All posts by Mihaela

Blog 12

In this class I have been introduced to the idea of multimodal texts which means using two or more modes of communication to make meaning. I found out that all texts are multimodal even a research paper. One might not use an image or sound to tell the story but written language (linguistic mode) and physical arrangement (spatial mode) will be present. The way the text is organized (page margins, page layout/spacing, font type and size, etc.) is how the audience will be able to tell the difference between let’s say a blog and a research paper. The way we use language is also very different. In a blog we might use a more casual language; we might not even be very interested checking for misspelling while in an academic work we need to pay particular attention to word choice and the organization of sentences and paragraphs.  The book says “knowing what kind of text it is, it will influence the way the audience reads it” (Writer Designer pg. 3)  Even though the development of multimodal text is often  correlated with the growth of digital communication technologies, multimodal texts don’t have to be digital.

For my research essay besides the linguistic mode and spatial mode, I will also use the visual mode.  I will include two images to compare the pre-digital age and the modern family. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words…so they say. Images attract and persuade the audience. In my opinion if the images are strong they can support an argument just as a scholarly article would. Speaking of font and font sizes, good choices are Arial 10, Times New Roman 12, and Calibri 12. Always double space the document. I will stick to basic black as my color of choice when it comes to writing a college paper :) Ornate and pseudo (false) handwriting fonts are usually not used for professional purposes.

Blog Post 11

My research essay talks about the impacts of technology on family communication and bonding. My focus is on the negative aspect and how technology takes away from face-to-face interaction between family members. To show this is true I provide statistics, study results, a comparison of before and after family interaction, as well as an example of a family affected by technology addiction. I think my strongest aspect is the introduction, maybe because I know how much emphasis Dr. Wharton has put into it. So I focused on this the most and this is what I came up with:

“Technology has become an integral part of our lives with many benefits such as instant access to information and means of communication. Without doubt, electronic devices are making our lives much easier; however, studies show we are spending more time interacting with technology than with our family. Today, “the average American child grows up in a home with 3 televisions, 2 music CD players, 3 radios, 2 VCR/DVD players, 1 video game player, and 1 computer. Teens, age 13 to 18 spend 72 hours a week interacting with electronic gadgets.  Only 45% of teenagers spend at least 9 hours each week with their family” (Bowman). Even though technological advances are correlated with many positive benefits, they have also negatively impacted family communication and bonding. Family values seem to disappear as technology becomes deeply embedded in our lives.”

What do you guys think about it?

I continue my research essay by looking at and comparing a pre-digital age picture (a family playing a board game together) with a cartoon representing the modern family (cyberspace bonding). Then I talk about a couple of studies which support my opinion on the matter. Finally, I consider an opposing view… which does not necessarily say that technology has a positive benefit but it states that "Technology is enabling new forms of family connectedness that revolve around remote mobile phone interactions and communal internet experiences." This survey finds that those with the most technology are more likely to share moments and check in with their families while online. Ultimately, this study supports the idea that technology is inevitable in family communication (no matter what the relationship is) and it is correlated with some benefits.

My question is; Is this enough for an opposing view or should I replace it with something more specific like; Others say that technology is bringing families together and it is in fact a positive impact…My second question is; should I counteract this opposing view with another source that supports my opinion or should I jump straight to the conclusion?!

From my research into this subject I have learned that you should not come up with a thesis unless your research is complete.  Because, you might not find enough (good) evidence that supports your argument. This results in either your paper not being credible and you just wasted so much time…or you realize that you have to change your thesis and ultimately all your sources with the right ones... again you just wasted time. If you don’t have compelling evidence, your opinion alone will not convince the audience. I liked the most Howard Rheingold’s readings because he talks about crap detection and tips on how to distinguish a good article/source from the pool of information available. This was particularly helpful for my research essay.






The Internet: a distraction or an asset?

