the dump; I do see that happen every spring, but I try to stay out of the way.

KITCHEN E-WASTE

KITCHEN E-WASTE

Before this post, I hadn’t reflected on the social and environmental impact of these devices. Socially, I do feel more connected to my family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. I can Tweet and “go on FB” whenever or wherever I want. I will be the first to admit that I enjoy keeping in touch or reading, liking and tweeting with people. As for the environmental impact, I am disappointed with myself not to take notice of the pile of techno-trash that has accumulated and how I am going to dispose of it. I think I have seen signs from companies to call to pick up old computers and the like. But can I trust that it still won’t end up in a third world countries green space? Hmm…I’m past my word count…to be continued.

Blog 5 – Response

Be Techno-Savvy with your Techno-Trash

Overwhelmed. (2011). Techno-trash [Cartoon]. Retrieved from http://www.underwhelmedcomic.com/2011/11/18/techno-trash/

Overwhelmed. (2011). Techno-trash [Cartoon]. Retrieved from http://www.underwhelmedcomic.com/2011/11/18/techno-trash/

As of today, I refuse to upgrade my old iphone 4. I disagree; my personal technological use is not political or is it? Unfortunately and embarrassing to admit sometimes I have acted in harmony with the interests of status rather than a matter of principles. Let me explain. First of all I didn’t want a cell phone to begin with. That was 4 years ago and it was a matter of principle. Everyone had one and I didn’t want to succumb to the pressures of a material society. It wasn’t a necessity. I was determined to could get along in the world without it. I have a computer closet in our spare room and it was taking on a life of its own. However as my children acquired their own cell phones they refused to use a land line to check in as they had been trained since the days of leaving the house on their own. So, lo and behold my girls bought me a cell phone for Christmas. “Mom, the only way we will stay connected is by text. We aren’t going to call or use a landline. That’s what the cells are for. You’re old school, so give up and just use a cell.” I was forced to give in to the humans that possessed more of my spirit than I cared to admit. “Fine”, I grumbled. Exactly one year later, my husband comes home with 2 new iphone 4’s. UGH!! “I don’t want a new cell, I just got used to this one!” “C’mon honey, get with the times, that cell phone is outdated not to mention you don’t have data.” “What? I’ve only had it for a year and what the heck is data?” Then he said we have a new contract that allows us to upgrade our cells every two years for free. (Hmmm, free, not sure about that.) This time I didn’t even have a choice as he already changed everything over and my year old cell phone wasn’t going to work anymore. This was 2011. From 2011 to 2013, I witnessed the loosing, cracking, dropping in toilets, not to mention the onslaught of upgrades to keep up with the newest releases. I have a landfill of techno-trash in my own kitchen drawer. Certainly, not as large as the illegal secret dumping in third world countries, but for a kitchen drawer, close enough. However the biggest tragedy with the phones was the thefts. As soon as someone in the house got the newest release, within a week it was stolen. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it. I even encountered a theft of my husbands iphone 4S and then the thief wanted to sell it back to us!!! It was then that I declared to everyone in the house, “I am not upgrading my crappy iphone 4 until it breaks down. I don’t care what kind of deal they give me. No one wants to steal an old iphone. I am not upgrading my personal technology to keep up with the latest just to turn around and have it stolen. I refuse to worry about and hide my iphone every time I use it in public. Take that family!”
Watching the documentary on Planned Obsolescence solidified the comments I made to my family. When my iphone 4 breaks down, I am not upgrading to the latest release, I am getting an older or used cell. I will not succumb to the material society and let them dictate my personal technological use. I will not let cell phone companies force me to contribute to the billions of techno-trash being dumped in someone’s precious land, river and backyard. In my own small way, I want take back some control and make my own decisions that are based on principles and are not politically motivated by the Planned Obsolescence.

