Media in the digital society

Movie

HER

We watched the movie Her in class. The movie follows Theodore Twombly, a man who develops a relationship with Samantha, an intelligent computer operating system personified through a female voice. This movie really made me think of the future of the technology and it was really overwhelming to watch.

I think he scary thing is that the movie is made very realistic. No one can know if these developments will eventually lead to a technological Singularity. But what Her offers, at the very edges of its plot, is a very real warning about technology: We are reaching a point in human history where we must consider the real implications of artificial intelligence on our lives.

Short Story

Innocent actions

Once upon a time a girl was on a holiday in Austria. She was with her family and they went for a walk on a mountain they already knew well. At the first stop, the girl didn’t want to go further to the top because she already has seen the view so many times. She decided to stay at the first stop to read a book next to the lake. Her family went further. After an hour the girl was getting bored and she decided to take a walk. When her family returned from the top of the mountain to the first stop, they couldn’t find the girl. They decided to go back to the hotel and search from there. They already called several places to check if they had seen the girl and they were looking everywhere they could. Meanwhile the girl was peacefully making her way back to the hotel…

Writing a story with maximum 100 words is a real challenge. I really liked doing this and it made me really think about putting the most essential parts of a story on top.

THE ESSAY

How can MEANING contribute to behavioural change in the persuasive design of (digital) media?

Before writing our essay about the behavioural change in the persuasive design of media, I had to choose one of the six aptitudes of pink. I chose the aptitude ‘meaning’ because this one seemed like the most challenging one of them. Also because I found this one very interesting and I knew for sure I would really like reading articles and research about this specific aptitude.

See essay

Group lecture

After the essay we wrote about one of Daniel Pink’s aptitudes, we got the assignment to create a lecture for our class that would explain the aptitude ‘meaning’. Based on the chosen aptitude we formed our group.  Demi, Tijn, Jana and I had chosen for the same aptitude.

The meaning of anything is based on your values, norms and opinions. It is a very personal thing. We wanted to focus on drawing out this personal perspective during the workshop. Firstly, we briefly introduced the aptitude. Next, we wanted to focus on the different sides of meaning by giving some examples and later involving the class. We wanted to make the presentation interactive in order to make it entertaining and memorable. We got positive feedback on making the presentation interactive. We decided we wanted to show two sides of a statement regarding media, to see how the class reacted. To start out we showed an example based on the essay Tijn and I wrote.

Tijn and I both started out from the opinion of Yuval Harari but went two different routes. My essay focused on technology replacing traditional religion, where Tijn focussed on social media icons and brands. We put in a visualisation of my perspective because it was very recognisable and easy to understand.

For our expert interview, we decide to get the complete opposite perspective of technology. Jana got in contact with a pastor she knew and we formed questions to send him. The questions focus on the role that meaning plays in religion and the usage of media for the church. The pastor provided extensive answers that give us a clear insight. The main takeaway was that, from a religious view, meaning cannot be assigned to things by humans, because meaning is assigned by God.

We combine all this information into our presentation. After including the introduction and the interview, we created statements that would hopefully separate the class. The first statements focus on personal meaning, but the last part highlighted the group assignment. It was great to see some division in the groups and focus on the different opinions. I was in charge of the statements during the presentations and really tried to get a different opinion out of people. Our main goal was to get the class to consciously think about how they can add meaning to their product and I think we succeeded.

See presentation
LEARNING GOALS

The student can reason about the meaning of media in the digital society and apply these insights to a relevant design project

Because of this subject I really gave myself the time to think of the digital society. In order to create a vision about this, I looked at different things. Media contains all possible creative outlets: paper, photo, video, music and a lot more. The digital society is a way broader definition. Daniel Pink’s aptitudes helped me clearly define the different ways that you can add value to your media. It gives some structure to it. This subject really made me think in another way about media in general and has shown me other ways to create a more valuable product that holds up in the constantly changing digital society.