Writing About the Future

Conclusion: From Oregon Trail to Email

March 2, 2010
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As this class draws to a close, I realize I have come a long way since I first was introduced to the computer at a young age.  I played the JumpStart games, Oregon Trail, and used Mavis Beacon to learn to type.

Now, as an eighteen year old college freshman, I can competently use my Mac to turn in assignments online, get in touch with classmates via email, keep in touch with old friends, play ridiculous games, organize my photos, research, word process, the list goes on…

I can’t even remember my first introduction to the computer.  It has been such an integral part of my life.  And I’m only growing increasingly dependent and computer savvy.  Hey, in this class I even learned how to blog!  Who know where I will be in another ten, twenty, or fifty years, although it is mind boggling to try to picture myself that far ahead.  The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how adaptable my generation is to technology.  I taught my mom how to program her cell phone, and she had to determinedly struggle to do something I don’t think twice about.  My younger brothers are even more competent on the computer than I am.  I have great hopes for the following generations, though I definitely will not want to get on their bad side for fear that they would leave me behind in the stone age of Internet 2.0.


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What Will They Think Of Next?

March 2, 2010
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As if I need another distraction courtesy of the internet, my friends have gotten me hooked on diplomacy, a sort of online risk.  You conduct moves, coordinate attacks, and form alliances all via internet communique.  And surprisingly enough, its fun, even if I do feel like a super nerd whenever I play.  My roommate has coined the nickname Kim Jong Meighan, even though clearly I am Germany.  Hopefully I can get others hooked on this game, maybe that way I wouldn’t feel so bad whenever I play it….


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Long Distance Friendships

March 2, 2010
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Me and my roommate goofing off on skype

As an out of stater, I have many friends at various universities concentrated mostly on the east coast.  It is no easy task keeping in touch with them.  Lucky for me, I live in the age of internet, where I can utilize email, facebook, and skype.  But does this make keeping in touch any easier? Let me break down a week of missed connections between myself and my friend Elise.

Sunday: Hmmm it has been a while since I have heard from Elise.  I decide to post on her facebook wall just to say hi.

Monday: Elise responds, we facebook chat briefly but the time difference and our busy class schedules keep the conversation brief. We agree to Skype Wednesday evening though.

Tuesday: Elise calls me.  She can’t skype Wednesday because she has a midterm on Thursday.  I understand.

Wednesday: No contact.

Thursday: Elise calls but I have class all afternoon.

Friday: I call Elise back but she is staying with her roommate and is busy all weekend.

Saturday: No contact.

Sunday: Elise and I finally get our conversation, one week later.

I miss being able to see Elise and just talk to her face to face.  Although we have new technologies to make our communication “easier”, we spent more time just trying to get a hold of each other then we did actually catching up.  Although Skype is a good substitute when your friends are far away, it will never replace actual human to human contact.


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Weekend Wars

March 2, 2010
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This past 3 day weekend I had the pleasure of totally getting away from all the distractions of the dorms: I went camping up north in Paradise, CA.  I left behind my cell phone, facebook, email, etc, and it was AWESOME.   It woke me up to how ‘wired in’ I am here in the comfort of my dorm room.  Sure a few days ago I was trekking through snow up to my thighs but never once did I have to worry about checking my google calendar or phone for text message updates from my friends.  It was oddly refreshing.

But back here in Davis, I fall write back into my technologic rut.  I check facebook like its my job, and have several browser windows open at once.  Just how dependent am I on my laptop?  It is truly part of my routine.  When will I cease to go on adventures and be reduced to just reading about them on travel blogs?  Is technology robbing us of our desire to experience things first hand?

I don’t think so.  Reading about adventures only further increases my desire to get out there and experience things for myself.  Seeing a picture of the Eiffel Tower is nothing compared to climbing its many steps. And taking virtual tour of the Acropolis is nothing like standing there looking down on the city of Athens sprawled out before you.  I definitely won’t be locking myself in my room  instead of venturing out into the world anytime soon.


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Position Paper

February 8, 2010
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Like it or not, our generation is conditioned to multitask.  I admit that I am one of those teenagers who always has several windows open on my computer at once.  I do not see myself deviating from this way of working any time soon.  Convergence culture may be distracting, but if used responsibly, the possibilities for productivity are infinite.  I can participate in countless forms of culture right from my room, in real time. Not only may we as consumers one day be able to receive all forms of media in a single “black box”, we may be able to utilize this black box to interact with our favorite characters from film or literature (or both) in a way never imagined.  Jenkins’ discusses this aspect of convergence culture by chronicling Harry Potter fan fiction is his chapter “Why Heather Can Write.”  Twenty years ago, books were a solid medium: they were written, published, and enjoyed.  After reading, that was it, unless the book was selected to be produced as a film.  Fast forward to today and look at the Harry Potter franchise.  The internet has made it possible for characters from the book series (and movies) to come alive straight off the page and the big screen.  Mad about the lack of back story of Dean Thomas?  Now you have the option of writing your own.  That is what Heather Lawver did.  As a isolated home school student, she developed her own fan fiction website, staffed by “102 children from all over the world” (Jenkins 178), united by their shared passion for fictional characters.  Fan fiction is just one example of convergence culture’s enabling power.  Somewhere along the line convergence culture turned us from mere consumers, being spoon fed a predetermined dose of culture, to producers, capable of choosing not only what culture we want to consume but also what culture we want to create.  Others then consume our contributions and may be inspired to create on their own.  The whole process is one giant cycle of creativity, giving simple consumers tremendous choosing power.

Apply this choosing power to other arenas, for example, news.  Some small protest occurs in a remote town in the Midwest.  No new coverage is given, but a bystander films the event with his cell phone and posts it to YouTube.  People comment.  Some follow the event and write blog articles about it. Interest grows.  News companies suddenly take interest and cover the event, spawning more comments, discussions, and editorials.  A story is born, all because we choose to notice it and demand that it receive due attention.


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So This Is All New To Me…

February 6, 2010
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Oh hello technology.  My name is Meighan.  Nice to meet you too.

Let’s get one thing straight.  I have never blogged before.  I am only somewhat competent in Internet i.e. I can use Facebook, access e-mail, research, and procrastinate, but that’s as far as my skills take me.  Don’t blame me, blame my family.  We had, gasp, dial-up until the end of my junior year in high school.  Our next door neighbors lovingly referred to us as the “Slowskys”.  Yes, the turtle family from the comcast commercial.  So this should give you an idea of my technology (or lack thereof) skills.

That being said, I guess I’ll give blogging a try.  I waste enough time on the internet , what’s a little more?  Its another rainy day in Davis so there’s not much else going on.  Might as well lounge around in sweat pants and watch some movies on my roommate’s netflix account.   But before I do that, I’ll knock this blog out of the way.  A little about myself: check.  Self-deprecating humor: check.  Technology aptitude: check.  Guess that’s all for now.


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Hello world!

January 26, 2010
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Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


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