The “light bulb conspiracy” is not the plotting of an idea against a person, although that’s what it sounds like. It was a group of people trying to preserve their interests by purposely forcing the consumer to renew a product with a planned date of expire. Decided by an international Cartel called Phoebus, the idea was to develop a bulb with a shortened life span in order to remain profitable. If the light bulb needed to be replaced more often, it would sustain the company by increasing the demand, thereby increasing the profit. Not so different today with many of the items that are purchased for digital use. Many of the products we buy for digital use cannot be repaired thus making the consumer a slave to the producers of these products. In the documentary about the “light bulb conspiracy” we follow a young man on his quest to find a fix for his printer. As he takes the time to search for an answer, we see his persistence to make this printer work by not giving into the Planned Obsolescence of the printer. He finally discovers a program that resets the counter on the printer and it works perfectly. This is the type of thing that companies don’t want us to do. Companies rely on the fact that consumers are busy and not tech-savvy enough to repair a product thus sending them out to buy the same or better product. Companies know that we live in a disposable society and are delighted with the fact that we can buy bigger and better. As consumers we need to stay informed about our digital usage before our planet is one huge techno-trash site.

Marketoonist. (2012). Planned Obsolescence [Cartoon]. Retrieved from http://tomfishburne.com/2012/04/planned-obsolescence.html

Marketoonist. (2012). Planned Obsolescence [Cartoon].
Retrieved from http://tomfishburne.com/2012/04/planned-obsolescence.html

Creative Assignment 2 – Meme Part 2

My Meme: A dedication to all that have suffered the wrath of APA formatting

I loved the opportunity to create a meme. I always wanted to do one but didn’t realize I could. First of all, let me just say I love Chuck Norris. I remember watching many of his movies and TV series thinking he was like a soft spoken super hero and his secret power was to protect the world. However, I wouldn’t want to P*&@ him off.  So he was a perfect pick for my meme.  As an instructor of dental hygiene the last thing our new students ever expected was to use APA. They hate it. “We are here to learn dental hygiene, not to write and format papers!” Oh you silly little naïve dental hygiene newbies. Don’t you know that you have to submit a yearly portfolio to the College of Dental Hygienist of Ontario in APA format?  Want to see a class of students that looked like the world just ended? That’s right students! For your next 22 months all assignments and presentations must be in APA format.

It is an ongoing complaint amongst the students. If there was anything that the students had free reign to change it would be APA formatting. In dental hygiene, APA formatting takes on a life of its own. So to use Chuck Norris and the sarcasm of APA to create a meme parallels the feeling of the students perfectly.

I would think most student feel this way, or at least the young, new or unfamiliar users of APA formatting.  I know that I have to use it, as well as an evaluator of it, so to me it comes natural. So this meme would not only be relevant and understandable to dental hygiene students, but to all students and educators, especially at the post secondary level. I remember even witnessing a classmate in my adult education class ask the instructor how much APA formatting was worth if opted not to format his paper that way. It didn’t matter what it was worth, that instructor had a look of kill on his face. It is as though APA formatting is the GOD of all formatting. So as for specialized knowledge in understanding this meme, for sure most students especially those in post secondary would get the sarcasm of this meme.

The fact that the meme has Chuck Norris standing there with guns in search of the person that forgot the period in APA formatting proves how powerful the text is. Imagine people understanding that missing a period in a reference, in text citation, title page, or author’s name is so important in a paper that if it is missed, the APA police will find them. It is illegal in the educational environment. “How dare you forget a period after the authors name in a reference?” Ludicrous? Yes, but that is what makes the text in the meme relevant.

The creation of this meme was thought of before searching the options. I knew I wanted to focus on something that mocked my position as an educator, easy to do. I had the idea of APA formatting immediately.  It is a daily bone of contention in my class.  I am constantly reviewing and explaining to students how to find the correct APA formatting. (STUDENTS, GOOGLE IT!! Not said out loud.) It is a perfect connection for any student that despises formatting of any kind. I think educators that have to mark anything using APA formatting would also appreciate this sarcastic take on the strictness of formatting.

Using the meme generator, I searched for pictures of Chuck Norris. I was familiar with the cult of Chuck Norris fans and knew there had to be pictures of him on Meme Generator. Success!! The APA idea was already on my radar.  I tried out a couple of comments and words and tested them out on the staff. I wanted it to be powerful with minimal words. I didn’t really appreciate the memes with too many words. I felt they didn’t get the point across efficiently and they lost their influence and meaning.  One of the things I always say about everything has something to do with calling the police. Not funny to all, but funny to some. So I thought it was appropriate to use this idea, which would make this memes deeper meaning exclusive while keeping it understandable to the wider audience. After its final generation and a vote from the staff, I right clicked, saved as picture and viola, my first personal meme!!

