Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIGITAL LIFE

I've been reading several books on virtual and network society. As you all know, I'm applying for a PhD. However, as of writing, I guess, I'm gonna detour my plan of getting a doctorate in media and communication. Guess what, lumabas na ang resulta ng aking panayam kahapon at ako nga'y tanggap na. I won't disclose the information yet but I tell it's gonna be good. But as of the moment, since wala pa ang black and white ng alok, nakabitin ang mga bagay kahit paulit ulit ang employer na kukunin ako.

Going back to my research, as I was so glued in topics on virtual and network society, I get to reflect on how social media have changed our lives; from the moment we wake up, go to school or work, and up to hours before bedtime, everything seems to be dependent on web-based and communication technologies such as mobile phones, laptops, iPad, and many more.

In this entry, let me share to you some thoughts on the differences of our lives through digitalization. Happy reading.

I'm a kid of the 80s. During that time, the only fascinating technology that kept my parents connected with others was a telephone. Television, radio and the newspaper were the source of information and entertainment then. 

Growing up, we had never had a slew of digital technologies compared today that we can manipulate, carry and play around with. 

In the early 80s, apart from the family computer, the streets were our outlet in expressing our playful and creative selves. During those times, we ran from one street to another lot. We had games like agawan base, patintero, tumbang preso, mataya-taya, langit-lupa, monkey-anabelle, and many more. And with our creativity on the loose, we were engrossed in making bubbles through a flower called gumamela. We didn't have Farmville, Fishville, Temple Run or even Angry Birds. We created our own games and rules.

Eventually as seasons shifted and years passed by, growth surfaced in the mushrooming of residential areas, buildings, malls, and yes, the proliferation of digital or communication technologies.

It was in 1990 when our family had our first residential phone installed. After years of PLDT's monopoly, a competitor walked in the picture, it's Bayantel. How can I forget the ecstatic feeling when I first lifted the phone and called my friend. I uttered, sa wakas makakatawag na rin ako sa mga kaklase ko nang hindi nagbabayad ng tatlong piso sa tindahan.
In accomplishing school work, we had a typewriter. Long before the birth of computers, convenience on typing, editing, copying and even printing was out of reach. With a typewriter, I had the liquid paper to save me from typo errors. And it took me hours to just finish a paper as I have to sometimes retype again because of too many white marks and the depleted ink of the ribbon. What's more interesting, if a paper requires design, I had to get an art paper, cut it and glue on the paper; the cutting goes after the tic-tac sound of the vintage machine, the typewriter. Positively, it was during those time that I had to be resourceful on my school projects. 

I was already in third year highschool when our family had some extra money to purchase a computer. Although our school had started teaching computer classes in highschool, it was only in my third year that I had the chance to practically work on computer exercises and drills at home. With the new technology in the house, working on a paper became convenient. I was a feature editor and writer in our school paper then and a computer helped me to accomplish all my writing and editing on time.

To send files, it was through snail mail or I had to bring the copy to the contact person. Emailing was not popularized then. I had transactions via face-to-face.

If there's the computer, we also had the printer. The computer and the printer worked like fairy god mothers in our house. With my fingers playing around on the computer key board, I came up with designs free from tedious cutting of coloured papers or drawings. The computer had existing artworks which I used in some of my projects; plus I was able to choose quirky fonts and layout. And with a coloured printer, my school projects shone with a promising style. 
Pager came in on my third year of highschool; it's on 1998. One of my batchmates brought one in school and everyone went gaga over it. It's a status symbol of being cool. And yes, of showing to the world a purchasing power of one's family or self. However, when mobile phones started to rise, pagers were toppled down.

I had my first mobile phone in college; it's Bosch, a color blue sleek mobile phone with a very small plastic covered antenna. Soon, I had a Nokia 3210. With the coming of the mobile phone, although I still use a landline to reach my friends whenever I'm home as it's cheaper, simple messages were coursed through texting or SMS-ing. Since I was a student, a mobile phone become handy in disseminating information to my friends and my family.

Despite the advent of mobile phones, the Internet and computers were not that stellar yet. In my time, the Internet was used for e-mailing and research. Actually, since we only had one computer at home which was being used by my IT major sibling, I had no choice but to opt for a computer shop and finish some research work.

