I used to consider myself slightly old school for my generation in that up until recently, I never had any “new” technology that all my friends had, because I opted to be the cheap one. While quite a few of my friends pre-ordered the iPhone 5, I was happy with my little slide-out Samsung with my $25 basic plan. First semester I also printed out all of my online readings–being in Gender Studies and Sociology, there are a lot of them–as opposed to reading them on my computer because I was convinced that I needed a concrete piece of material in front of me and that highlighter scribbles were easier to internalize.
Too bad I tend to go all out in everything that I do, because 75% of all my readings are marked the hell up in fluorescent pink. So second semester, I switched gears. I found myself having less free time so I would begin to multi-task and get ready to go out while doing my readings. Turns out it’s easier than I thought to blow-dry my hair and read on my laptop. I also realized that I didn’t feel so much stress doing the reading because I was focused solely on absorbing the material as opposed to focusing partially on what I had to highlight. Who knew?
I used to like the idea of being able to physically interact and engage with the material and turn it into my own, and then I discovered the wonderful world of online literature, and it isn’t as daunting as I once made it out to be. Another change in the new year for me was the way in which I got my news. I never read too many newspapers but sometime last year I found myself so interested by some of the articles my friends would post on Facebook, and it was then that I decided to try out Twitter. Part of that was attempting to build more of an online presence in order to promote my personal blog and brand myself, but once I got into it I began to realize that certain tweets tended to be posted during specific times of the day. For instance, I would get up really early and see that a lot of the newspapers I followed were posting the top news of the morning, and there tended to be more interesting blog posts from my favorite websites during the span of the workday.
My roommate is in media studies and she knows her way around these social media platforms like the back of her hand. She kind of filled me in on possible reasons for this, such as these companies wanting to keep people interested and invested. A key part of this is entertaining people while they are at work. People want to wake up in the morning and have something interesting to read over breakfast, in bed waking up, or on their commute to work. They also want something to read during their work breaks and lunches, as well as their commutes home. But each of these different time frames requires different kind of content.
Same for the weekend. Popular, successful websites do take into account how much people will be reading and what, depending on their busy lives, and this is definitely evidenced from the kinds of posts people make on Twitter to represent their brands. Ever notice how more websites are tweeting about fun local events on a Saturday as opposed to more serious topics? I’m still in the midst of figuring Twitter out, but I definitely think it’s a good alternative to a traditional form of news, and one that is more interactive and appealing to younger generations.