 

Creative Assignment 2- Meme Part 1

To All Dental Hygienists,

This meme was sent to me last year from a former dental hygiene student. I couldn’t stop laughing. I shared it with all of the dental hygiene instructors.  Then I responded to the former student, “How true is this? Were we really that crazy?”  YES!! This meme expresses the ridiculousness of the rules in a dental hygiene school clinic.  I hear it from my family all of the time. They work in the hospitals and can’t believe how obsessed we are with infection control and professionalism. This meme says it all. It made me reflect on how strict we are in the dental clinic and I realized this meme represents our obsession with excellence; an excellence that is unrealistic. We are so consumed with making sure our hair is tied back tight, our socks are covering our skin, our uniform is pressed, we have manicured nails without the polish, we only wear completely white shoes, we only don beige scrubs, and then the white lab coat has a manual of rules on its own. Dental hygiene instructors couldn’t wait to catch someone with ankle socks on.  And when it did happen, we thought the world was going to end or we might have to call in the HAZMAT team to disinfect the dental hygiene student and the clinic.  The feeling was the same when I was in dental hygiene school 35 years ago. I remember not being allowed in clinic one day because my nails were too short. What was with the dental hygiene staff that forced them to go above and beyond reality? Now it’s me. As funny as this meme was, I was feeling bad that students became so stressed about the decorum in the clinic that they had to take anxiety medication. As the meme states, wearing ankle socks was such a no-no that is was considered a CODE RED!  Yikes!! The mere fact that the meme says EVACUATE says how outrageous we are when it comes to something as insignificant as ankle socks. NO DENTAL HYGIENIST EVER DIED FROM WEARING ANKLE SOCKS!! This meme actually made me feel sorry for our students, and myself. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks as to why we are this way.

Number 1. We are a female dominant profession. Most dentists are males. We were forced to work for them and try to demand the respect that our profession deserved.

Number 2. What’s a dental hygienist? Many people call us the cleaning lady. UGH!!

Number 3. We pay a huge tuition. Today the average dental hygiene student pays 40,000 dollars for a three year post-secondary diploma program.

Number 4. We are registered. We have to pay a registration fee of 250 dollars every year along with association fees that cost an extra 300 dollars. Not to mention the liability insurance in case someone wants to sue us or charge us with sexual assault.

Number 5. We are female. OH, I mentioned that already. However, it is a huge barrier to the healthcare profession and we never receive the respect we deserve considering the amount of discipline and education we go through to become and remain dental hygienists.

Hence the HAZMAT and CODE RED rhetoric in the meme! We are making fun of ourselves. We as dental hygienists or dental hygiene students would be the only people to understand or make sense of this meme.  It wouldn’t be funny and/or thought provoking to anyone else. For me, this meme is the epitome of the dental hygiene persona. CRAZY!!

Sincerely,

Crazy Dental Hygienist.

Creative Assignment 1 – Storify

 My Journey on the Information Highway!

Image

Computertime. (2009). Superhighway [Online picture]. Retrieved from http://computertime.wonecks.net/files/2009/11/superhighway-300×251.jpg

I know the exact date I went online for the first time; January 25th, 1992. Well I didn’t remember on my own, my husband works for the ISP we hooked up with just over 22 years ago. I do remember it took me weeks to understand what to do with the World Wide Web. I only played with email. Then my sister decided to get the Web because I told her how much we could communicate via email without having to pay long distance. But now we were paying for the Information Highway.  Then I discovered Yahoo! Games. Between chatting on email with my sister and playing Yahoo games with others around the world, I was the ultimate user of Internet, so I thought. With the introduction of the young minds of my daughters and the technical smarts of my husband I was introduced to MSN chat. It was the be all and end all of the Web for me. Now I could talk live with my sister and still not pay for long distance! (Hey, my husband worked for the ISP, we got a great discount.) However, this also became a time of computer wars in the Hamilton house. With three daughters close in age and all of them having many friends that also did not go outside to play, there was now a battle around the desktop in the far corner of the rec room.