When I graduated in college, mobile phones were already designed with built-in cameras. With this, as a graduation gift, I bought a mobile phone with a built in camera. From there, I captured moments via my mobile phone. I had to print some copies as a souvenir. 


Speaking of capturing moments, thank to digital cameras, I had more options in posing, selecting and editing photos. With the introduction of Friendster, digital photos were started to occupy the online world. I had my share of vanity and most of pictures with friends and families went online. Of course, testimonial posting in Friendster became a hit. It was through this that networking, I suppose, has started to redefine our daily lives and the way we communicate with ourselves, others and a wider community.

It was only the time I started to work when Internet-enabled phones spread like wildfire among users. Then there's cheap offers of mobile phone top-ups and lines. 

Fastforward.

Now that I'm already working and away from my family, I've amazed how the convergence of communication technologies had led to the transformation of our daily lives especially as far as communication is concerned. This is even more influenced and altered with the incorporation of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and many more.

Now, here's a chart of the development of digital technologies that I think deserve some comparison. You may add some information if you want to.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
BEFORE
AFTER
Telephone
* Used for calling/ faxing
* Used for Internet 
* Still used for calling/Faxing.
* Voice-enabled.
Mobile Phone
  • Used for SMS/ Text Messaging.
  • Used for calling.
  • Games are limited.
  • Primarily with a compact keypad.
  • No 3G/Wi-Fi Capacity.
  • Used for SMS/ Text Messaging.
  • Used for photography and video.
  • Powered with Internet and Social Media platforms.
  • Has computer-like features which range from downloading and uploading files.
  • Used for e-mailing and for business correspondence.
  • Touch-based with some QWERTY key pad.
Camera
  • Handy yet not that stylish.
  • Powered with film print.
  • Enables the user with limited shot as per film print.
  • Pictures are put into a computer for printing.
  • Print copies are placed in picture frames, album, which is home based.
  • Low Resolution
  • Handy, colourful and has several variants in size and design.
  • Powered with high memory.
  • Allows users to shoot thousands of raw photos for editing and printing.
  • High Resolution images.
  • Face/Smile Detection enabled.
  • With Automatic and Manual Lighting adjustments.
  • Shots are not necessarily printed. Some are shared via online (upload), while some are shared through digital photo frames.
  • Cameras are video-enabled as well.

Tablet
  • Not yet existing.


  • Handy, light and stylish.
  • Internet-enabled.
  • Powered with Digital memory.
  • Used for photos/video.
  • Has computer-like software and capacity.
  • With Touch Pad.
  • With Computer-like software and features.
Computer

  • Big and bulky screen paired with a computer keyboard.
  • Used floppy disk.
  • Limited storage/memory.
  • Sleek and stylish.
  • Computer keyboard is more edgy.
  • Disk-enabled.
  • USB Compatible.
  • Bigger memory storage.
  • Plays music/ videos.
  • Compatible with other digital technologies as projectors, ect.
Laptop
  • Handy but bulky
  • Simple design which is black.
  • Small storage/ memory.
  • Internet-enabled.
  • Light and stylish
  • Portable.
  • Compatible to any digital technology.
  • Bigger Memory
  • With CD Player for Music/Video.
  • Internet-enabled
  • 3G/Wi-Fi
Music Player
  • Uses bulky speakers and players.
  • Compatible on Vinyl Record/Cassette tape
  • With Side A/Side B on Cassette Tape
  • Limited Running Time for Music as relative to storage.
  • CD/Audio File
  • Music is Downloaded/ Uploaded via Online Media
  • Music is purchased via music stores and online stores.
  • Songs are compressed in portable players such as iPods.
  • Bigger Storage through iPods.
 Video Player
  • Betamax/VHS Enable
  • Bulky/Limited Colour and Design
  • Limited with Videos on Betamax/VHS
  • CD/ USB Compatible
  • Handy Gadgets on Movie Player via iPods, iPad, Movie Player, etc.
  • More storage for movies as files.
  • Plays Downloaded/Uploaded Videos.
 
I will also be posting my insight on the convergence of technologies and how it impacts our identity and the way we communicate with others and the world. Moreover, I will be sharing my insights on the impact of social media in our daily lives.

Image is from http://careylili.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/

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