As I reflect on this course starting from the first day where we wrote a list of digital media and how much of it we use in our day to day lives, I definitely feel like I can see how digital media evolved. While I thought this class was going to discuss digital media and society as we use it currently, I did appreciate the historical dynamic that the class gave. As I previously mentioned, I was not raised in the U.S. so for me there are many histories that I am unaware of. I enjoyed learning about the counterculture and how that movement became responsible for the growth in technology. I also enjoyed reading about the various players who fought to make the internet a platform to be used by all. For me, Astra Taylor’s book was the simplest and most straightforward to read. I encountered a lot of difficulty with the book by Trebor Scholz, but I must say that the chapter on “Free Labor” was the most interesting for me. The most difficult reading I encountered was the one I presented on;”Digititality and the Media of Dispossession.” I’m honestly still not completely sure of the point the writer was trying to make.
Fred Turner’s book definitely shed the most light on the counterculture’s contribution to cyber culture, however there were some chapters that were difficult to get through due to its long winded, philosophical language. The most disappointing part of the class was learning that the rise of digital media was really a means of fighting against bureaucracy and realizing that these counter-culturalists basically followed in the same footsteps of the bureaucracies they were fighting against. I did enjoy learning that there were online communities (the WELL) that existed so long ago, because I honestly believed that AOL, MSN, MySpace and Facebook was where online communities first began to flourish.
If I were asked again how digital media structures our daily lives, I would say that where we are today is really the result of a seed that was planted decades ago, the result of people wanting to create a collective consciousness. I would say that I believe through my observations of our current society and after reading the history of how it all began, that human beings are more alike than we think, and we all desire to connect in ways that digital media has been able to facilitate.