Computer History Museum. (2006 ). Netscape [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/?year=1994

Computer History Museum. (2006 ). Netscape [Online photo]. Retrieved from http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/?year=1994

I grew up with the Internet. From the introduction of Web 1.0 tools to now with the predications of Web 3.0 tools, my participation has become a staple in my daily life. At work, I use it for research, teacher e-resources, dental hygiene educator’s forum, and student interaction. Email at work is a form of communication as we are a small staff and are not at the institution on the same days. We used to use the work email for casual chat and work issues, but with texting, the email is strictly used for work. At home, my usage is nonstop. I pay bills, do banking, go shopping, continue my education, fulfill professional portfolio requirements, look up recipes, watch movies, look for phone numbers, participate socially, read blogs, curate, aggregate, tweet, like, and download anything and everything. I no longer worry about the schedule to use that ancient desktop that used to inhabit the corner of the basement rec room.

Wow Debbie and WWW., you’ve come a long way baby!!

to be cont’d… Hamilton, D. (2014)

My Journey on Storify

Blog 4 – Response

What Do Ya’ Meme?

Huff Post. (2014, May 26). The Indifferent Baby [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/13/justin-trudeau-indifferent-baby-photo_n_4619434.html

Huff Post. (2014, May 26). The Indifferent Baby [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/13/justin-trudeau-indifferent-baby-photo_n_4619434.html

I’ve seen them, used them, tweeted them and liked them on Facebook.  Who knew they were called memes?  So I thought, let me ask my three 20-something year old girls.  “Hey, have you girls ever heard of the word meme?” They all replied sarcastically, “No mom, we don’t teach dental hygiene!” (I’m a dental hygiene instructor).  “YES! I know something you girls don’t.  A meme is an offspring just like you girls. You girls originated from part of me and part of dad to become a person that has selectively mutated into something similar but different.  You could be seen as polite or rude, good or bad, correct or incorrect.  And then, if you catch on, become popular, every man will want to marry you to create your own little memes.”  By this time I have lost them and I am standing there alone. (Hmmm, a perfect opportunity for a selfie to create a meme).

Quick Meme. (n.d.) Selfie, [photo].  Retrieved from http://www.quickmeme.com/zombie-selfie

Quick Meme. (n.d.) Selfie, [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.quickmeme.com/zombie-selfie

Seriously, how can we not talk about memes without a wee bit of humour?  However, the comments by Sarah Kendzior are anything but funny. When I got to this reading, which was last, I was surprised to see a serious discussion of memes.  Personally, there have been many times I have come across a meme and thought, oh no, this is wrong. Don’t people have better things to do with their time? Sarah Kendzior reminds us of that, if not within her commentary, but by the title alone,  “The power of the meme. Although memes are a useful way to parody politics, they often lose track of what’s at stake”  Firstly, I have to agree with Kendzior; she’s a woman and we stick together. She has a PhD; she must know what she’s talking about.  She has a thought provoking blog; it’s a must read.  And obviously, she makes some extremely valid points.  She describes the population of St Louis as they are waiting to use the Internet at the local library as, “…the 23 per cent of Missourians who lack regular Internet access, who live outside the meme”.  They don’t have this access to read, create, retweet, or like a meme never mind even knowing what it is.  It isn’t the average everyday John Q. Public inventing or using memes. She goes on to comment that to understand memes people need, at the least, Internet access; technological ability; political understanding and/or the wherewithal and time to understand it; better yet, the desire to even care.  “…memes can be self-defeating” . Sarah references reporter Ari Melber of the Nation, discussing the Meme election. In this article, Melber reports, “While candidates have always worried about gaffes, this year’s nominees must navigate the first Meme Election” (Melber).  Memes are created by reporters, those that are constantly active and participate on social media.  They have been able to create ideas and images that detract from the seriousness of politics, making the issues at hand second to the blunders made by those that are working for a nation. She also recognizes that even though the reporters that create these memes maybe be better than those lining up at the library to use the Internet, the former still must compete with political and economic inability. Reporters portray this false sense of close political involvement by way of memes. “Desperate for relevance, reporters scoop up memes, so much cheaper (in every way) than facts” (Kendzior, 2012, October 12). Kendzior makes you feel sorry for these reporters who are trying to survive by making fun of politician’s misfortunes and then trying to fool the public in to believing they are “relevant” and “mainstream”.