I think both Rheingold and Carr are right to some extent. One of my sources used in the Literature Review talks about a similar issue. Is technology disconnecting us? Henry Rubin, an American filmmaker says that technology can bring us closer but it can also tear us apart. He believes that “it’s all about the power of human communication" and not technology itself. In other words, technology is just a reflection of our own actions and/or personalities and it cannot be positive or negative by itself. In his opinion, technology can have a negative effect only if you lack self-control.

Larry Rosen, past chair and professor of psychology at California State University conducted a study to determine if technology is distracting students. The result; students could concentrate for an average of 5 minutes at most before becoming distracted. Many people believe that multitasking is being able to focus on different tasks at the same time. I do not believe this to be true. You can only pay full attention to only one thing at the time. Multitasking is rather performing multiple tasks at the same time.

Another aspect that Rheingold talks about is how to be digitally responsible. No doubt what we post on the internet has an impact on those who read our posts, but also has an impact on us (the writers). In a previous blog we talked about social media and the work place and how certain comments or pictures can determine your chance to get hired or fired… There is a tip that I found in regards to social media: never post something that you would not want your boss or family to see.

Rheingold also talked about search engines and mindfulness. He suggests that we should only search for reliable, useful information. While I do agree with him I don’t believe this to be possible. What might be useful or good information for me might not be for others and vice versa. Also, now that we have the opportunity to get answers for whatever crosses our mind…Rheingold believes that  "finding what you really need to know and knowing how to sort the good from the bad info are complementary (and essential) skills in today's infosphere."





Analyzing Multimodal Projects


This picture shows a man being punched in the face by somebody.  Their violent interaction suggests a car accident due to the cars painted on ones face and the other one's hand. This text's purpose is to associate car accidents with the same feeling that people have towards physical violence. The advertisement is intended mainly for those who drink and drive, however it also brings awareness of the issue,  getting people to think and worry about this problem, so it becomes public interest.  This ad belongs to an advertisement agency  called Terremoto Propaganda from Curitiba, Brazil.

Because I have not found an actual author, I have to rely on the implied author. My assumption is that a group of experts helped create this advertisement. I see this image as a billboard in high-traffic areas for passing pedestrians and especially drivers. It has all the correct features: a large slogan on a distinctive visual. A second location might be a poster.Posters are a smaller format than billboards and are viewed mostly by the local community. With that being said, I believe that advertisement is the genre of this text, because it is designed to catch a person's attention and create a memorable impression very quickly by using limited verbiage.


Social Media Policies

Many companies have policies that limit what you can and cannot post on social media sites about your employer. In some states employers will even ask for your username or password for the social media account. The National Labor Relations Act protects the employee’s right to work-related conversations whether the discussion takes place at work or on social media. The National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency that supports the Act found that some employer policies and disciplinary actions violated the federal labor law.  Labor Board Officials concluded that is illegal to adopt broad social media policies which often produce confusion and uncertainty. These policies often discourage workers to have work-related conversations, a right protected by the federal law. However if a workers comments are personal vendetta and not work related, the employees have the right to act against him or her.

A fair policy should not punish an employee based on comments and posts on social media unless there is proof that this activity is damaging to the company. Lewis L. Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute, said “No one should be fired for anything they post that’s legal, off-duty and not job-related.”  On the other hand, disclosure of confidential information such as product introduction it is illegal, therefore should be punished.

While I do not necessarily agree with, I understand monitoring workers on social media. I see no illegal activity as long as the information is public. No company would want to be represented by an unprofessional or irresponsible person. Think if one of our Georgia State professors would post embarrassing pictures or rude comments. Would your opinion change about him/her? What if several faculty members are engaging in different extracurricular activities that paints them in a negative light?  Georgia State University would be rumored to have unprofessional staff; therefore prospective students would consider other schools to invest in.

After reading about the labor’s board rulings on social media policies, I am not sure that companies are going to back off, instead they will change tactics. So they might not fire you for that tweet, post, or Instagram picture.  But they can certainly fire you for other “reasons.” Too many occurrences, underqualified, overqualified just to name a few.  In other words they can make it look like your activity on social networking has nothing to do with this. Employees who use social media should think about this probability…