Times Higher Education. (2012, February 26). Inside Higher Ed: Attack of the Memes [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/inside-higher-ed-attack-of-the-memes/419079.article

Times Higher Education. (2012, February 26). Inside Higher Ed: Attack of the Memes [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/inside-higher-ed-attack-of-the-memes/419079.article

However, is it the power of the meme or the power of the media that makes us forget the real issues? Sarah argues that the power of the meme makes the public forget the real issues at hand. Here I disagree. It’s the media; don’t they make the memes?  She alludes to the fact that reporters are the people that are disillusioned into thinking that they are important in the political arena by the way of creating memes.

Memes have a way of making innocent pictures guilty of racism. They make the sweet expression of a child appear evil. Whether cute or vulgar, memes are mutated to gather attention at the same time providing anonymity for those creating them. Should we care? Absolutely! Would you say or share it with a friend or stranger offline? No? Then you should care when posting, liking, tweeting or creating memes online.

University+Memes_+fuck+em+OC_a63153_3299835

Times Higher Education. (2012, February 26). Attach of the Memes [photo]. Retrieved from http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/inside-higher-ed-attack-of-the-memes/419079.article

 

Status

Blog 3 – Response

From Consumers to Producers.

When I first signed up for Linkedin, I thought; “What a great social platform to meet potential employers, similar professionals and future participants.” I teach dental hygiene at a private college, and I am always looking for free ways to promote our services; especially in the area of continuing education. It is a very competitive industry. The Internet has been very good to me and Linkedin was just another way to be a “produser”.  I was in awe of the amount of people using Linkedin!  I thought, “I’ve been left behind!”. Look what I have been missing. Everyone in the dental world is here! What was so important and what was I missing? As I began to pose questions and send out information about our continuing education program, my status level climbed. I became a top contributor. Wow! I thought what I was saying was so important that it deserved top billing. Little did I know that it was only because I was participating many times a day, and when I finally became exhausted and ran out of new things to contribute, my top billing declined quickly!! Silly me. This platform predetermined how I participated. In order to stay on top, I needed to log in frequently, and work for Linkedin for free. It was a full-time job with no pay. I was contributing as a “produser”, choosing to advertise for myself about myself, but it was already predetermined by Linkedin that I was secretly working for them. The more I thought I was becoming popular, or as they put it “top contributor” the more Linkedin tried to connect me with the dental world. I was overworked; my email was overflowing; I couldn’t keep up. Was it really as many dental people as I thought or was Linkedin purposely inundating me to believe the whole world was using this platform? It was exactly as Bird (2011) had discussed when describing the fans of the TV series: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Not every fan is online discussing the series. I agree with her position,  “In our embrace of the produser, we should not lose sight of the more mundane, internalized, even passive articulation with media that characterizes a great deal of media consumption and I believe it will continue to do so” (p. 504). I agree with her assessment;  although Web 2.0 tools allow us to become “produsers” instead of inactive participants, and can become addicted very quickly, it may make us forget the importance of non-web-based tools and loose sight of the power of the media industries. That is what happened when I became obsessed with Linkedin. Exactly what the power of this media platform was trying to accomplish. I became The Audience of the Media!!

In saying all that, here is my message to you: The People Formerly Known as the Audience…from The People Still Known as the Media…

We The Media want to thank you The People Formerly Known as The Audience, and show our appreciation of your new found freedom to become active participants in this new medium.  We The Media, give you, The People Formerly Known as The Audience, so much opportunity for free speech that your opinions are like a  pebble of sand on a beach of others thoughts and ideas, and again, we The Media, thank you.  You, The People Formerly Known as The Audience, are becoming effortlessly unrecognizable with your online user names and avatars; and we The Media, especially thank you.  You, The People Formerly Known as The Audience, have been offered such a wide expanse of space on this new medium, that it has made your ideas, thoughts and relationships significant only to those participating in your small chat rooms or online communities; again, we thank  you. With this new medium, you, The People Formerly Known as The Audience are becoming further divided instead of coming together for a common ground, and we The Media, thank you.  As you, the People Formerly Known as The Audience, sit solely in your lonely workspace, we The Media are coming up with new ways for you to become our slaves without you knowing it, and we thank you.  Not only do you, The People Formerly Known as The Audience, have the convenience of participating with speed in all social platforms, but you The People Formerly Known as The Audience, will continually support us, The Media, with every login, sign on or registration. So in closing, we The Media want to say a special thank you by asking you to join us in becoming The People Formerly Known as The Audience: Made Possible by The Media.